Romancing Cohen

When love doesn’t find you, try again 25 years later.

Bachelor Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), once known for his relationship with actress Cybill Shepherd, now has what might be an even more interesting story about his dating life.

Cohen spilled the details last week after fielding a call from “Regina” during an interview in the Speaker’s Lobby. Turns out Regina is Regina Whitley, a former D.C. operative whom the Memphis freshman referred to as his girlfriend.

Cohen dated Whitley a quarter-century ago, but he quickly figured out that she wasn’t much interested in him.

So imagine his surprise when he got set up with her after he won former Rep. Harold Ford Jr.’s (D-Tenn.) old seat and moved to Washington.

Apparently she likes him now. The two have been seen together at both the State of the Union Address and the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

Cohen also provided a quip worthy of a sappy Hollywood romance flick. After her directions got him lost on his way to meet her, Cohen offered this heart-melter: “I said, ‘What’s 20 minutes after 25 years?’ ”


Petri, Tiberi, what’s the difference?

House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) was in the middle of an interview in the Speaker’s Lobby last week when the loud scraping sounds of a couch moving across the floor drowned out his conversation.

It appeared that Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) had dropped something between the couch and an adjacent wall and was doing some heavy lifting to set things right.

“Need some help there, Petri?” Blunt asked.

Oops.

Tiberi and Tom Petri, a retiring 15th-term lawmaker from Wisconsin, are both Republicans with the letters I, R and T in their names — but that’s about all they have in common.

“Uh, yeah, thanks, Boehner,” Tiberi replied, giving Blunt a taste of his own medicine by confusing him with House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio).

“Uh, Petri moves things around all the time, Tiberi,” said Blunt, in a valiant attempt to recover.

But Tiberi had already walked off.


Joey Pants plans meetings with Democratic leadership

Joe Pantoliano, who formerly starred on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” visits Capitol Hill this week, where he plans to meet with members of the Democratic leadership. At the moment, he is in negotiations for meetings with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).

Better known as “Joey Pants,” Pantoliano, who plans to be on the Hill Tuesday and Wednesday, will discuss mental health issues and the organization he founded, “No Kidding Me Too!” which aims to remove the stigma from a disease he has: depression. Pantoliano has taken medication for the past two years to combat it.

“Everyone is interested in meeting stars, and then when you say, “Mental health” everyone wants to talk about it,” said Ron Phillips of Washington Strategies, who serves as Pantoliano’s pro-bono lobbyist.

Pantoliano and his crew will meet with Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) on Tuesday afternoon; Ramstad is known for being a champion of mental health parity legislation. He also hopes to meet with Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) to pitch his cause to the Blue Dog Coalition.

The actor last visited the Hill in early June, when the focus of his trip was Republican lawmakers. “Last time the concern I had for Joey was that Democrats are very well-versed on mental health issues,” said Phillips. “Republicans? Not so much.”

In other Pantoliano news: Mr. Pants plans to throw receptions at both the Democratic and Republican conventions.

For anyone who has ever met him, Pantoliano’s personality is big and laced with profanity and humor.

“That personality is like a suitcase,” said Phillips. “It travels with him at all times.”

George deParis dresses Filipino president’s husband
 
He has taken the measure of every president since Lyndon Johnson while outfitting them with his handmade suits, but Washington tailor George deParis isn’t sitting around waiting for the next president to request his sartorial services.

During the recent visit of Filipino President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the White House, her husband stopped by George’s shop at 14th and G streets NW and ordered not one but two suits. Working overtime with the help of an assistant, deParis delivered both of them to the Filipino first gentleman before he returned to Manila with his wife.

And who knows, the French-born master tailor may have more high-profile foreign leaders as customers before long as President Bush, who wore George’s suits at the recent G-8 summit in Japan, has been known to refer others to his favorite tailor.