Oh, Danny Boy
When the Washington Redskins kicked their first field goal on the way to an electric victory Thursday night, Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) couldn’t resist showing his BlackBerry to Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.
Allen’s e-mail device was whirring with a fresh message from a friend who fired off a note saying, “I wonder how the Jets’ G.M. feels now.” After all, Snyder stole four players from the Jets in the off-season, including kicker John Hall, who ended up booting the winning field goal.
Snyder nodded enthusiastically as Allen scrolled through the e-mail, but then the owner “swiveled his head right back to the game,” noted one eyewitness.
That’s because Snyder is a serious fan who doesn’t bother rubbing elbows much with the high-powered group of invitees to his box — which last week included everyone from Rush Limbaugh and Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan to Christi Hefner of Playboy fame.
“There can be very rich people in the box, but he has no time for them during the game,” noted one insider who sat in the box during the Jets game. “In the box, he’s an obsessive fan. You can see him turn around and shake his head at people who are talking in the back.”
So there was not that much glad-handing with Allen, who brought Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and John Sununu (R-N.H.), or the journalistic couple of Kathleen and Chris Matthews, who missed the first half because of a late taping of “Hardball” that night.
Allen didn’t want to discuss his exchange with Snyder, but the son of the legendary former Redskins coach by the same name allowed that he had a super time.
“Senator Allen treats all personal e-mails as confidential,” said spokesman Mike Waldron, though he added, “Real-time technology is great. Even better was the Redskins victory.”
Mrs. Lucas? Members like Rep. Ken Lucas (D-Ky.) have a tendency to schedule elective surgery over the recess because of the down time they have to recuperate.
So one can imagine the alarm bells that went off on K Street when lobbyists received a pitch last week for a Sept. 18 fundraising lunch with “Congresswoman Ken Lucas” at Tortilla Coast.
Aides to the lawmakers, however, revealed the obvious to HOH: There had been no dramatic lifestyle change for Lucas over the break, just an unfortunate typo.
“Yeah, he still is a Congressman,” stressed spokesman Joe Clabes.
Frankly Speaking. While “metrosexual” has become a buzz word this summer, who knew that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was the prototypical “shmomosexual” in Congress?
A “metrosexual” is said to be a straight male in touch with his sensitive side. Someone willing to get a manicure, the teasing from friends be damned.
The New York Observer describes a “shmomosexual” as a “Joe Shmo” kind of guy — only gay — who’s a little too smart, dresses sloppy and is utterly untelegenic.
Frank, the openly gay lawmaker who took this line of questioning in relatively good humor, told HOH that he has no clue what “metrosexual” means — let alone the newer term.
“I must say that I never heard the word ‘metrosexual’ — is that a lesbian taking a subway?” he cracked.
Frank grew serious, however, as he lashed out at the current fascination with the new reality television show, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” which features five gay style experts giving a straight guy a makeover.
The Congressman, who’s angry that the show depicts its lead characters as “deeply superficial,” thinks gay men should not be celebrating the program.
“I think it’s a mistake for any group to buy into the notion of positive stereotyping,” he said, musing about whether it would be kosher to have a show depicting “shrewd Jewish people counseling profligate Christians on how to spend their money.”
“Call it ‘Jew Ploys for the Poor Goys,’” he joked.
Please direct all cards and letters c/o of The Honorable Barney Frank, 2252 Rayburn House Office Building.
Warner’s Wedding Bells. Senate Armed Services Chairman John Warner (R-Va.) isn’t bashful about admitting that he popped the question to his new bride-to-be, Jeanne Vander Myde, while he was wearing a skirt.
While touring Scotland over the recess, Warner was the guest of honor at a grand concert. “I was dressed in my kilt and my son was in his kilt,” Warner told HOH, adding that they then headed for a chapel in Edinburgh Castle with Vander Myde.
“That’s where I asked for her hand,” he said. “And she said yes, not knowing that I was going to ask.”
This is the third marriage for both the 65-year-old Vander Myde and the 76-year-old Warner, whose previous wives include Elizabeth Taylor.
He sang the praises of the lady he’s been dating for three years, saying that “as you get older” it’s critical to find someone with whom you can share quality time.
