By Betsy Rothstein - 11/20/07 07:34 PM EST
Rep. Serrano turns into MacGyver on House floor Sometimes being Speaker pro tempore means more than being a parliamentarian. You have to be a good Boy Scout and get prepared for anything.
During a recent motion to recommit, Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.), in charge of the floor at the time, observed that vote cards had inadvertently fallen into a crack next to his desk.
The heat was on. Pressure mounted to close the vote. Serrano did what any self-respecting lawmaker would do: He got a ruler and located a page with some chewing gum. The chewing gum (not the page) was stuck to end of the ruler, and he retrieved the cards.
“You’ve gotta credit the guy for thinking under pressure,” remarked Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.).
Serrano declined to comment on the incident.
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen goes on a holiday road-trip
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) will be leaving the sunny skies of Miami this Thanksgiving to take a road trip with her husband, Dexter, and two daughters, Amanda and Patricia, to Beaufort, S.C., where they will spend the holiday with her stepson, Douglas, and his wife, Lindsay Nelson, both of whom recently returned to the U.S. after serving in Iraq.
“I love long car trips,” the congresswoman said last week, explaining it would be hard to force her daughter and son-in-law to make the long drive to Miami after serving in Iraq. “They’re great [times] to chat.”
Hastert’s wife: Looking slim
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) offered his farewell speech before the House late last week. But even more noticeable to some was the newly slim physique of his wife, Jean. She has apparently been on the same diet that Hastert has followed, but with a twist: more exercise.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) was one of those struck by how good Hastert’s wife looked last week. In a first-floor ladies room of the Capitol, Ros-Lehtinen grew chatty through a row of stalls. “Dennis Hastert’s wife looks good!” she called out. “She has lost a lot of weight, too.”
Rep. Green: God is good. People? Not so much.
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) might as well have been naked last week. Known for the golden “God is Good All the Time” pin he wears daily on his jacket lapel, Green was pin-less last week, and people worriedly asked him what had happened to it.
Green mistakenly left the button pinned on a jacket in his garage at home.
“God is still good all the time,” the Baptist lawmaker proclaimed. “People are not always so good, but God is.”
Iraqi attorney prefers Supreme Court to White House
About a dozen Iraqi attorneys, including the president of the Iraqi Bar Association, were in Washington last week to talk with various high-ranking officials, including Chief Justice John Roberts at the Supreme Court and House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). They also gathered at the Old Executive Office Building to meet White House Special Counsel Emmet Flood.
Roberts wowed the Iraqi delegation by meeting them in the court’s stunning hearing room.
One starry-eyed lawyer from al Karkh told Roberts that he found his meeting with the chief justice far more entertaining and welcoming than his session at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
This is great, he told Roberts, “so much different and so much better than our trip to the White House,” according to a participant.
Roberts told the lawyers he would be sure to pass along their feelings to the president when he saw him the next day at the swearing-in of Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
“I’ll be sure to tell him you said that,” Roberts deadpanned, freezing the attorneys before eliciting a hearty laugh.
Sen. Hillary Clinton — presidential hopeful or nutcracker?
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) can now be purchased in the form of a smiling “Hillary Nutcracker,” a kitchen utensil in the “What on Earth” gift catalog.
Dressed fittingly in a midnight blue pantsuit with a “Hillary” button, the catalog offers these highlights of the purchase: “Through the whole nutcracker process, her smile doesn’t change a bit. East or West, right or left, right or wrong for that matter, you gotta love this one.”
To purchase a Hillary nutcracker, visit www.whatonearthcatalog.com.
Forget lullabies. aide’s newborn prefers C-SPAN
Adam Sharon, press secretary to Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), and his wife, Abigail, a television producer at National Geographic Channel, announce the birth of their daughter, Eden Rose, who was born on Sept. 19 at 12:54 a.m. Eden weighed 6 pounds and 13 ounces, and measured 19 inches long.
“I’m outnumbered now at home,” said Adam, “and I have no problem with that. It’s an extra joy coming home from work now.”
During paternity leave, Adam watched House floor proceedings with Eden, which helped lull her to sleep. “I’ve recommended this treatment to our pediatrician — it’s a natural remedy that will never be recalled by the FDA,” Meek’s spokesman said.
Rep. Giffords weds astronaut
Freshman Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) wed Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly Nov. 10 at an organic farm in southern Arizona.
Giffords divides her time between Washington and Arizona, while Kelly moves between various locations such as Houston and Florida. Kelly is training to command STS-124, a mission that will bring the Japanese laboratory module Kibo to the International Space Station in April 2008.