Heard on the Hill: Suited to Lead

Posted February 2, 2010 at 6:12pm

What’s the secret to a powerful woman’s success? Confidence, maybe, or diligence? Nope. According to one Member of Congress, it’s a red suit.

[IMGCAP(1)]Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) reveals in the new book, “Secrets of Powerful Women,” that she once got an important lesson in fashion (and life) when she showed up at an event with former Texas Gov. Ann Richards. Granger, who was then the mayor of Fort Worth, wore a navy suit that she thought was “tasteful and powerful.”

But the legendarily bold Richards warned her to never wear the drab outfit again and prodded her to look around at the roomful of men in navy suits. Women in bold colors command attention, she advised.

Granger writes that the next time she saw Richards, at a Washington ball, “She was wearing an orange dress with sparkles. The cameras were all on her. I haven’t owned a blue suit since.”

The essay is one of 25 collected in the tome, out on Tuesday, by Lifetime Networks and VOICE, a female-focused imprint of Hyperion books. Other Congressional contributors sharing their tips meant to inspire women to become leaders include Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-
W.Va.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).

HOH hears that at least a few of those contributors will be on hand for the bash that Lifetime and Hyperion are throwing Tuesday at the swanky W hotel.

Dress code: no navy suits, of course.

I Wanna Go Fast. As the great philosopher/fictional NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last” — and Rep. Kendrick Meek is using those words of wisdom to help his Senate bid.

The Florida Democrat will sponsor NASCAR driver Mike Wallace’s car at the Nationwide Series race in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Feb. 13, and in a unique fundraising move, donors to his campaign could win a chance to join the Meek family on the pit road come race day.

Supporters can sign up on Meek’s campaign Web site for the chance to nab a pit pass to visit Wallace and his team. Technically, no donation is necessary to enter, but HOH notes the online entry form is conveniently located next to an area on the Web site to give to the campaign.

In a press release, Meek said he’s a longtime NASCAR fan. “I’m running for the Senate to get Florida’s economy working again for the NASCAR Nation and all families throughout this state,” he said.

The Student Becomes the Master? Rep. Mike Honda is aiming to bring one of his former staffers back to Capitol Hill — but this time, as a colleague in Congress.

The California Democrat will host a meet-and-greet for New Jersey Congressional candidate Ed Potosnak at Democratic National Committee headquarters tonight.

Potosnak, who is running for New Jersey’s 7th district seat, is a former high school chemistry teacher who spent more than two years in Honda’s office. Potosnak came to Honda’s office after nabbing the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Award, which sent him to Capitol Hill to assist the Congressman on education, appropriations and environmental issues.

And it appears Potosnak earned top marks in Honda’s class.

“A teacher like me, it was clear that Ed, who started our office as a whip-smart Einstein fellow, was fast filling my educator shoes at an impressive rate,” Honda said. “Knowing that Ed will legislate like he educates, New Jersey’s 7th will be one lucky district.”

So what was the No. 1 lesson that Potosnak learned from Honda?

“The Honda office had a lot of teamwork, mutual respect,” Potosnak said. “Folks really worked together to put forward positive policy and really help people.”

Looks like Potosnak has already learned a thing or two about speaking like a political professional.

Winning the Day. The Indianapolis Colts will test their might against the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl on Sunday — but should the Colts claim victory, they’ll be following in the footsteps of another (admittedly slightly lower-profile) squad from the Hoosier State.

The Bayh Partisans defeated Team Kent Conrad 33-22 in a thrilling, come-from-behind win to capture the first-ever Senate Flag Football Championship over the weekend. Made up of staffers from the office of Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), the Partisans had to overcome a 15-7 deficit and make a key stop on the 2-yard line to get back into the game, quarterback Peter True told HOH.

“We were down early, actually, pretty big,” True said. “But we rallied and played really well on our defense and came back to win.”

While winning the first-ever “Senate Super Bowl” is an honor, the victory was especially meaningful because Bayh’s office also put forth a championship-caliber softball team last year, True said. The team made the final four in the Senate Softball League tournament, only to fall short to team Hawk & Dove.

And True and his squad now predict their victory is “a good harbinger of things to come” for the Colts.

Overheard on the Hill. “I’m all for full disclosure, but not the full monty.”

— Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), telling HOH that he will not follow the lead of Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and pose nude in Cosmopolitan magazine. A Cosmo editor told the blog PopEater that if Brown won’t agree to reprise his 1982 spread, they’d love to get Bayh to pose.

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