In the know


Tancredo’s invitation to McCain falls on deaf ears

It may have been a tongue-in-cheek invitation to travel together as a team on Rep. Tom Tancredo’s America Now Tour, considering that they have drastically different beliefs on dealing with immigration. But so what? Couldn’t Sen. John McCain (R) at least have replied to Tancredo’s written invitation to join him on his cross-country tour?

“I’m waiting patiently by the fax,” said Tancredo spokesman Will Adams. “We are waiting to hear back from him.”

Adams explained: “We thought, why not just consolidate? I think it’s revealing where McCain is going — Miami, Manhattan and Boston? — he has to go to blue cities to rally his support because his bill is supported by left-leaning groups.”

Somehow ITK suspects that Adams’s remarks will not persuade McCain to join Tancredo on his tour anytime soon. Perhaps it’s the lack of a Winnebago, as opposed to McCain’s preferred Straight Talk bus? Tancredo’s previous tour involved the motor home, but he ditched it a few weeks ago.

When Tancredo (R-Colo.) issued the invitation to McCain, he was in the senator’s home state of Arizona. On Thursday he was in Tucson; on Friday, Phoenix. On Saturday, the congressman traveled to Iowa.

Adams said his boss isn’t offended about being blown off by McCain. “This sort of thing happens in the press world,” he explains. “For various reasons, press shops decide not to respond. They don’t want the pressure of news stories to set up a debate.”

Andrea Jones, McCain’s spokeswoman, did not respond to calls on the matter.


Wonkette’s sage advice: ‘Keep your legs crossed’

Ana Marie Cox looked uncomfortable last week at a book signing for Dog Days at the National Press Club as she looked out into what was a sparse audience at best.

“Does anyone have any questions?” she asked, grimacing in a mocha MTV T-shirt. No one did.

“All right. Moving on,” Cox said, with her eyes jutting left to right in a dignified room at the club. The interns, Hill aides and literary types seemed too serious for her.

Eager to lighten things up, she said her novel is fiction and is especially not about the 2004 presidential campaign. People laughed uneasily.

After several minutes of reading, she gave the Q&A another shot.

On separating fact from fiction: “I guess I tried to make it funny, so that’s where things got blurred.

"Another question startled her: “Have you read Jessica Cutler’s book?” “No. … I hear she’s working on another book, and so maybe she’s gathering up experiences for that too,” Cox said of the ex-aide to Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) who got fired for blogging about her sexual escapades.

When pressed, Cox offered some advice for interns and new Hill staffers: “I guess keep your legs crossed, keep a sense of humor, stay in school, get married and remember that people here are not as powerful as they think they are.”


Homeland Security’s hallway of photos: Any nightmares yet?

To keep them focused on the job at hand, staffers at the House Homeland Security Committee coming into work each day see large, searing images of melting towers and an aerial view of the Pentagon on fire.

The new photographs, which were the idea of committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.), are part of their new digs in the Ford Office Building — they moved there a few weeks ago — that include new carpets and furniture.

The photographs are part of a timeline along the main hallway, two from when the tragedy first happened and 10 of the recovery effort. However unpleasant the images are, King says he believes they need to be there as a reminder.

“The photos are there so that every day, every staff person knows that the only reason this committee exists is because almost 3,000 Americans were killed on September 11th,” King said. “It is our job to prevent another attack from happening.”

By press time, the cost of the photographs was not provided.



Announcements

Rep. McMorris gets engaged

Rep. Cathy McMorris (R-Wash.), 36, is engaged to be married to Brian Rodgers of San Diego, a retired Navy commander and son of former Spokane Mayor David Rodgers, who served in that job 1967 to 1977. Rodgers proposed to the congresswoman on Valentine’s Day over dinner at the Willard Hotel.

“She was a little surprised, but not completely” at the proposal, McMorris spokeswoman Jill Strait said. “It was a pleasant surprise.”

Rodgers, 49, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. After retiring from the Navy, he earned a seminary degree and now works at the Rock Church, nondenominational Christian, in San Diego as facilities manager.

On the Rock Church website, Rodgers, in testimonial fashion, says he began asking “What is life?” questions after high school. “I found the answers in Jesus Christ,” he says, explaining that when he left the Navy he “desired to be more involved in ministry.”

His favorite food/restaurant: “Italian is always good and love that Sushi.”

His favorite ice cream: Dreyers mint chocolate chip.

McMorris met Rodgers last year at a political event in Spokane. Rodgers’s sister, Maureen Peters, helped on McMorris’s campaign and introduced the two at the event.

The wedding date has not been set. The couple is still finalizing their plans.


Rep. Sodrel says hello to new grandchild

Rep. Mike Sodrel (R-Ind.) and his wife, Keta, welcomed a new granddaughter into the world a week ago Saturday. She’s Fiona Sodrel, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces.

She is the Sodrels’ seventh grandchild and the fourth child of son Noah and daughter-in-law Kristin Sodrel. Both mother and baby are doing well.


A new mom in the Speaker’s press office

Lisa Camooso Miller, deputy communications director to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and her husband, Jason, welcomed the birth of their son, Michael James Miller, last Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

The “perfectly healthy” baby weighed 6 pounds, 7.5 ounces.


Karissa Markum contributed to this report.