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The Lovin’ Spoonful

The Lovin’ Spoonful. Newlywed Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and his wife, Melinda Ross, were spotted swooning and smooching at Wolf Trap on Sunday night, just before Tom Jones kicked off a rockin’, sexy show that included his raspy rendition of “We’ve Got Tonight.”

Before the show started, Rahall and his Kentuckian wife, whom he married last December, were having some “lovey-dovey action” in the covered VIP bar outside the venue, according to a trusty HOH informant who works on Capitol Hill.

“It was very much of a PDA,” said the source, a Republican Congressional aide, who, together with his date, spotted Rahall with a younger, attractive woman as they walked into Wolf Trap. “I noticed he was getting his chest scratched,” the source added.

Well, maybe the lovebird lawmaker and his wife were inspiration for the aging Welsh pop rock star. In addition to his tribute to Bob Seger (or some may think Kenny Rogers), Jones sang his original love tunes “Sexbomb,” “She’s a Lady” and “What’s New, Pussycat?” among others.

The music definitely put Rahall in the mood for some lovin’. “Let’s just say Congressman Rahall has a new appreciation for Tom Jones and when Jones is on stage, I think it’s fair to say that ‘it’s not unusual’ to find love in the air,” Rahall’s press secretary, Kevin Baker, confided to HOH (and all of her readers). “The Congressman and his wife enjoyed the concert and hope that your ‘sources’ were able to enjoy the concert as well.”

Who needs tomorrow!

Onward (Democratic) Christian Soldiers. As readers may know, Congressional Democrats have begun a search for religious voters — those God-fearing folk who voted for President Bush over Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) by a nearly 4-to-1 ratio.

So how is Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) planning to woo them? By holding a “faith summit” next month in — good gracious, of all the faithless places — Sin City.

Las Vegas? Gasp!

“Well, it is his home,” spokeswoman Rebecca Kirszner told HOH.

Imagine the scene: Hundreds of people of faith running wild through the casinos, doubling down, swilling martinis, slapping down G bills at the craps tables and going for broke in high-stakes poker before hitting the town with a couple of classy hookers.

OK, it certainly won’t be all that. But it couldn’t possibly be a scene from the “The Waltons” either.

Asked about the choice of locale for Reid’s faith seminar, Kirszner told HOH, “There isn’t a casino in all of Vegas that doesn’t have some serious praying going on!” Plus, she added, “How can you build a city in the middle of the desert without a little faith?”

As U.S. News and World Report reported in its latest issue, Congressional Democrats have “stepped up consultations with religious leaders” in hopes of wooing the faithful to their ranks. In addition to the faith seminar, the magazine reports that Reid is also launching a new Web site next month to recruit people of faith into the Democratic fold.

I’m Having My Baby. Sure, good press secretaries are always on the clock. But taking reporters’ calls while in labor goes beyond the call of duty. Or perhaps this particular press secretary was hoping to induce labor.

Laura Mortenson, spokeswoman to Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat looking to succeed retiring Sen. Mark Dayton (D), was in a hospital, moments away from having a baby on Monday afternoon when her cellphone started ringing.

Seeing that it was a “202” power number, she took the call. It was a Roll Call intern who wanted Klobuchar’s four-page FEC summary sheet.

“Actually, I’m having a baby, I’m in labor right now,” Mortenson said matter-of-factly.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that,” the intern said ever-so-politely.

No worries. Despite being at labor’s door, Mortenson took time not only to direct Roll Call to Klobuchar’s new press secretary, but to also provide the spelling of Franny Starkey’s tricky name.

Asked if she was having a boy or a girl, Mortenson replied, “A woman.”

Teddy Davis contributed to this report.

Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to hoh@rollcall.com.

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