By Betsy Rothstein - 10/05/05 12:00 AM EDT
Rep. Moore’s hot flashes
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) was speaking to 17 African leaders in front of the Capitol last week when she suddenly decided to spice things up. While cooling herself with a pretty fan, she chatted about visiting their continent and admitted that she had never been to Africa.
“That’s so embarrassing,” Moore said. “I was told by [Rep.] Maxine Waters [D-Calif.] not to tell anyone that.”
The group invited her to visit Africa in December, to which Moore responded with a jig of sorts: “I am waiting to come to dance! I’m ready!” she screamed, busting out a few moves.
Moore also told the group that she had served in the Wisconsin state Legislature and added, “I practically ran the place myself.”
So what about that lovely fan?
“It’s called ovarian failure,” she said. “Menopause. One day you will reach for a cardboard or a newspaper, anything you can get your hand on.”
Clinton’s press secretary: The salty update
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) press secretary, Philippe Reines, has friends in high places, and at least one pal in Baghdad, who wrote in to vouch for his salt-free personality, despite his cutting response to ITK over his use of what he calls his hPod — a term Reines devised for the iPod. The “h” stands for Hillary.
George Stephanopoulos of ABC News wrote in to say, “Philippe’s a pleasure to work with: responsive, informed, funny and fair.” Josh Gerstein of the New York Sun (who may just be sucking up) wrote in to say: “You may have mistaken Philippe’s dry wit for something more abrasive.”
Jano Cabrera, who worked with Reines on Al Gore’s presidential campaign and is now working in Baghdad, adds: “I’d say he’s more like flour — neither salty nor sweet, but a necessary ingredient for the body politic nonetheless.”
Ed Henry of CNN decidedly thinks Reines is sweet: “How else to explain the fact that when Sen. Clinton holds a press conference in the Radio-TV Gallery, she hands her purse over to Philippe? It takes a real man to carry a purse that large.”
Debra DeShong of the United Nations Foundation asserted, “He is sugar and spice and EVERYTHING nice.”
Tammy Haddad, executive producer of “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” says she calls Reines every day just so that she “can have the pleasure” of hearing him say no. “Many, MANY have said no before him,” she assures. “Yet, Philippe always makes me feel like the ‘no’ … is heartfelt and filled with the potential of not just an interview but the all-important EXCLUSIVE.”
And Reines himself wrote in to discuss himself in third person:
“I’ve known and interacted with Philippe Reines for more than 35 years now, so I may be slightly biased. And years of analysis have helped me get to know him even better. Philippe himself would acknowledge that like any of us he has his good days and his bad, and hopes that the former outnumber the latter. If ever he were too curt in the line of duty, it was hopefully the exception and not the rule. I’m proud to know Philippe for as long as I have.”
The e-mail was signed “Spokesman for Philippe Reines.”
Is stress causing DeLay’s weight gain?
Stress can cause people to do many things — one is not to eat, the other is go on an eating rampage. As of late, several observers on Capitol Hill have noticed the added poundage on ex-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas). Could it be that the stress of being indicted is reaching his waistline?
“He does look like he’s putting on a little around the middle,” remarked one reporter who sees him regularly. “It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones sitting around with a pint of Haagen Dazs when things are going badly.” Two other Capitol Hill reporters have also noticed the gain.
DeLay spokesman Kevin Madden had no comment on his boss’s weight. In terms of stress, he said, “Mr. DeLay has a very determined spirit and has a good fighting attitude about this episode.”
Sen. Craig: The ‘inappropriate senator’
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) walked out of the Senate chamber past a group of reporters Friday sporting an unusual fashion style for the Senate.
The outfit, perhaps best described as a Western leisure ensemble, consisted of a white button-down shirt, tie, sport jacket and blue jeans.
True, it was Friday morning, when the Senate rarely casts votes, but reporters were surprised nevertheless.
“What is this? Casual Friday?” a reporter asked.
Craig acknowledged his sartorial transgression by stretching his arms out to either side to give his audience a better view and proclaiming: “This is inappropriate.”
“So I am the inappropriate senator,” he concluded, and then joked: “I lurked in the shadows” of the chamber to avoid scrutiny from colleagues.
But the jest only left Craig open to more ribbing.
“So you’re the inappropriate senator lurking in the shadows,” asked another reporter, slyly alluding to behavior even less appropriate than wearing blue jeans on the floor.
Craig did not respond.
Hagel ribs Rockefeller amid fancy Polo threads
Georgetown’s Polo store was packed with Washington insiders Thursday night, including Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), former Clinton Cabinet member Strobe Talbott, who now runs the Brookings Institution, and Bill Bradlee, editor at large of The Washington Post.
While guests sipped on champagne, and ate lobster pri pri, Hagel rose to a makeshift podium and made fun of Rockefeller, who hadn’t yet showed.
With Rockefeller’s 26-year-old son, Justin, by his side, Hagel spoke to the crowd, “Your father somewhere? Is he parking cars? I know he is qualified for that.” Rockefeller arrived moments later and joined his wife, Sharon.
The Polo event was on behalf of Generation Engage, a group created by Talbott’s and Rockefeller’s children — Adrian and Devin Talbott and Justin Rockefeller. The group’s goal: involve people ages 18-24 who are not attending college in the political process. Polo will donate 15 percent of the store’s sales over four days to the budding group.
Rep. Barton and wife welcome birth of son
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and his wife, Terri, welcomed the arrival of Jack Kevin Barton at 7:06 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. He weighed 10 pounds, 4 ounces and was 21.5 inches long.
“Jack is a healthy, happy baby boy, and both he and Mrs. Barton are doing great,” said Barton spokeswoman Karen Modlin.
Donate business attire to those in need
The American League of Lobbyists and Men’s Wearhouse are hosting the second annual Capitol PurSuit Drive.
The program provides low-income individuals with business attire to help them enter the work force. The drive takes place today on Capitol Hill.
For more information, call the American League of Lobbyists at (703) 927-1453.