Heard on the Hill: Color Me Political

Posted March 12, 2010 at 5:45pm

HOH isn’t usually in the business of coupon clipping, but we simply couldn’t let this deal slip by without alerting our readers.

[IMGCAP(1)]The fancy new salon in the basement of the Cannon House Office Building had us at the mere mention of “free mini facials.” The brand-spanking-new facility, Tides Salon, is celebrating its grand opening this week by offering free services, like the aforementioned facial treatments (that’s today’s special deal). On Wednesday, the salon will give out free shampoos and blowouts, and on Friday, visitors can score a free nail-polish change. (Psst, here’s some advice to deal-seekers: You have to call ahead for the freebies.)

Tides goes beyond the usual just-a-trim basics, offering a menu of services that you wouldn’t expect to find in a government building, like a vitamin C facial, Brazilian waxing and a lunchtime facial peel.

And while the services look like those at any posh salon, there’s one on the online menu that would only be in official Washington: For $25, Members of Congress can get a Press Touch-Up, a fast hair-and-makeup fix to make them camera-ready.

And in another only-in-Washington development, Tides proprietor Vincent Marvaso says he’s actually waiting for permission to offer the service, which he says isn’t exclusively for Members, but rather anyone who has to face the media.

Marvaso says he’s catering to the busy lives of Members and staff, noting that they can even conduct the people’s business while prettifying themselves. “If a Member of Congress comes in for a pedicure and their staffer comes in for a manicure, they can continue talking business,” he says. Now that help is so close at hand, there’s no blaming one’s ragged cuticles or shaggy ‘do on the late nights and long meetings that keep staffers and Members confined to the Capitol complex.

An Unusual Running Man. HOH loves regaling our readers with stories of the dumb criminals arrested by the Capitol Police. But one recent arrest story is just plain bizarre.

A Capitol Police officer parked his cruiser on the 800 block of South Capitol Street Southwest shortly after midnight on March 5. Another vehicle then parked behind the officer. What happened next is just odd.

The driver exited “and began running circles around his own vehicle,” a Capitol Police report reads. So the officer got out of his cruiser and approached, detecting “an odor of alcohol” on the man’s breath.

Several field sobriety tests were conducted, and “due to numerous signs of impairment” (um, obvi), the man was arrested. Later identified by a Capitol Police spokeswoman as 49-year-old Troy Souder of Washington, D.C., the man was booked for a DUI.

Sisterly Reunion. An HOH spy eyed longtime pals Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) dining at the Penn Quarter Indian restaurant Rasika on Thursday night. The pair sat at a front corner table, with Clinton’s secretary detail stationed closely nearby, HOH hears.

Rasika’s staff was “very attentive” of the VIP guests, our spy says, noting Clinton and Feinstein appeared to be having a casual conversation with plenty of “smiles and nodding.”

“The dinner date didn’t appear to be serious or businesslike in nature and actually looked like a purely social interaction,” our spy adds, noting that when the pair left the restaurant, everybody else stopped talking. “It seemed like almost all the diners took a brief moment to honor their departure.”

Franken’s Sweet Overtures. If his colleagues choose Sen. Al Franken as “most popular” Senator, it will probably be because of his wife’s baked-goods charm offensive.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee were spotted chowing down on a giant apple pie that the Minnesota Democrat’s wife, Franni, baked for their Thursday meeting. Franni Franken made a “Paul Bunyan” (i.e. enormous) version of the apple pie that she became famous for during her husband’s campaign. The sweet treat was delivered to the committee’s anteroom, where Members eagerly noshed on it.

We hear Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) even suggested after tasting it that Sen. Franken owed his election to his wife’s baking prowess. And Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) confessed in the meeting that it was worth breaking his diet for.

And the pie wasn’t Franni Franken’s only sugary gift to the Senate of late: HOH hears she baked up some pumpkin cornbread that the Minnesota Democrat shared with colleagues during the last snowstorm.

Saluting the Troops. Among those in the crowd when Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg honored veterans at the National World War II Memorial last week: Sen. Jon Tester, who sat quietly in the front row during the heartfelt ceremony.

Cable network HBO sponsored the tribute in advance of its new Hanks-Spielberg miniseries “The Pacific,” which premiered Sunday night on the network. The 10-part series, which tells the real-life tales of Marines who fought in the Pacific theater during World War II, is a follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Band of Brothers.”

Tester didn’t attend the ceremony because he’s a big fan of Hanks or Spielberg — he hasn’t even seen “Band of Brothers.” (In fact, he doesn’t even get HBO, a spokeswoman tells HOH.) The Montana Democrat, who sits on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, merely wanted to be there to salute the 250 vets of the Pacific front who attended the ceremony, HOH hears.

Also at the event: former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), whose husband, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), helped lead the effort to build the memorial. Dole told the crowd that her husband, a World War II veteran, wanted to attend the ceremony but remains at Walter Reed Army Medical Center following a bout with pneumonia and knee surgery.

“He’s doing well,” Dole said. “Now he’s working on rehabilitation.”

Overheard on the Hill. “newenglanddemoncrat”

— The anonymous sender of an e-mail announcing a job opening for a communications director for a New England Democrat. The announcement was sent to staffers in House Democratic offices, leading at least one recipient to wonder whether Democrats were launching a new, evil rebranding strategy. (“Scare tactics worked for Bush/Cheney,” the Dem staffer jokes).

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