Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is turning into a regular stand-up comic. The Tennessee Republican had a field day Tuesday making analogies on the Senate floor and elsewhere.
[IMGCAP(1)]One of his analogies was pure potty humor. (Excuse the metaphor.) During a floor tribute to Sen. Mitch McConnell on becoming the longest-serving Republican Senator from Kentucky, Frist thanked McConnell for being a good listener, unlike other GOP Senators who toil beneath him.
“One of the things I like to say about the leader’s
job,” Frist said, “is that it is somewhat similar to being the groundskeeper at a cemetery: There are a lot of people under you, but no one ever listens.”
The Majority Leader began his analogy routine earlier in the day with a speech at the Heritage Foundation, saying, “Some might compare the filibuster to constipation; the cloture vote to a colonoscopy; and confirmation to, well, you get the point.”
(HOH is too embarrassed to guess what the bowel analogy of “confirmation” would be. Please send your guesses to HOH and we will print them in an upcoming column.)
But Democrats have their guesses. One Senate Democratic aide who couldn’t wait to take a dump on Frist’s analogy said, “We’re glad Dr. Frist agrees with us that George Bush should not send a crappy nominee.”
Jeffords Update. Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) is making “good progress” recuperating from that knee replacement surgery he underwent four weeks ago at Bethesda Naval Hospital, his spokesman says. But the Senator, who is 71 and taking medication to improve his memory, is still struggling to get around. He uses a wheelchair for long distances and to get to and from the Senate chamber.
“He’s doing some walking at this point,” Erik Smulson tells HOH. Around the office, Jeffords uses a cane.
The Vermont Independent missed a number of votes post surgery after the Senate returned this month from Memorial Day recess. He had surgery to repair a years-old injury he got when snowshoeing with his dog, Kareba, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, near his home in Shrewsbury, Vt. Jeffords got entangled in the dog’s leash, fell, and damaged tissue in his left knee.
Smulson says Jeffords, while “we haven’t had any requests recently,” is still giving interviews to reporters. The Senator’s health challenges extend beyond his knee injury. For several months, he has appeared disoriented and wobbly at times. Jeffords says he has not been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but he told the Burlington Free Press last month, “I have a little bit in the Alzheimer’s area.” When he announced his retirement April 20, the Senator said, “My memory fails me on occasion.”
In addition to knee surgery, Jeffords had back surgery many years ago. He recently underwent cataract surgery and suffers from hearing loss and arthritis. HOH wishes the Senator a speedy and full recovery from his latest surgery and a rewarding final term in the Senate.
Odds Favor Clinton. Odds that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) will win the White House in 2008 have improved greatly — at least in the underworld of online betting. At the Web-based sports book, SportsInteraction.com, Clinton’s odds of occupying the White House in 2008 have improved to 5-1.
“The way we see it, battered Democrats will gladly take five-to-one odds,” says SportsInteraction.com spokesman Anthony Munnelly. “Conservatives may hope for a million-to-one, but when you’re making a bet, one has to deal with reality.”
The ’08 presidential contest has already become a big draw for online gamblers. While Clinton has 5-1 odds, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) follows with 7-1 odds of winning the presidency in 2008, ahead of former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), who fetched 9-1 odds. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is fourth with13-1 odds, followed by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) with 15-1 odds. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is last on the SportsInteraction.com Web site, with 41-1 odds of winning the White House in 2008.
Republicans are dubious of the online polling, especially of odds showing Clinton favored to take the White House.
“They call her lady luck, but there is room for doubt. Three years from now her star power may very well burn out,” says Tracey Schmitt, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, in a nifty appropriation of a song from “Guys and Dolls.”
Cop Nabs Frist Staffer. A Capitol police officer who used to stand outside the doorway to Frist’s Capitol office captured one of the Majority Leader’s beautiful former office greeters. He had his eye on Abby Clinton for a while, and last weekend, Clinton (no relation to the Clintons of Arkansas and New York) and the officer, David Bohn, were married in Nashville.
Bohn, who is still a Capitol Police officer, lucked out when he was detailed to Frist’s staff, tasked with manning the Majority Leader’s door. The smiling and friendly young Clinton sat just inside the doorway answering the phones and greeting guests and reporters (and apparently, we know now, flirting with a certain police officer).
“I think they made eye contact,” Frist spokesman Bob Stevenson told HOH.
Rep. Hunter Ripped Off. Attention Coca-Cola vending machine distributor: House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) wants his money back. All 75 cents of it. By yesterday, please.
A note scrawled on a piece of masking tape on the Coke machine in the House Radio-TV Gallery reads:
Rep. Duncan Hunter
Hunter, who is used to dealing with billions of dollars in Pentagon spending rather than pennies, arrived in the gallery at 6:45 a.m. to do an interview with “Fox and Friends.”
“He needed a little pick me up,” his spokesman, Joe Kasper told HOH. Kasper obligingly went to get his boss a Diet Coke. He put a dollar in the machine, and a quarter came out — but no Diet Coke. Kasper said of his boss, “I don’t think he cares too much about it.” Oh really? Then who put the note on the machine demanding he get his money back? “He didn’t put it on there,” Kasper insisted. “Somebody else put it up there.”
OK, if the Congressman didn’t do it, will the real cheapskate (or prankster) please come forward?
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