Calling Prince Charming
Will the person who has House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) high heel please return it to her by midnight?
In the mayhem of Wednesday’s evacuation, Pelosi lost one of her shoes, which were too high for her to run in. She was moving so slowly that a police officer swooped her off her feet and carried her the rest of the way through the Capitol and outside to her waiting car, a spokesman confirmed.[IMGCAP(1)]
With her legs dangling over the officer’s arm as he ran her to safety, Pelosi dropped both of her shoes. Someone returned one of them, but the other is still at large.
She later went to the House floor — in stocking feet — to thank the Capitol Police. But the mystery remains: Is there a Prince Charming out there?
Evac Redux. There were also a few Hollywood celebrities caught up in Wednesday’s madness. Red carpet diva Joan Rivers was spotted making a mad dash for safety. So was actress Fran Drescher, best known after all these years as “The Nanny.”
Drescher, a cancer survivor, had just finished testifying on the Senate side about legislation to improve detection of gynecological cancers. She had popped over to Rep. Mary Bono’s (R-Calif.) office when everyone started screaming.
“It was so crazy I can’t even tell you,” said Drescher, her thick, nasal New York accent bolstered by adrenaline.
Drescher said someone came running out of the Congresswoman’s office screaming, “Evacuate the building! Evacuate the building!”
Unfortunately for Drescher, she had handed her comfy UGG boots to her assistant and was wearing her stilettos. “I’m in my high heels and I start running. … Like locusts everybody came out and swarmed the hallways,” she said. And then she saw a big man in uniform with “a big black automatic weapon” yelling, “This is not a drill.”
The scene she described outside was one of “sirens, police, military, security — they’re screaming, ‘Get to the other side of D street!’ I’m saying, ‘Wait a minute, I gotta get out of these Versace high heels!”
Then she remembered: “Oh my God! I have a driver. We have to call him to scoop us up out of here!” And she needed some water after having lox that morning at Bistro Bis. But she said her friend Elaine, always thinking, screamed, “Don’t drink all the water. We might have to ration!”
Then Drescher spotted Rep. Bono standing on a patch of grass talking to Drescher’s oncologist. “I did more business standing on the street corner than I would have inside,” the typically dry-witted, laconic Drescher said.
Later, back at her hotel, in a bathrobe, sipping bottled water and resting from the excitement of the day before attending a party thrown in her honor by the new glossy mag Capitol File, Drescher said she looked out the window and spotted an American flag waving in the wind and thought: “I’m so happy to be an American … staying at the Ritz Carlton.”
Congressman Superman. Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) is still the Fastest Member of Congress. He won the 3-mile ACLI Capital Challenge race for his 16th year in a row, this year in 18 minutes and 17 seconds, despite a fractured elbow and wrist.
Gordon said he got “messed up pretty bad” about five weeks ago when he was jogging on the Mall and a dog knocked him down. The animal, which was only being playful, was on a leash, but the owner clearly wasn’t paying much attention to who the jogger was.
“It just came up and took my legs out from underneath me,” said Gordon, who reminded the dog owner that his pooch’s actions were fodder for a misdemeanor.
Gordon had contemplated not running on Wednesday, but that seemed wimpy. Despite the pain, Gordon still managed to win first place among all participating House Members and Senators, besting Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) by 1 minute and 23 seconds.
Gordon said this year’s victory is “probably my most satisfying out the 16 wins,” since he toughed it out and ran in agony. “On the tombstone, it’s not not going to talk about student loan reform or ADA or anything else,” he bragged. “It’ll just say: Fastest Man in Congress I guess.”
Might we add toughest, too?
Pedro Hits New Hampshire. GOP presidential wanna-bes take note: Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) already has a candidate in mind for his state’s first-in-the-nation primary in 2008: Pedro Sanchez, the mustachioed high schooler most recently seen sweeping the Preston High student council elections in the cult comedy hit “Napoleon Dynamite.”
Sununu is such a big fan of the movie that he named his five-person team in the Capital Challenge race “Sanchez ’08” in honor of the geeky Hispanic student.
The Senator and his running partners donned the increasingly popular “Vote for Pedro” T-shirts worn in the movie by the main character, the gawky misfit Napoleon, who served as Pedro’s campaign manager.
Sununu has always been a bit hipper than most Senators — he can cite the album titles of most Smashing Pumpkins releases from the early 1990s, and earlier this spring he answered one scribe’s question about the budget resolution by saying, “As Napoleon would say, ‘Yes!’” accompanied by the arm pump that Napoleon makes.
Though Sununu finished as the top Senator in last year’s Capital Challenge, he was upset to see his “nemesis,” Ensign, pull away from him at the 2-mile mark this year and dust him by about 30 seconds to reclaim the title of fastest Senator.
Also at the Race. There was even a streaker who competed in Wednesday’s race. Well, a one-time streaker, at least.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), whom HOH outed last October as a college streaker in the ’70s, ran under the team name “Streaking to Victory.” Sadly, his streaking days didn’t help much. He finished 429th among 622 runners.
Tempting though it may have been for him, Sessions did not shed his clothes during the race. “Oh yeah, he was absolutely clothed,” his spokeswoman, Gina Vaughn, told HOH. “I don’t think we’re going to see any more of that ‘Old School’ act.”
Paul Kane contributed to this report.