By Betsy Rothstein - 01/29/08 12:01 AM EST
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), fresh from the campaign trail, is getting back into the swing of things. Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman held a press briefing on Capitol Hill — a serious-minded lecture about Iraq and the Middle East. But midway through, a long, fuzzy microphone with a long arm began inching toward the senator’s face.
At one point, it threatened to get a little too close.
“I lost my train of thought,” Biden said, glancing at the furry microphone head. “You can drop it if you’d like,” he told the woman holding it.
Rep. DeLauro gets emotional (like Hillary)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) got choked up last week while discussing the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act at a reception at the National Press Club, where she met with media and “Desperate Housewives” star Marcia Cross.
DeLauro seemed to channel Clinton’s famous moment in New Hampshire. She grew deeply emotional — just short of tears — about her own memory of ovarian cancer and appeared moments away from breaking down. Unlike Clinton, no one questioned her sincerity.
Today, she is cancer-free.
“When you are dealing with cancer, I don’t care what kind, you stop listening to your physician,” said DeLauro, raw and shaky. “You are screaming internally because you are faced with your own mortality and whether you are going to survive and how this is going to affect your family.”
Hip-hop mayor has extended posse in Washington
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, son of Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), is in hot water again over racy text messages he sent to Christine Beatty, his now former chief of staff. The Detroit Free Press reported last Wednesday that he and Beatty lied under oath about the relationship last year at a police whistleblower trial, which has cost Detroit more than $9 million.
As it turns out, the married politician known as the “Hip-Hop Mayor” — he wears a diamond earring and often rides in an Escalade with tinted windows — has a posse of old acquaintances in Washington. One of them is lobbyist Jason Roe, a seventh-grade classmate of Kilpatrick’s at Dwight Rich Middle School in Lansing, Mich. The school also graduated basketball star Magic Johnson.
“Kwame was nerdy,” Roe recalled of his old classmate. “He’s shaped like Tony Soprano. No one thought of Kwame as a ladies’ man. In fact, I don’t think anyone thought of Kwame, period.”
Still, Roe delights that Kilpatrick can spark controversy.
“It’s not like a Republican is ever going to be mayor of Detroit, so we might as well have one that is colorful and entertaining,” said Roe, who now works at Federal Strategy Group.
Other old classmates of Kilpatrick include Josephine Ballenger, who has worked for the House Appropriations Committee, the Congressional Research Service and the Center for Public Integrity, and Garvey McIntosh of NASA.
A text message sample between Kilpatrick and Beatty:
Beatty: “And, did you miss me, sexually?”
Kilpatrick: “Hell yeah! You couldn’t tell. I want some more.”
Rep. Kilpatrick’s press office had no comment on the matter, and her son has not issued any public statements.
Sighting: Former Sens. Breaux and Sarbanes spotted at Cups
Who knew Cups & Company in the Russell Senate Office Building was such a hot spot?
Late last week, ITK ran into former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), now a lobbyist, who was getting an “extra strong” cappuccino, which he doused with two Splendas. He said he was on the Hill that day for a haircut and a meeting with the college-age Mardi Gras princesses and queens.
Former Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) also got in on the Cups action. But he braved the café for far more than coffee. He settled in solo for 30 minutes with a paper napkin in his lap as he dined on chicken, broccoli and rice. At one point his cell went off and he answered.
“Sorry, that was my wife,” he apologized after. “She likes me to answer my phone.”
Sarbanes said he was on the Hill “to see a few friends.”
A group of adults huddled on the corner of Independence Avenue SE and New Jersey Avenue SE last Thursday, attempting to catch a cab while Frisbee-sized snowflakes mucked up the city. It seems they weren’t having much luck.
“You’re gonna have to show some leg,” one woman said to one of her male companions.
“I don’t think mine will do it,” he answered.
“You never know!” she replied hopefully.