Rep. Foster superstitious about posh office space

They say it takes a House member 20 years in Congress to get an office with a view of the Capitol. Not so for Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), who recently beat Republican Jim Oberweis in a special election.

That special election was, of course, to replace former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who had been out of the Speaker’s suites for nearly a year before he quit. But his personal office space in the Rayburn House Office Building, which now belongs to Foster, was among the poshest spaces in D.C.

Still, Foster says he’s being careful about not getting too attached.

“I’m thinking of putting up some sort of walls to separate off two-thirds of the office so I don’t get too used to it and feel deprived when I get sent off to the basement of Longworth,” Foster said.


Who is Sen. Vitter? ‘Jeopardy!’ players have no idea

The contestants on Monday evening’s “Jeopardy!” may have seemed brainy, but they had no idea who the junior senator from Louisiana is. Under the category “Junior Senator,” contestants were given names of senators and had to respond, “What is [the name of the state]?”

The three players were able to name Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Jim Webb (D-Va.).

But Vitter? Judging by the blank looks on their faces, they had no idea who he was.

Perhaps the contestants were busy studying during last year’s D.C. Madam scandal.

Vitter’s press office did not return calls on the matter.


Outside magazine features Udall cousins climbing Culebra

Writer Mark Sundeen gets up close and personal in the March issue of Outside magazine with the two Udall cousins who are running for Senate seats in 2008, Reps. Mark (D-Colo.) and Tom (D-N.M.).

The story was a year in the making for this former blogger on Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign.

His reporting included two trips to Washington and a trek with the Udalls up Colorado’s Culebra Peak on Memorial Day weekend of 2007.

“They are great climbers and pretty fun to camp with, too,” Sundeen remarked in an interview with ITK. “They are definitely really comfortable in the wilderness.”

As an Outward Bound guide for nine years, Sundeen said he is “used to dealing with uncomfortable people in the wilderness, and that was definitely not them.” They roughed it, he said, citing moments of sitting on logs eating Rice-A-Roni around a campfire.

Sundeen, who lives in Missoula, Mont., and rents a trailer in Moab, Utah, said he thought it would surprise people to know how skilled the Udalls are in the wilderness.

“There were no frills,” he said. “It wasn’t like we were camping and staying in a lodge. We were staying at the side of a dirt road. We ate PowerBars and headed up. No one bothered to bring a map, so they had to find the way with their eyes, kind of the way I’ve always done it, but it was great to see a member of Congress be able to find their way up a peak.”


Kitty Dukakis is an ‘Obama fanatic’

Michael Dukakis refuses to say whom he is backing for president. But during a recent phone conversation with ITK from Los Angeles, he let the cat out of the bag on who has the support of his wife, Kitty — it’s Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

“I’m married to an Obama fanatic,” said Dukakis, who teaches at University of California, Los Angeles. Dukakis said he is more focused on the party’s overall strategy to win and will throw his weight behind whoever receives the party’s blessing in August.


Rep. Rush faces post-op cancer treatments

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has been resting over the congressional recess after having a malignant tumor removed from his salivary gland at the University of Chicago Medical Center on March 1. Although the cancer was localized, a Rush spokesman said his boss will face post-operative treatments.

“He’s recovering now, he’s much better,” the aide said, adding that Rush plans to return to Washington when Congress resumes next week.


Story of Rep. Reichert debuts on Lifetime

This Sunday, the story of Rep. Dave Reichert’s (R-Wash.) quest to capture a serial killer airs on the Lifetime Movie Network. The movie, “The Capture of the Green River Killer,” is a two-part miniseries based on the congressman’s book, Chasing the Devil. The movie begins at 8 p.m. Part Two airs Monday night at the same time.

Reichert, the lead detective on the case, had no active role in shaping the film. He had no say in who would play him. That role went to Tom Cavanagh, the star of TV’s “Ed.”

Reichert was pleased with the choice.