“She paints, so we paint together,” he said of the real estate agent. “We play tennis. We play golf. We converse well into the night.”
But Warner finds her most helpful when his grandkids arrive. “I tell you,” he said, “the firm hand of a woman is needed because I spoil them to death.”
Warner has a special connection to the setting for the nuptials, the Bethlehem Chapel at the Washington National Cathedral. “At age five or six I was baptized in that chapel,” he said.
HOH couldn’t help disturbing the fawning with one brief, intemperate question: Did the chairman give sometime companion Barbara Walters a heads-up before the engagement?
“Oh now,” he said quickly, “you can assume that I took the appropriate steps with several dear friends.”
Dennis the Menace to Dean? While Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has no use for Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), who was a high-profile supporter of the Iraq conflict at the beginning, the anti-war presidential candidate might help deliver Iowa for his House colleague.
That’s the theory of Time magazine’s Joe Klein, who believes ex-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is fretting about Kucinich helping Gephardt.
“I think he’s worried about Dennis Kucinich taking off left and populist votes in Iowa in the Iowa caucuses,” Klein predicted on “The Chris Matthews Show” on NBC. “Iowa is close, and Gephardt might beat him there.”
Dean, however, is picking up steam in the District of Columbia — home to the first primary in the nation next year.
Legendary bluesman Bobby Parker will be performing tonight at the Bohemian Caverns in D.C. to honor Dean. Among the heavy hitters coming out for Dean on the invitation is Kwame Brown, a player for the Washington Wizards basketball team, though that might hurt the candidate in D.C. given the phenom’s unfulfilled potential thus far.
On the Mend. When he touched down at a resort in the Dominican Republic at the end of August, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) probably thought he would finally have a relaxing vacation.
But he wound up with a much different style of R&R, dislocating his knee after a painful fall. He had to stay overnight in the infirmary at the resort in Punta Cana before flying back to the states for surgery at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
“It’s the first vacation I can remember him taking in at least a year and slips he falls,” said spokesman Dan Maffei. “We’re worried he’ll never take a vacation again.”
The ranking member on Ways and Means is holed up at home for now with a big cast and staring at some serious physical therapy later in the month. But he’s hoping to get back to Washington as early as this week.
Any rumors about the cast coming from a brawl with Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), however, are completely erroneous.
The Recall Heisman. Don’t look for Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen to endorse anyone in the California gubernatorial recall election, essentially stiff-arming all sides in the election. Heck, don’t look for any endorsement from him for any political office.
Allen, who was on Capitol Hill along with old stars like Joe Namath and Franco Harris as part of the NFL Kickoff celebration in Washington, is fed up with the system — Ross Perot-style.
Proclaiming that he was still looking at the candidates in the Golden State, Allen declared himself a “Republicrat.” After listening to a few minutes of his polished outsider rant, HOH asked why Allen didn’t run for governor?
He shot back that the political process had turned into “organized hypocrisy” and discouraged “good people from running” for office.
“I’m a cynic as far as the process is concerned,” said the former Super Bowl MVP.
Allen said the NFL picked the Hall of Famers to be on hand as “ambassadors” for the game. But with such a fierce independent political streak, don’t expect to see Allen becoming a real ambassador anytime soon.
Pelosi Slices Pizza Story. Having grown up in Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) isn’t the least bit fazed about the controversy involving an aide who tried to pilfer pizza at an immigration event on the Hill.
At her press briefing last Thursday, Pelosi was asked whether she would “disassociate” herself from the comments uttered by her staffer, Federico DeJesus. He called author Victor Davis a “racist” and after an extended confrontation tried to bolt with some pizza.
“I haven’t had a chance — we just got back yesterday, as you know — to have a conversation, to have that side of the story told to me, but I think it was a misunderstanding, and I will look forward to hearing from my staff person in that regard,” said Pelosi.
“Will he look forward to hearing from you?” teased a reporter.
“I don’t know,” said Pelosi, turning to some aides. “Staff, do you look forward to hearing from me under the best of circumstances, under any circumstances?”
They dutifully confirmed that they just love hearing from the boss — anytime.
Paul Kane contributed to this report.