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All Quiet on the Fitzie Front

Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) and Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.) are the winners! They were first Republicans in their respective chambers to release statements about the indictment and subsequent resignation of Scooter Libby.

While the press releases from Democrats were flying fast and furious Friday shortly after Libby was indicted, Republicans were the quietest people on earth. Radio silence. Except for Snowe, who called the indictment a “troubling development,” and Kingston. Saying it was “appropriate” for Libby to resign as chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, the rest of Kingston’s statement read like a cheerleader’s cue card: Innocent until proven guilty … we don’t have Libby’s side of the story yet … the show will go on … yadda, yadda, yadda. [IMGCAP(1)]

Well, he couldn’t really say much else. Unless, of course, he wanted to be thrown from a moving aircraft. At the very moment his statement was released, Kingston was riding aboard Air Force II with the vice president.

“I am currently aboard AFII with Vice President Cheney in Warner Robins, GA,” Kingston bragged, er, blogged, on www.redstate.org. “Here’s the statement I released.” (When Kingston spokesman David All released his boss’ statement, he kindly attached Cheney’s statement along with it.)

To be fair, lots of Republicans put out statements immediately following the announcement from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) released one shortly after 2 p.m. Oh, but that was about the “resilience” of the U.S. economy. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) released a statement at 1:37 p.m., condemning the president of Iran for his anti-Israel comments. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) weighed in at 1:41 p.m., but, uh, that also was to hail the increase in the gross domestic product.

Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), like the vast majority of Republicans, did not release a statement about the implosion of the Bush White House or the aftershocks rocking his party. But at least he had lots to say on his new blog about other disasters, Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina. Nothing about Hurricane Fitzie.

Not Present. Curious how Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) did not vote Friday on the resolution condemning the president of Iran for his not-at-all veiled threats against Israel.

No biggie, he just suggested that Israel be “wiped off the map.” But anyhoo, where was McKinney when the House voted unanimously to condemn President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s inflammatory comments? She was recorded as “not present.”

Just moments earlier, though, she was on the House floor for the only other recorded vote of the day, on the Agriculture appropriations bill. The Congresswoman was recorded as voting “yes” on that one.

McKinney has been accused by critics of making anti-Semitic comments in the past. Her dad, Billy McKinney, didn’t help matters when he blamed her 2002 re-election defeat on “J-E-W-S,” as he so carefully spelled out the word. Oy.

At press time, McKinney’s office had not gotten back to HOH on why she didn’t vote on the resolution regarding the Iranian president’s declaration.

Move Over, Rover. A new face in Rep. Linda Sanchez’s office is causing quite a stir. Though he’s been spotted napping a lot, the California Democrat is doting all over the new hire.

Perhaps she feels bad that he was orphaned at a tender age. Or perhaps it’s because he’s an adorable little beagle with eyes that beg for a belly rub.

Like Cher and Madonna, he has but one name: Chavo. Sanchez adopted the stray pup from Castaway Critters, a pet orphanage based in Harrisburg, Pa., with the help of Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.). What a guy — Brady drove an hour out of his way to pick up little Chavo (whose name was Bob before Sanchez adopted him) Thursday morning before making his daily drive down to Washington, D.C.

Sanchez’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Valencia, said in an e-mail to HOH that Brady and his staff had a tough time parting with the pooch and “were sorry to see him go (but not the stain left on the office floor).” Chavo already has serious political energy. Valencia says although he’s old enough in dog years to run for the House, no decision has been made about his career path at this time.

Fourth Estate: Add One. Watch out Fox News! CNN has a fresh, new adorable face. So what if she’s only 19 and a half inches tall. She’s bound to have big broadcast-quality pipes if she’s anything like her old man.

The new talent was born Friday morning at Sibley Hospital, weighing in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces. Daddy Joe Johns, CNN’s Congressional correspondent, and mama Michelle named their second child Avery Michelle Bernard Johns. Despite much pressure, they refused to nickname her “Libby.” Avery joins big brother Logan.

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

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