Heard on the Hill: Congressional Dancing Queen

Posted July 26, 2010 at 6:22pm

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton doesn’t just think she can dance … she knows it.

The D.C. Democrat is leading the effort to designate July 31 as National Dance Day and will partner up with “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Nigel Lythgoe on Saturday afternoon on the National Mall to host a National Dance Day flash mob. While professional dancers and SYTYCD contestants are expected to perform, Norton told HOH that she expects to bust out a few moves of her own.

“I’m known for it,” Norton said. “If there’s a dance I don’t know, I’ll get out and learn it.”

Former Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, co-chairwoman of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, also plans to stop by Saturday’s event. National Dance Day, which will be celebrated across the country, ties perfectly into efforts to promote physical fitness, including first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, Norton said.

“Why not focus on a physical exercise that is a lot of fun?” she added.

Norton tells HOH that she’s invited every Member of Congress to try out a few moves of their own Saturday. Since Norton introduced the measure, several people have asked whether she thinks she can dance.

“I’ll answer, ‘Yeah, I think I can dance,'” Norton said. “Put the music on, I’ll get out there.”

Actress Wendie Malick: Hot in Washington

With a busy Congressional schedule, who has time for speechwriting? Certainly not Rep. Jim Moran.

After hearing “Hot in Cleveland” actress Wendie Malick speak at a Humane Society rally on the Capitol’s West Front, the Virginia Democrat announced plans to borrow her rhetoric at an upcoming committee hearing.

“I’m going to get a copy of your remarks and then I’m going to steal them,” Moran joked.

Malick came to Capitol Hill to lobby for the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, which would outlaw killing horses for human consumption. The animal lover — she owns two horses — also urged the crowd to ask Congress to put a moratorium on wild horse roundups, which often lead to the horses’ deaths. After the speech, Malick planned to lobby Members, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), about the legislation.

But Malick’s trip wasn’t all work and no play. Although she was in town for two days, she planned to make a stop at the Smithsonian American Art Museum to check out “Telling Stories,” the Norman Rockwell exhibit, she told HOH.

Ron Kirk: The New Oprah?

Call it Ron Kirk’s “a-ha” moment.

The U.S. trade representative helped unveil the newest Ford Explorer model at the Newseum on Monday, and he used the moment to showcase his best Oprah Winfrey impression.

After helping several auto execs remove a sheet to reveal the new model of the sport utility vehicle, Kirk took to the podium to address the crowd.

“I get to channel Oprah,” he said. “This is the part where I say, ‘Everybody gets a car!'”

Kirk was quick to add that he was kidding: “We want you to buy them. They’re certainly not free.”

Offering a free car and then taking it back? That’s not very Oprah-like, Mr. Kirk.

Drama on the Listservs

Congressional e-mail listservs usually act as a way for hundreds of Capitol Hill offices to communicate quickly and easily, discuss wonky political strategy or announce important upcoming events.

But when a Hill aide used one such listserv to hawk a pair of concert tickets Monday, not everyone thought it was a good use of Congressional resources.

Marie Francis, communications director to Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.), sent an e-mail to members of the Democratic press secretaries listserv offering up a pair of tickets to Monday night’s Chromeo show at the 9:30 Club. Francis offered the tix to see the electrofunk band at face value, $25 a ticket, but she said she’d be willing to negotiate with potential buyers.

So, are Congressional listservs the new StubHub? Maybe, but there are some who don’t want the trend to catch on. “Please don’t fill my work e-mail inbox with things that belong on Craigslist,” one staffer griped to HOH.

No word whether Francis wound up selling the tix because she declined to comment.

Overheard on the Hill

“Happy
Anniversary. Diane and I celebrate 35 years of faithful marriage today. You need a great partner in life. I have one.”

— Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) in a romantic tweet posted Monday.

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