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Monster Mash

Trick-or-treating around the Democratic bastion of Georgetown proved more lucrative this year than last, at least in terms of political VIP sightings.

The Kerry and Edwards homes were quiet last Hallow’s Eve as the presidential and vice presidential nominees were out barnstorming the countryside for votes. But Monday night, the scene was different. [IMGCAP(1)]

A neighbor out trick-or-treating with his kids walked past the home of would-be president John Kerry (D-Mass.) expecting the Senator oft-accused of being aloof to be in some exotic locale, snowboarding, windsurfing or whatever. But the Georgetown source couldn’t believe his eyes when the little ones knocked at the Senator’s door.

“Who comes out with a big smiling face?” he said incredulously. None other than Kerry himself, in a suit and tie, along with an aide, serving up candy on the portico to the neighborhood kids. (No sign of his wife, Teresa, apparently.)

HOH found out later that Kerry was hanging out (as much as John Kerry hangs out) with his special assistant, Marvin Nicholson, and speechwriter Eric Niloff. Apparently, they were scaring up a health care speech between interruptions from costumed children. Some families got their pictures taken with Kerry, including one pack of kids dressed as Star Wars characters.

The Senator didn’t exactly go overboard with Halloween decorations — no witches, no pumpkin. “But it had the front porch lights on, very welcoming,” the source said.

Which is more than can be said for the home of former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.). The only thing in front of his house was the “For Sale” sign that’s been there for several months now. No sign of Edwards or the rest of his clan, as the home and its $6 million-plus asking price have rendered it empty most days of late.

Our source couldn’t recall what kind of candy Kerry offered, but noted, “It certainly wasn’t Air Force One M&Ms!” Ouch! For the record, he gave out some choice stash: Snickers bars, Butterfingers and Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Reverse Psychology? Here we go again, with Democrats rushing to defend one of President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees. They defended poor Harriet Miers’ honor, and now Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) is taking up for Miers’ second fiddle, Judge Samuel Alito.

Lautenberg wants people to stop calling Alito names, you big bullies. On behalf of the Italian-Americans in his state and everywhere, Lautenberg is arguing the nickname “Scalito” — a catchy reference to Alito’s similarities to Justice Antonin Scalia — is culturally insensitive.

“If the nickname is an attempt at humor, it fails,” Lautenberg said in a statement Tuesday. “I have received several calls from constituents complaining that this nickname is offensive and inappropriate — and they are right. Ethnically-laced nicknames shed no substantive light on Judge Alito’s record, and only demean this important process.”

Could we at least have a little fun by renaming that awesome Boz Scaggs’ tune the “Alito Shuffle,” instead of “Lido Shuffle?”

Alito, whoa-oh-oh-oh … .

He’s for the money, he’s for the show

Alito’s a-waitin’ for another go

Alito, whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh … .

Return of the Flack Bash. Quinn Gillespie and Associates is revisiting its annual “Flack Jacket” awards to honor the best and the brightest (you guessed it) flacks on Capitol Hill.

As QGA puts it, flack jackets will be awarded to the “most intrepid, daring and verbally agile communicators” on the Hill.

The much-hyped “flack bash” will be held next Wednesday in the Cannon Caucus Room and is expected to draw a big and rowdy crowd of spokespeople and reporters.

The “G” in QGA, Ed Gillespie, will present the GOP flack jacket, while the Q Meister, Jack Quinn, presents the Democratic award. One of the big “A”s at QGA, veteran GOP mouthpiece Terry Holt, will present runner-up awards to one Republican and one Democratic press secretary or communications director.

“There are some real bomb throwers on the Hill,” Holt said in an interview. “Maybe we give them straight jackets, for being just a little crazy.”

In addition to the bomb-thrower category, Holt plans to present an honorary award to one flack, a “friend” as he calls this as-yet-unnamed person, who really stands out. In a big way, we might add. (Not that HOH is saying she knows who the winners are. She can’t say that. Somebody might try to extort the information from her loose lips.)

Gillespie started the “flack bash” several years ago. Now, “we’ve given it a rebirth,” Holt said. The last recipient, in 2001, was Ari Fleischer.

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