By Betsy Rothstein - 02/06/08 06:22 PM EST
It’s not as if Capitol Hill aides or presidential campaign workers need an excuse to drink beer. But a catchy video from the National Beer Wholesalers Association is piquing aides’ interest and intensifying their thirst for beer.
According to the association, “thousands” of Capitol Hill staffers are catching themselves opening a certain e-mail and tapping their toes to that 1970s song “Mr. Blue Sky,” by Electric Light Orchestra — which is now set to a music video about “Mr. BEER Guy.”
Turns out that the video generating a lot of buzz — and a lot of music in Hill offices right now — was produced by the association in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the 21st Amendment (that’s the one that repealed Prohibition).
The video showcases a day in the life of an American beer distributor, starting before dawn to get fresh beer to store shelves safely and responsibly. During the video, factoids “appear” (note: they don’t “Pop-Up,” as that is a licensed name by MTV/VH1) to educate viewers about the industry.
Perhaps the most important fact?
Happy hour began during Prohibition.
Rep. Green feels wrath of new anonymous D.C. blog
Another anonymous D.C.-based blog has hit the streets. Written by a smattering of Hill political wonks, K Street lobbyists, PR gurus and even an undisclosed journalist, it is called FamousDC (www.famousdc.com) and aims to cover the famous-for-D.C. intersection of politics, media and sports.
The blog nabbed Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), known for wearing his oval “God is Good” pin, earlier this week for wearing his Bluetooth headset on the House floor. Electronic devices are not to be used in the Chamber — this includes beepers and cell phones, even those attached to your ear. The blog posts a video of Green speaking on the floor with his Bluetooth attached. It does not appear that he is speaking on his phone as he delivers floor remarks.
The jury is still out as to whether FamousDC will be a hit. Nonetheless, it promises, “Whether you’re heading to the water cooler, power lunching at the Cap Grille, or leaving the office early for Cantina Marina — get your talking points here.”
After telling you how to send tips, it adds, “Stay classy.”
One of the bloggers explains the reasoning for the blog: “The only sure bet in D.C. is the constant pursuit of fame. Everyone wants their 15 minutes.”
So far, the site appears to target both Democratic and Republican lawmakers and issues. We’ll see if it stays that way.
Sen. Thune seen limping around Senate
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) will not succumb to a scooter because of an injury. Oh, no. The tall, dark and handsome 47-year-old senator with gelled hair was spotted limping around the Senate this past Tuesday looking as though he had stepped on a nail. His limp was so pronounced that Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) asked him how he was doing as he walked to the Russell subway.
Thune, who winced as he walked, attempted a laugh in response and said, “Yeah,” while shaking his head to let his colleague know he was in pain.
The reason for the limp: Thune recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. But so far, he has chosen not to travel by scooter like some other members of Congress who have had hip, knee and foot surgeries.
Thune’s press office had no comment by ITK press time.
Sen. Barrasso’s flack elected president on Super Tuesday
It’s not the Oval Office, but hey, it is the Senate Press Secretary Association (SPSA).
On Tuesday, while results poured in nationwide for Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and the rest of the hopefuls, Gregory Keeley, the new communications director for Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), was basking in the glow of getting elected to the highest post in the world of Senate press secretaries.
Voter turnout was high. Of 81 members eligible to vote in the election, 71 cast their ballots for an incredible 88 percent turnout.
The contest was fierce as candidates made a plethora of promises. Jesse Broder Van Dyke, press secretary to Sen. Daniel Akaka’s (D-Hawaii) office, was among those who ran for the board. In a letter to SPSA members, Van Dyke made many promises including personally screening all incoming SPSA mail for anthrax. The aide also wrote that his first guest speaker of 2008 would be Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“If things get out of hand at an SPSA event,” he promised, “I will not hesitate to taser the hippies.”
Another promise: “My boss gives hugs. I give hugs.”
But the best promise of all — next year’s SPSA trip: Honolulu.
Perhaps Keeley, a native of Perth, Australia, can work something out Down Under.
Keeley said in an e-mail that he is “pumped” about his win. “Originally, I tried to frame myself in the Reagan mould, but everyone including Obama is on that wagon. Then I considered the whole Camelot thing, but even the dogcatcher seems to have a Kennedy endorsement these days. So in the end, I was able to reach across the aisle based on the wise words of the great Anchorman Ron Burgundy. ‘For just one night let’s not be Co-workers. Let’s be Co-people.’ ”
He added: “I was surprised by how many people replied that they didn’t normally vote, but did so due to Ron Burgundy. Either that, or it was my special cologne, Sex Panther by Odeon. It’s illegal in nine countries and made with bits of real panther, so you know it’s good.”
Keeley beat out Matt Mackowiak, press secretary to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas.).
Former Sen. Durenberger lashes back at ‘Doonesbury’
Former Sen. Dave Durenberger (R-Minn.) did a double take when he was lampooned, along with several former senators-turned-lobbyists, in a recent “Doonesbury” cartoon strip. The group included former Sens. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.), Larry Pressler (R-S.D.) and Bennett Johnston (D-La.).
In the strip, the senators were lambasted for becoming lobbyists. But perhaps Garry Trudeau doesn’t have all his facts straight.
Durenberger, who heads the National Institute of Health Policy in Minneapolis, points out in his latest monthly commentary that he has not been a registered lobbyist since 2001, the year before he was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. (He did lobby Congress on health policy issues after leaving the Senate in 1994.)
“Much as I loved Bob Packwood, I haven’t seen him in years, but have recruited former Louisiana Sen. Bennett Johnston to the Board of the Americans for Generational Equity,” Durenberger explained.
Noting that his wife, Susan B. Foote, graduated from the University of California’s Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley in 1977, he added, “Your very longtime ‘Doonesbury’ readers may recall that the ‘Doonesbury’ character Joanie Caucus was admitted to Boalt in 1974. When Susan (and Joanie) were set to graduate in 1977, Garry Trudeau was the commencement speaker and a special chair on stage was reserved for Joanie.”