Hillary Clinton changes her tune

After attracting bad press last month for her association with a controversial rapper, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has decided to play it safer with the musicians she hangs out with.

Much safer.

Clinton is holding a May 16 fundraiser in Georgetown that will feature a special performance by Marvin Hamlisch, the 62-year-old American composer who is perhaps best known for his 1970s musical pieces that were featured in the films “The Sting” and “The Way We Were.”

Hamlisch is a legend, no doubt, having won an Emmy, an Oscar and a Tony. But his selection represents a serious flip-flop from Clinton’s musical leanings of last month, when hip-hop mogul Timbaland helped raise about $800,000 for the senator’s presidential campaign on the last day of the first fundraising period, according to the New York Daily News.

Timbaland is popular. His latest single,  entitled “Give it to Me,” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s chart last month. The political problem that Timbaland brought to the table was that his lyrics are filled with words such as “ho,” “bitch,” and the n-word.
Of course, the Timbaland controversy hit at a bad time for Clinton. Soon after the musical superstar raked in the cash for the senator, Don Imus made his infamous remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Hamlisch, meanwhile, is unlikely to generate much of a stir when he performs for Clinton and her money-friends at the home of Smith Bagley, president of the Arca Foundation. Ticket price for this event: $2,300. But that includes the rights to raid the scheduled “dinner buffet,” according to the invitation obtained by Under the Dome.

Clinton is holding a breakfast fundraiser today at the firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. Hamlisch won’t be there, but Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and “senior campaign advisers” will be on hand to provide “a political briefing and update.”

But back to Hamlisch. He has a lot of musical pieces to choose from, and it’s unclear what he’ll play for the Clinton crowd.
Our recommendation: “Nobody Does It Better,” from “The Spy Who Loved Me.”

Clinton spokesman Blake Zeff said, “We’re reaching out to Americans from all over the country and all walks of life who are ready for change.”


Rep. John Tierney no longer supports Father’s Day bill



Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) this week formally withdrew his support for Rep. Mike McIntyre’s (D-N.C.) seemingly innocuous bill that supports responsible fatherhood “by encouraging greater involvement of fathers in the lives of their children, especially on Father’s Day.”

McIntyre’s bill has attracted dozens of cosponsors from both sides of the aisle. Tierney backed the measure in March, but no longer is a cosponsor.

At press time, Tierney made clear he is not anti-Father’s Day and explained he thinks the bill is not as simple as it first appears: “I strongly believe that all fathers, both married and unmarried, should have, and be honored and supported for having, close enduring relationships with their children. The second ‘Whereas’ of the resolution could be read to contradict that, in that it, without apparent empirical evidence, exclusively states, ‘Whereas married fathers are more likely to have a close, enduring relationship with their children than unmarried fathers.’”


Battle of the bands: newsman Bob Schieffer vs. Tony Snow


Mark your calendars. On May 14, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and his band, Beats Workin’, will take on longtime CBS newsman Bob Schieffer and his country-western band, Honky Tonk Confidential, in a major musical showdown at the National Press Club (NPC).

Tickets cost $60 for the public ($50 for NPC members), but it’s for a good cause. Funds raised will be directed to the NPC’s non-profit National Journalism Library.



Coble: OK to criticize GOP


Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) doesn’t believe in the 11th Commandment, coined by President Reagan, which states, “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”

In a floor speech this week, Coble indicated it’s OK for the GOP to rip the GOP.

Coble directed his criticism at Paul Wolfo­witz, who is ensnared in controversy at the World Bank
The lawmaker made clear that he believes Wolfowitz should not resign in the wake of his efforts to get his girlfriend a big new job with a big pay raise. Wolfowitz, Coble said, “probably deserves another chance.”

Yet Coble said that “if members of the Congress openly criticize members of our own party, especially members of our own party, when criticism is warranted, I believe our constituents will applaud such objectivity.”

He added that more intra-party lambasting will lead to fewer “screw-ups” and less “mischief.”


‘Dash Gordon’ lives up to name


Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) was the fastest lawmaker and led his team to victory in the 2007 American Council of Life Insurers Capital Challenge, held yesterday morning in Anacostia Park.

Gordon ran the three-mile race in 18 minutes and 24 seconds, coming in 33rd overall out of nearly 700 finishers. Three members of his team, “Dash Gordon,” finished even faster en route to the team title.

The top senator was John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneOvernight Defense: Stopgap spending measure awaits Senate vote | Trump nominates former Nunes aide for intelligence community watchdog | Trump extends ban on racial discrimination training to contractors, military Remote work poses state tax challenges Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot MORE (R-S.D.), who finished in 19:10. The top female lawmakers were Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), who clocked in at 22:41, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), who repeated as champion of her small class with a time of 36:14 — nearly three minutes better than her 2006 time.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) finished the race for the 26th time in the race’s 26 years of existence.

The Hill’s team, “Fast as Hill,” finished 48th out of 124 teams overall and 12th out of 34 print media teams.


Power lunch, less power


When former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.) and ex-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Texas) were the two most powerful Republicans in Congress, they had lunch weekly. Their partnership in the House may be over, but Hastert and DeLay are still lunch buddies.

DeLay was spotted yesterday leaving the Capitol building after breaking bread with Hastert. DeLay said his old friend still enjoys serving on Capitol Hill, even though he is now a rank-and-file member.

“He’s very comfortable,” said DeLay of Hastert. “He seems very interested in the projects he’s working on.”

But DeLay added that he and Hastert did not spend any time sizing up the performance of the new House Republican leadership.

“No, no, no,” DeLay said with a smile.

Aaron Blake, Alexander Bolton and Jennifer Yingling contributed to this page.