By Betsy Rothstein - 08/10/05 12:00 AM EDT
The top-50 list has been called many things, but this past week a reader wrote in to accuse the list of being racially unbalanced:
As a former congressional staffer who is black, I find it not terribly surprising that almost all of the names on The Hill’s recent 50 Most Beautiful list are stone-cut white males and waifish blond or brunette white women.
While some of the listed people are admittedly cute — cheers for Greta Hanson and Nicole Barnes, in particular — the list as a whole is reflective of Washington’s power structure and values. Much like a yearbook in a predominantly white school, the list features scant, if not perfunctory, inclusion of minorities.
Who decides beauty? How many of The Hill’s staffers who put together this list are black, or Hispanic, or Asian?
A respectable newspaper need not stick to serious subjects all of the time. However, when your paper purports to decide who is beautiful, and this is what you come up with, I find the result to be insightful, predictable and weak.
Las Vegas, Nev.
Editor’s note: Although the reader’s remarks are appreciated, they are surprising considering that 12 minority people were named to the list.
Another trusty reader wrote in to say, “I am embarrassed to say this, as I disagree with everything the NRA stands for (as does my boss), but the guys they have working there are hot. It would be one thing if just one of them looked good, but it makes it very hard to not like them when the whole office is hot. Just a thought for future consideration.”
Rep. Waters: fashionably late for floor votes
If there is one lawmaker who is known for her lateness when it comes to floor votes, it’s Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).
The lawmaker continually tries the patience of lawmakers who preside over the votes and notoriously comes rushing in beyond the last possible moment. “Maxine always runs in late,” a GOP lawmaker remarked, explaining that she then leaves even when there are more votes on the table.
Typically, the lawmaker explained, if the member is in the chamber then he or she has the right to vote. Holding colleagues up, however, with lateness is frowned upon.
A Capitol security employee confirmed Waters’s penchant for lateness: “All day, every day. Even if she’s on the floor! Every time — not one time, but every time.”
“She’s not here now, and I don’t have a comment,” said Mikael Moore, the office manager. Waters’s office has no press secretary at the moment.
Does Sen. Clinton have two left feet?
It was a slow, hot day for two Capitol Hill police officers with AK-47s who were recently stationed on the steps of the House side of the Capitol. They were commenting about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) spill on the Senate steps about a month and a half ago.
The officers said Clinton slipped down three or four stairs, perhaps due to rain.
The officers, who would not offer their names, remarked that it would have been funny to be able to watch a replay of the spill, what with all the cameras around the Capitol.
“It would have been nice if we had it on tape,” one of the officers said, explaining that the senator’s security detail helped her up on her feet.
Clinton’s office had no comment on whether the senator is prone to such falls or whether this was a one-time occasion.
Sighting: Rep. Gephardt and wife at Chinese restaurant
Private life seems to be treating former Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) just fine.
Gephardt was spotted last week dining at Washington D.C.’s gourmet Chinese eatery Meiwah (where former President Bill Clinton has been known to order takeout) with wife Jane and two young women, presumably his daughters. Gephardt was dressed casually, but not too casually, an ITK spy reported, mindful of the former minority leader’s button-down reputation.
Freshman congressman weds
Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.), 32, got married late last month in Norman, Okla., to Andrea Heupel, a sonographer.
The couple will reside in Muskogee. They have known each other for more than a year and met on a blind date.
As for more details, we’ll have to wait: “I’d ask the congressman, but he’s on honeymoon right now,” Boren spokesman Michael Allen said, adding that the happy newlyweds are honeymooning in Bora Bora. Ms. Heupel will take the congressman’s surname.
Crowley’s wife to deliver baby
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and his wife, Kasey, are expected to welcome their third child into the world today.
Kasey is scheduled to deliver by Caesarean birth in Arlington. The family splits its time between Queens, N.Y., and Arlington, Va.
While the couple have yet to decide on a name for the baby, they do know that the child will be a boy and have been tossing around a number of names.
The Crowleys already have two children, Kenzie, 4, and Cullen, 5.