As he embarks on his national book tour, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) has screaming teeny-boppers cheering him on.
Well, not literally. But a cartoon version of Daschle was featured in a hysterical skit on VH-1’s new animated comedy show “ILL-ustrated,” which poked a bit of fun at Washington’s buttoned-up ways in its second episode.
The show featured a spoof of the MTV show “Total Request Live” starring Carson Daly, only in this case the program is hosted by “Carlton Weekly” instead of Daly.
“Welcome back to CRL — that’s Congressional Report Live — coming correct on the new C-SPAN2 Electric Boogaloo,” said the host. “That’s the younger, hipper C-SPAN, know what I’m saying?”
“Weekly” teased upcoming segments on a “wicked Senate debate on an omnibus transportation bill” for fiscal 2004. “Interior Secretary Gale Norton is going to swing by to preview her latest memo to the Department of Fish and Wildlife,” added the host.
Then the host unveiled an e-mail from a young gal named Kelly: “Can u plz play that speech Tom Daschle made 4 the Senate Armed Services Committee last week?!?! T.D. is my fav Sen.:) Yo!!!!!!!”
The host replies, “Here you go, the oft-imitated, never playa-hated Tom Daschle.”
Pan to a near-empty Senate chamber (which actually looked like the House chamber) as Daschle droned on about foreign policy. Suddenly a scantily clad young lady appears on screen. While jumping up and down she starts shouting, “I requested Tom Daschle because he rocked as Senate Majority Leader — and he rocks even more as Senate Minority Leader. You can filibuster my ass any time, Tommy! Woo-hoo!”
It ends with a ticker running across the bottom of the screen with supposed fans instant-messaging, “Tom Daschle is DA BOMB! I was SO mad that time someone sent him anthrax! I would never send him anthrax, but I would send him to the White House!”
Even Daschle spokesman Dan Pfeiffer was impressed by the episode, which will re-air at 3 p.m. Wednesday. “VH-1 viewers now know what close observers of the Senate have known for years — Senator Daschle is mad eloquent,” Pfeiffer told HOH.
Trick or Treat. There were surprisingly few Arnold Schwarzenegger costumes spotted at Halloween parties around town, but dressing up like Roy Horn and even Jonathan Grella — yes, the spokesman for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) — turned out to be popular.
Jano Cabrera, spokesman for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (D-Conn.) presidential campaign, was one of the many folks who dressed up as Horn — the half of the Siegfried & Roy team who was mauled at a recent Vegas show — with a stuffed tiger on his shoulder and fake blood on his neck. (He also sported a white “puffy shirt” like the one in the famed “Seinfeld” episode.)
Then there was Doug Heye, spokesman for the Small Business Administration, who dressed up as Grella and won first prize for “Best Political Costume” at a party thrown by lobbyist Neil Volz.
Heye slipped on a bald cap and sported a Mr. T shirt with the saying “Don’t Be a Fool, Stay in School” to play Grella, a notorious fan of ’80s pop culture. Heye also wore a red headband with the word “Aggressive” emblazoned on it — as well as red, white and blue wristbands — to play the pit bull spokesman.
Grella, who passed on dressing up like GOP spokesman Ken Johnson, opted instead for the villain from the first “Karate Kid” movie. As for being the subject of a costume, he told HOH, “I’m flattered that I have an SBA Swim Fan, but disappointed that it’s Doug. To his credit, I agree with the female bystanders who said he never looked better.”
Another personal favorite was Sean Spicer, spokesman for the House Budget Committee, who wore an orange outfit to imitate a “Hooters guy,” a takeoff on the famed discrimination case. “If I get any press on this, I may have to apply to Hooters for a job,” he joked.
But the grandaddy of ’em all may have been the costumes worn by John Scofield, spokesman at the House Appropriations Committee, and his girlfriend, Jennifer Hing of the House Administration panel. They played David Guest — all wrapped up in bandages with a big shiner on one eye — and Liza Minnelli.
“The Grella get-up was taken and a Doug Heye costume was too expensive because of all the bar tabs associated with it, so my girlfriend and I went with the hip-and-now choice of Liza Minnelli and a battered David Guest,” Scofield told HOH. “ We were so perfectly in character that we both felt like Liza after the Tony awards the next morning.”
Time to Recall Pelosi? Aides to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were a little too quick on the trigger to show her solidarity with Jewish-American voters last week.
Pelosi’s staff rushed out an official statement last Wednesday afternoon saying the leader “applauded a resolution passed by the House of Representatives today condemning the anti-Semitic comments of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohammad.”
Nearly an hour later, Pelosi’s office put out a second statement saying they would like to “recall the message” sent out earlier. Then came a third statement explaining that the first message “was sent to [sic] soon” because the vote on the resolution had been delayed.
“This whole Schwarzenegger phenomena has clearly gotten to Mrs. Pelosi and her staff,” joked one lobbyist on Jewish issues who received the series of e-mails. “They seem to agree with the vast majority of Californians that the use of the recall is a necessary means of cleaning up Democrat mistakes and foul-ups.”
Pelosi spokeswoman Jennifer Crider told HOH, “Unfortunately, the e-mail system doesn’t have a ‘Terminator’ button so the staff used ‘Total Recall’” instead.