By Betsy Rothstein - 09/08/08 06:05 PM EDT
On the convention floor in St. Paul last week, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) used his position as a member of Congress to dodge security rules.
The incident in question occurred on the floor last Wednesday night during former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s speech. After two 20-something male security guards told the congressman they couldn’t allow anyone to leave the floor and go through an area bottlenecked with people, Miller insisted, “I need to get through.”
Security Guard 1: “No one can go through.”
Miller: “I’m a member of Congress.”
Security Guard 2: “I’m sorry, sir ...”
Miller: “I’m a member of Congress ... Excuse me.” [Pushes through]
Guard 1 (to Guard 2): “I didn’t know what to do.”
Guard 2: “Its OK, they are a dime a dozen.”
Miller denied using his political status to gain access to a restricted area. “The day before, the area was open,” said Miller spokesman Dan McFaul, explaining that the Florida delegation tried to have all women sitting in one section during Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s speech that same night.
“He had given away [his seat] during the Palin speech and was trying to go out and had gone there the other day. He said he did not get access to a restricted area. He said he was trying to move out of the way,” McFaul said.
Asked if the congressman typically uses his congressional status to get himself special treatment, McFaul replied, “I would say the only example he would do that is to gain access to the House floor or secured areas of the Capitol. Outside of official duties, I would say no.”
Pence catches up on Scripture on flight from Minneapolis
Known for quoting Scripture on the House floor, it won’t come as a surprise to those who know him well that Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), a Christian, spent his flight from Minneapolis to Washington reading the Bible. “He tries to read his Bible every day — that’s not a secret,” said Pence spokesman Matt Lloyd.
Others spotted on the flight were Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), retiring Washington Post editor Len Downie and Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr, who flew first class.
Sexy new Sarah Palin dolls on the market
Supergirl Barbie has nothing on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R).
Two new Palin action dolls, one of which features her in a skimpy skirt and black cape, are the latest inventions in a series of dolls depicting politicians. Others have been made for Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).
The new Palin dolls include Sarah Palin the Executive (she’s covered head to toe in black business attire) and Sarah Palin the Superhero. The Executive doll costs $27.95; the Superhero version sells for $2 more and can be purchased at www.herobuilders.com.
The company also offers a racy Obama doll called Beach Blanket Obama in which the senator shows off a ripped shirtless physique.
Palin’s press office did not return requests for comment.
Kucinich on Tubbs Jones: ‘She was like my sister’
One morning during the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) had breakfast with his wife, Elizabeth, on the rooftop of the Curtis Hotel, where much of the Ohio delegation was staying.
Without a word, Elizabeth pinned a Stephanie Tubbs Jones button on the congressman’s lapel in memory of the lawmaker, who died recently of an aneurysm.
Asked about Tubbs Jones, Kucinich waited several moments before speaking. “It’s hard to understand, hard to compute,” he said finally, clearly pained over the loss of his longtime friend. “I still can’t believe it. I’m having trouble coming to grips with it. We had a very special relationship.”
When Kucinich first met Elizabeth, he shared the news with Tubbs Jones. “Stephanie was the first person I went to tell,” the congressman said, recalling that he went to the House floor to tell her and his words were just, “I met her.”
Kucinich said the congresswoman’s eyes widened. Her response was: “Shut up!”
The congressman, whose district is adjacent to the one Tubbs Jones represented, said losing her was like losing family. “This is very emotional,” he said. “I’ve known her since 1980. We shared a lot of joys and sorrows. She was like my sister. She was for a lot of people.”
Tancredo criticizes ladies’ golf association
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), well-known for his support of English-only initiatives, is coming down hard on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).
On Friday, the group repealed a new policy requiring all players to speak English. While suspensions are no longer a possibility, fines may still be imposed on players for not speaking English.
Tancredo isn’t pleased.
“The LPGA was setting an example the U.S. government should have followed,” Tancredo said in a release. “Unfortunately, it’s the players on the tour that will pay the price in the long term for not speaking English.”
Tancredo blamed the group’s new policy on its desire to cave to the demands of the “politically correct left.” Tancredo spokesman T.Q. Houlton remarked, “Unfortunately, by repealing it, they are really only hurting the players in the long term.”
Houlton says despite his boss’s Italian heritage he speaks no foreign languages.
The organization is not responding to specific complaints of politicians who oppose the new policy. But LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens said in a statement: “We have decided to rescind those penalty provisions. After hearing the concerns, we believe there are other ways to achieve our shared objective of supporting and enhancing the business opportunities for every tour player.”
Sen. Klobuchar has no fashion advice for Palin
Amid the yodeling and live births of piglets and lambs last week at the Minnesota State Fair, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) took the time to set up a booth so constituents could visit her.
Klobuchar’s booth was a little cornflower-blue hut, with a wipe-off board stating the exact time she’d be there.
Dressed in a lime-green blouse, white jeans and beige Merrell shoes, Klobuchar was asked about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) sense of style. “She looks fine,” the senator said. “Look at me — I have no fashion sense.”
Criticism of Palin was more substantive in nature. “With Sarah Palin, people are just going to have to do their homework,” said Klobuchar. “Her record shows that she won’t deviate from [Sen. John] McCain’s [R-Ariz.] agenda.”
The senator then reeled off a perfectly crafted sound bite: “It’s not about gender, it’s about agenda.”