Heard on the Hill: Paint It Brown

Posted January 20, 2010 at 6:44pm

Look out Nelsons and Udalls, Team Brown is gaining on you.

[IMGCAP(1)]The addition of Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.) to the chamber makes for two Sen. Browns. (The other, of course, is Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown.) The Browns are now officially in competition with the Senators Udall (Mark of Colorado and Tom of New Mexico; both Democrats) and the Senators Nelson (Bill of Florida and Ben of Nebraska; also both Democrats) for name dominance in the chamber.

Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.) don’t actually count, since their names are just homophones. And no fair adding Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) to Team Brown, either.

Sherrod Brown’s office is already bracing for the confusion that is sure to come.

Meghan Dubyak, spokeswoman for the senior Brown, says his office has been informed that it will not have to change the Web site address or staff e-mail addresses. Other than that, the Senate clerk will simply have to add the Senators’ state names when calling the roll during votes. Still, Sherrod Brown will have to get used to not being the only Sen. Brown in town.

“He’s hall-mates with both of the Nelsons, so he’ll get some advice from them,— Dubyak says. And perhaps there’s a bit of a silver lining: “Maybe now, people will stop confusing him with [Sen.] Sheldon Whitehouse [D-R.I.].—

Hiding Under the Bed. Democrats likely had a tough time getting out of bed Wednesday morning following Republican Scott Brown’s stunning victory in the special election to fill the Massachusetts seat once held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D).

But it turns out, one leading Democratic Senator had such a tough time coping with the defeat that he went into hiding — if you believe one of his colleagues, that is.

Rep. Bill Delahunt appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe— on Wednesday to talk about the Massachusetts race. Toward the end of his appearance, commentator Mike Barnicle asked the Massachusetts Democrat whether Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) — whom Delahunt shares a row house with on Capitol Hill — managed to make it out of bed.

“I think he’s under the bed,— Delahunt joked. “Last time I saw him, he was crawling under the bed. I don’t know what he was doing there.—

HOH will note that Schumer — part of the leadership team as vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Conference — did make it to Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

“Sen. Schumer was one of the first in the house to get up and out of bed this morning,— spokesman Brian Fallon told HOH. “Now did he make his bed? That’s a different question.—

Party Crashers’ Congressional Party Fouls. The White House party crashers might be saving their best lines for a future reality TV gig, but they could already write a book on “How Not to Testify Before Congress.—

The glamorous couple appeared before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, and although they only spoke a few words, they managed to tick off Members of both parties.

Tareq and Michaele Salahi clammed up and invoked their constitutional right to remain silent about the incident in November in which they wangled their way into a state dinner apparently without an invite. In case they’re hauled before the committee again, HOH would like to offer these two don’ts of Congressional testimony:

• Don’t overdress. If you’re trying to win a little sympathy, showing up draped in fur and sporting glittery cuff links might not be your best move. Michaele’s dramatic winter-white fur-trimmed cape, perfectly coordinated with a winter-white suit — accessorized with loops of pearls — might have looked more at home at a fancy-schmancy polo party than the halls of the Cannon House Office Building.

• Don’t wave the flag. The couple really irked Members by invoking patriotism. In a statement that Tareq read at the beginning of the hearing, the couple claimed to be “strong supporters of the men and women in uniform.— Though the Secret Service has been getting a lot of heat for permitting the couple into the state dinner, the Salahis argued that “nothing that transpired on Nov. 24 should take away from the extraordinary service the U.S. Secret Service performs on a daily basis.—

That incensed the committee, with Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif,) calling it an “abomination— and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) advising them to “check your patriotism.— Oops.

The Big Picture. Who knew Cindy McCain had something in common with the Kardashian sisters?

Turns out McCain has followed the lead of Kourtney, Kim and Khloe — or perhaps more likely, her own daughter Meghan — by posing for the No H8 Campaign, a photo advocacy project launched in February 2009 as a response to the passage of Proposition 8 in California, which outlawed gay marriage.

Celebs such as comedian Kathy Griffin and singer Ashlee Simpson have been photographed for the effort, posing with duct tape across their mouths and “No H8— written on their cheeks. And while Cindy McCain, the wife of former GOP presidential candidate and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), might at first seem like an unlikely advocate for gay marriage, campaign founder Jeff Parshley told HOH that she actually came to them.

Meghan McCain has long been an advocate for gay marriage, and when mother and daughter visited the No H8 Campaign recently, Cindy McCain asked whether she could be photographed. “We said absolutely,— Parshley said, adding that photographer Adam Bouska shot Cindy McCain just last week.

And her daughter tweeted Wednesday that she “couldn’t be more proud of my mother for posing.—

“I think more republicans need to start taking a stand for equality and civil rights in this country and set the example that this is not a partisan issue,— Meghan McCain added.

Overheard on the Hill. “I regret very much the entire episode. I was trying to protect my son. … What we’ve learned is there’s a better way to do this, and there’s a better way we could have handled everything that night.—

— former Rep. Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), apologizing for getting into a scuffle with a youth soccer coach at one of his son’s recent games. The pair filed assault charges against each other, but both agreed to drop them Tuesday afternoon.

“I think it may open a lot of doors for him. … I haven’t seen you like that since you were a baby.—

— Judy Brown, mother of Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.), commenting in 1982 on nude pictures of her son that ran in Cosmopolitan magazine, as quoted by the Washington Post.

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