Heard on the Hill: Norton vs. Colbert: Round Two
Look out, Stephen Colbert: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is plotting her revenge! The D.C. Democrat put out a request on Twitter last week asking her followers to send ‘funny ideas’ about how to welcome the comedian to town for his ‘March to Keep Fear Alive’ rally scheduled for Oct. 30 on the National Mall.
Norton, who famously sparred with Colbert in 2006 over D.C. voting rights on his segment ‘Better Know a District,’ says she has gotten a lot of responses from Washingtonians. The suggestions have ranged from the angry, ‘stick it to him like he did us,’ to the funny, ‘Welcome him with a big banner that says, ‘We Love You, Jon Stewart.”
‘It makes me know that D.C. will be out in force for a big collective Colbert payback on voting rights,’ Norton tells HOH. ‘He’s had a lot of fun at our expense.’
Norton says she plans to attend the rally, although she won’t divulge how involved she will be.
Clooney Hits the Capitol
Attention ladies: George Clooney is coming to Washington!
The Academy Award-winning actor, also a political activist, will be on Capitol Hill today to meet with Sen. Dick Lugar. The ‘Up in the Air’ star and the Indiana Republican will discuss the heavy topic of ‘efforts to prevent war and promote justice in Sudan,’ according to Lugar’s office.
Clooney is representing his nonprofit group, Not On Our Watch, which works to protect the ‘vulnerable, marginalized and displaced.’ No word on Clooney’s other plans while in town, aside from fending off throngs of female (and maybe a few male) staffers.
In Good Spirits
The health care reform debate was intense, but if you ask Rep. John Yarmuth, something was missing.
The Kentucky Democrat was inducted into the George Washington Spirits Society on Wednesday night during the Distilled Spirits Council’s annual gala at Mount Vernon. Yarmuth, who founded the Congressional Bourbon Caucus, says he tried (but failed) to get it involved with health care legislation negotiations.
His reasoning? ‘Whenever I feel bad, I drink,’ he jokes.
Yarmuth chatted with HOH while sipping on a glass of Woodford Reserve and sharing the reasons he loves bourbon. (It’s the only indigenous spirit in America, it creates thousands of jobs and it’s delicious.)
Being inducted into the society at Mount Vernon was special, Yarmuth says, considering that President George Washington himself distilled rye whiskey on the grounds. Rye whiskey is a precursor to bourbon, which is sweeter. ‘We think it’s an improvement,’ Yarmuth says, laughing.
Every Tuesday, HOH gets to know a Member of Congress better through a series of five fun questions. Today, we chat with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who was the placekicker for Brigham Young University.
Q: Who do you think will win the World Series?
A: House Republicans’ baseball team ‘ things are that good at the moment.
Q: If you could have dinner with anyone tonight ‘ aside from your family ‘ who would you dine with?
A: Barack Obama. I would love to talk some sense into him.
Q: If you could live anywhere, not including your district, where would you live?
A: Lake Powell in the summer, Maui in the winter.
Q: What’s your hidden talent?
A: Kicking footballs between goalposts. Such a useful skill.
Q: If you weren’t a Member of Congress, what would you be doing?
A: Mall cop or Apple’s VP of product development.
House Aide E-mailing It In
Congressional aides often send e-mails to colleagues in other offices to share information on policy matters.
But occasionally, staffers need help with a different sort of issue.
Case in point: Paul Kincaid, press secretary to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), sent a message to Democratic House press secretaries on Friday seeking help finding University of Michigan gear for an office colleague
Kincaid’s fellow staffer was ‘curious as to a potential store in this area’ to find the Michigan merchandise, Kincaid writes.
And while Kincaid appeared to be doing his colleague a fashion favor, don’t expect him to root for the Wolverines any time soon.
Kincaid titles the e-mail ‘as much as it pains me to ask this …’ and concludes it with a line pledging allegiance to the University of Florida.
‘Having said that, Go Gators,’ Kincaid writes.