Heard on the Hill: No, It’s Not Like a Sock Hop

Posted January 25, 2010 at 6:30pm

When you think of a 60-something former insurance agent from New England, you’re more likely to think “hip replacement— than “hip-hop fan.—

[IMGCAP(1)]But House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) is full of surprises. He is holding a fundraiser during the March 3 Jay-Z concert at the Verizon Center. That’s, um, Jay-Z, as in the guy who’s married to Beyonce (look her up, Congressman) and whose best-selling albums include “American Gangster.—

A few other Members also have fundraisers planned for the event, but HOH would be less surprised to find “Can’t Knock the Hustle— on the iPods of Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.) and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) than on Larson’s.

But you can teach an old dog new tricks, a Larson campaign staffer insists. “He loves music … and loves trying new things,— she tells HOH. “It’s his way of keeping up with the younger members of the caucus and younger voters. He’s excited.—

And just for giggles, we ran Larson’s name through the rap-artist name generator (rapstarname.com) and came up with his alter ego: Ol’ Dirty.

Make that Chairman Ol’ Dirty to you.

Still the One. They’re gettin’ the band back together! Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.) hasn’t had much time for a rock ’n’ roll lifestyle lately, what with votes and committee hearings and such, but he’ll soon be reunited for a special gig with his former bandmates from the famed rock outfit Orleans.

The classic rock group is headlining the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s spring reception on March 16. Orleans, which hit the big time in the ’70s with songs including “Still the One,— continues to play (with Dennis “Fly— Amero on guitar in place of Hall).

But the rock-star-turned-Congressman will reclaim his place onstage at the W Hotel with his old group for the fundraiser, which should bring in big bucks for the DCCC.

And at these prices, the music better be solid gold: Tickets start at $5,000 for two.

The President Versus the Pop Star. If there is one person on Earth who might possibly overshadow President Barack Obama — on the day of the State of the Union address, no less — it is Joe Jonas.

Sure, Obama is the leader of the free world and all … but Jonas is a multiplatinum selling musician who used to date Taylor Swift.

The most popular member of the wholesome all-brother boy band (sorry, Nick and Kevin fans) will be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to promote the Special Olympics. (Talented and charitable … sigh.) And during his Hill visit, the dreamy Jonas will directly compete with the prez for attention, as he’s on tap to appear at a reception honoring Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver in the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday evening — just two hours before Obama delivers his State of the Union address.

Jonas, who is set to lobby Members of Congress earlier in the day, will be joined by nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

Joe is actually the second Jonas to grace the Congressional hallways: Brother Nick came last year to testify about juvenile diabetes.

Alba: Hot for the Speaker. Turns out that one of the hottest women in showbiz has a total girl crush on Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In an interview in the February issue of Self Magazine, actress Jessica Alba ’fesses up that she was “tickled pink— when she met the California Democrat during a visit to Capitol Hill last year.

“She was so warm. I just grinned from ear to ear with my mouth open and my eyes bulging out of my head,— Alba tells the mag. “Afterward, I called [my husband] Cash [Warren] and totally geeked out. I was beside myself.—

She adds: “The fact that a woman is Speaker of the House? Oh my God.—

Alba came to Capitol Hill to lobby for childhood education. And, in what HOH guesses would be a delight for Capitol Hill male denizens, Alba hinted that she could return to Capitol Hill someday.

The actress told Self that if she wasn’t in movies, she’d be in politics.

“I used to think being a marine biologist would be the best thing ever, but now that I’ve grown up and seen things in the world, I think politics,— she says.

Blowing Off Steam? Hey, everybody needs a little break after a particularly rough week at the office — including Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, who no doubt faced a tough few days after GOP Sen.-elect Scott Brown’s upset win in Tuesday’s Massachusetts Senate special election.

An HOH spy eyed the New Jersey Democrat dining at Ristorante Tosca on Saturday evening. According to our spy, Menendez was laughing heartily with a female companion at the downtown restaurant, which the Washington Post recently branded as the spot for D.C. power players.

Can’t get enough HOH? Get a midday dose of fun and gossip with HOH’s One-Minute Recess, delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here — because everyone deserves more recess.

Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.