Sen. Lugar’s grandson enters the family business; Huffington’s daughter interns for Sen. Reid

Haven’t all of us wanted to spend a summer with grandpa — fishing, drinking lemonade and receiving sage advice? Well, Taylor Lugar isn’t tying flies, but he is working 9 to 5 for his grandfather, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), as a summer intern.

The lawmaker’s press office refused to grant ITK an interview with the younger Lugar after several e-mail requests, phone calls and a visit to the Hart Senate Office Building, where we sat on a couch waiting to cross paths with the intern. A week later, spokesman Andy Fisher wrote to say, “Thanks for asking. We’ll pass.” Following further coaxing, Fisher wrote again to say, “We would really like to pass on doing it. Thank you.”

No word on whether getting an internship with Lugar is really about who you know, but we’d bet the senator has a soft spot for his grandson.

In other notable intern news, Christina Huffington, daughter of liberal media personality Arianna Huffington, is interning for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). She’s 18 and attends The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles.


Simpson recovering from knee surgery

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) is recovering from recent knee surgery, specifically the removal of his meniscus.
In March, his knee locked up and “just wouldn’t bend,” Simpson said, explaining it was the result of an old football injury. So the lawmaker had an MRI. “They said my meniscus was ‘ugly,’” he recalled. “I said, ‘I have many ugly things, but it’s not my meniscus.’” 

Simpson was a good sport about the removal of his body part, but he isn’t entirely happy about it, either. “Now a part of me is residing in some trash can somewhere,” he lamented.  


Revenge finds its way to Cannon’s fifth floor

The fifth floor of the Cannon House Office Building hides a tangled web of deceit, revenge and balcony barbecues.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) lifted Rep. Heath Shuler’s (D-N.C.) poster on national debt from outside his office. Shuler called Gohmert out on the floor for the robbery — the latter explained he was only “borrowing it.”

Friendly feelings returned, at least on the surface. Gohmert has a nice set of barbecue grills on the balcony that runs along the inside perimeter of the fifth floor, within smelling distance of Shuler’s office. The balcony is a popular spot not only for grilling, but for aides to take a smoke break. Shuler’s office may consider “borrowing” the grills when the moment is right.

Meanwhile, Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), Shuler’s next-door neighbor, is joining in on the fun. He sneaks across the balcony and scatters pieces of bread in front of Shuler’s office windows, bringing in all the pigeons on the block.

Revenge is on the way, Shuler’s staff vows.


A slice of heaven in Cannon

“So this is what it feels like to be in heaven.”

A passer-by made the remark on Cannon’s third floor just before the congressional recess when a group of schoolchildren gathered in the building’s rotunda to sing their little hearts out. And yes, they did sound like little cherubs, joining in harmony to perform “America the Beautiful,” “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“They’re so angelic,” one woman watching gushed as she wiped the tears from her eyes. “God bless all of them!”

The 41 children in the Mercer University Children’s Choir were touring for the second year. They were here to sing at the 19th Street Baptist Church and a senior citizen’s home, among other venues.



Sighting: Bush twins spotted at Merkado

The Bush twins are hot commodities when it comes to showcasing D.C.’s finest eating and drinking establishments. Jenna and Barbara Bush were spotted last week eating at Merkado Kitchen in Logan Circle.

An ITK spy noted that Jenna, Barbara and their posse arrived just after 8 p.m. “[Jenna] walked in with three other women, two blondes and a brunette, wearing a green top,” our informant observed.

Eventually the party expanded from four to eight at a big round table — seven women, one guy. The group ate chips and salsa and appeared to be having fun.   

“Kind of validated our belief that we are a destination location in D.C.,” Merkado manager Bryan Smith remarked. “We left them alone. We just wanted to make sure they had a good time and respected their privacy. They stayed for about two hours and had a good time.”

Smith said the waitress who served the twins gratuitized the table between 18 and 20 percent — the server always has the choice for large parties.