By Betsy Rothstein - 08/05/08 04:02 PM EDT
Make no buns about it. It’s not every day that a congressman’s children get to hear wiener jokes from a man named Weiner.
Last week Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) tried out campaign slogans on Rep. Steve Israel’s (D-N.Y.) children, who were standing with their father outside the House chamber.
“Vote for Weiner — he’s on a roll,” a deadpan Weiner told the little ones, though it wasn’t certain whether the slogans were for his congressional seat or his anticipated 2010 New York City mayoral run.
Then he offered this gem: “Vote for Weiner, but be frank.”
It’s unclear whether the children were amused.
In other Weiner matters, the congressman was spotted outside the Democratic cloak room last Wednesday with girlfriend Huma Abedin, an aide to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Abedin was spotted straightening the congressman’s tie and fixing his collar. Weiner looked fidgety at her fluffing.
Meghan McCain opens up to Glamour on dating and weight issues
Glamour’s September issue, which hit newsstands Tuesday, Aug. 5, features Meghan McCain, the 23-year-old daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), in “12 Things You Don’t Know about Meghan McCain.”
A preview: She’d like another tattoo and favors the nautical star. “Getting McCain on my back was shot down,” she said.
On her body image: “I got to the point where … I just don’t care. You think I’m fat? Fine.”
She also talks dating: “I go on dates and guys are like, ‘Oh, you really look like John,’ and I’m like, ‘As I get older, I look more like him. You could actually be dating John McCain.’ ”
How many cameramen does it take to fix a light bulb?
That tired old joke played out in real time last week when several cameramen decided to start fiddling with the lights in the Senate television studio a few minutes before Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) was scheduled to give a speech on Chinese hotel spies at this year’s Olympics.
One of the studio lights was out, leaving a dark spot in the podium area where senators stand to make their statements. So several of the men who operate the network and cable news cameras made a studio staffer stand at the lectern while they diagnosed the problem.
As thanks, the staffer got ridiculed relentlessly.
“The right side of his face looks awful,” they commented.
“That was the surgery that went awry,” another bystander joked.
One of the cameramen mounted a chair to try to redirect a nearby light to cover the dark spot. He was too short, and one of his “freakishly tall” colleagues, as he put it, got on the chair and strained and stretched to change the light’s direction (while a third guy jokingly put his hands in the back pockets of the tall guy’s jeans, pretending to spot him in case he fell).
The hullabaloo ended before another TV guy joked, “Now can we turn another [light]?”
Conrad’s daughter’s book party turns upSens. Reid and Snowe
Jessamyn Conrad, daughter to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), had a book party last week for her new tome, What You Should Know About Politics ... But Don’t.
Her father attended along with 20 Senate colleagues, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) didn’t show up, though he called the book, in a blurb on the cover, “engaging and inspiring” and said that “reading this book should make you want to vote.”
Sen. Conrad jokingly introduced a reporter to Snowe, saying, “Did you hear the latest? Obama just announced his vice presidential running mate. It’s going to be Obama-Snowe.”
TMZ ambushes lawmakers
Lawmakers: get ready. TMZ, the racy gossip website and TV show, has arrived and is sending cameras to Capitol Hill to interview lawmakers on subjects atypical of the wonky interviews they usually receive.
Last week TMZ approached Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) outside the Longworth House Office Building to ask about Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) campaign ad in which he mocks Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for being the most famous person in the world, and flashing pictures of him, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.
Moran took the paparazzi-style reporting in stride, answering all the reporters’ questions.
Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) was asked, “Who’s hotter, Obama or Britney?” He replied, Obama. Other lawmakers interviewed: Reps. Zack Space (D-Ohio) and Shelly Berkley (D-Nev.)
50 Most Beautiful: The aftermath
There is always the dramatic aftermath for those who earned spots on the The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful People of Capitol Hill. Honorees have to deal with full-scale reaction from hometown reporters, friends, colleagues, family and bosses.
Aide gets pummeled by boss
An aide, who declined to be named, said reaction to being on the 50 Most Beautiful was startling.
When his boss walked in the office, he approached and began punching the aide. The punches can be described as “jabs.” The congressman jokingly wondered whether the aide would still make the list with two black eyes.
Mazonkey is ‘too sexy’ for this list
Matt Mazonkey, spokesman to Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), received a surprise party in his honor. The party was complete with a full-size ripped cardboard Fabio interposed with Mazonkey’s face (as shown here) and a chocolate cake with bright blue and white frosting and his picture.
Nearly 20 people waited in an annex room of Rep. Jim Moran’s (D-Va.) Rayburn office.
A shocked (but laughing) Mazonkey arrived to a room full of Murtha and Moran aides. Pasted on the walls were photographs of the aide with various captions:
1. “I’m too sexy.”
2. “Are you kidding me? Look at those cheekbones!”
Mazonkey, who ate the portion of cake with his picture, said his day wasn’t all answering questions about his Most Beautiful status. “We got actual, legitimate questions beyond all this,” he said.
Austin Durrer, Moran’s spokesman, lured Mazonkey there by asking him to go running after work.
“Mazonkey’s been bringing sexy back to Capitol Hill for years now,” Durrer said.
Aide gets eerie fortune cookie
Eric Halstrom, a staff assistant to Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), was lunching with co-workers last Thursday at Wok and Roll, a Chinatown eatery, where he got this fortune cookie:
“A fair face may fade, but a beautiful soul last [sic] forever.”
No. 1 gets irked reaction from boyfriend
Tulani Elisa, our No. 1 beauty who worked for Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) but is now back in Boston, received a flurry of reaction that included: two friends nearly “spitting out their coffee,” a Hill security guard stopping by to ask her to autograph his copy of The Hill, and a new boyfriend, who was none too pleased that her dating status read: “Happily single.”