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Heard on the Hill: Chuck on GG? OMG

Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) is all over the political TV shows these days, sharing his thoughts on the financial crisis, touting his party’s chances of picking up seats and pushing to elect Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) president.


[IMGCAP(1)]But the New Yorker did earn major cool points when he surfaced on the Monday night episode of the CW’s tawdry-but-fun nighttime soap, “Gossip Girl.”

During the show, which focuses on the lives of Manhattan’s most privileged teens, popular frienemies Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf visit the campus of Yale University and reminisce over an intense Yale-Harvard football game they attended as 9-year-olds. Serena recalls that during the game, Blair tackled Schumer’s daughter, because she was presumably wearing a Harvard sweatshirt.

Schumer’s daughters, Jessica and Alison, are a few years older than the angst-ridden teen characters on “Gossip Girl,” but the reference isn’t too far off — the Senator graduated from Harvard, and both Schumer sisters followed their dad there.

HOH hears plenty of Schumer staffers got a kick out of the episode, but it seems the Senator himself is a bit too focused on the upcoming election (bor-ing) to pay attention to the trials of the GG gang.

“It took a couple tries to explain to him the significance, but then he thought it was, like, totally awesome,” Schumer spokesman Brian Fallon tells HOH.

Stevens’ Fancy Footwork. When U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan asks the plaintiff to rise — referring to Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who is in court facing corruption charges — he probably wasn’t thinking of the Alaska Republican’s footwear. But Stevens has been riding high in the courtroom, wearing, an HOH spy reports, a pair of MBT (which stands for Masai Barefoot Technology) shoes, the cult favorites that claim health benefits like burning calories and even reducing cellulite.

Stevens was spotted in the courthouse on Tuesday wearing a black pair of MBT’s “Sport” model, footwear that stood out in a sea of tasseled loafers. The Senator paired the odd- looking shoes, which look something like moon-walking boots, with a traditional suit-and-tie ensemble. On Wednesday, Stevens was back wearing normal “grown-up” shoes, our spy says.

The Swiss-engineered shoes, which run about $250, promise better posture and toned muscles and have developed a dedicated following — including among fitness-minded celebrities.

Stevens has been known to sport the MBTs in more casual settings, but we were surprised to hear he was wearing them to what might be the most important event of his political career.

But, hey, we bet his calves look great.

Hey, Big Lawsuit. The syndrome that seems to have plagued Sen. John McCain, in which every band that performs any song the Arizona Republican uses on the presidential campaign trail complains about it, has struck a Congressional race. The estate of Cy Coleman and Notable Music, which own the rights to the song “Big Spender,” made famous in the musical “Sweet Charity,” is threatening to sue the campaign of Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) for using the ditty in a campaign TV ad.

The estate said Heller’s use of the song — whose lyrics describe a dance hall girl’s come-ons to a potential client — amounts to copyright infringement, and that they are prepared to sue if needed. Damon Booth, vice president of Notable Music, tells HOH that Weeks & Co., the advertising firm working on Heller’s campaign, asked permission to use the song in TV and radio ads attacking challenger Jill Derby. The music company turned down the request, but Booth says the campaign aired the ad anyway. “I just don’t understand this one,” Booth says.

Heller’s campaign and Weeks & Co. did not return calls.

Booth says he understands that the campaign planned to pull the ads, but not before they had run “dozens of times.”

Hmm, a lawsuit threat? Not exactly music to the GOP’s ears.

All Kidding Aside. Politicians often talk about how they support family values when running for office. But would you actually trust any of them to raise your kids?

That’s the question put forth by sister Web sites Infoplease and FamilyEducation, who are asking visitors to pick which of the four political couples — the Bidens, McCains, Obamas or Palins — would be best guardians of their children.

The voting remains open until Election Day, but with 3,000 votes cast so far, the Obamas are in the lead, earning the vote of 45 percent of respondents on FamilyEducation. The Palins place second with 36 percent, followed by the McCains with 12 percent and the Bidens with 7 percent. At Infoplease, the votes are tighter, with the Obamas and the Palins running neck and neck.

“Who they are as people is reflected in who they are as parents,” said Dottie Enrico, managing director of FamilyEducation. “The Obamas clearly articulated their parenting values.”

OK, so parents like the Obamas. But who do their kids support?

Apparently, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Scholastic, the kids-focused news service that publishes the famed children’s magazine, recently polled students kindergarten to 12th grade and asked them to pick the next prez. Of the 250,000 children who took part in the nonscientific survey, 57 percent chose Obama, with 39 percent voting for his rival, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

That left plenty of room for write-in candidates, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert.

Shira Toeplitz and CongressNow’s Jay Heflin contributed to this report.

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