HOH cannot let its birthday pass without paying tribute to 10 characters who earned HOH’s ink.
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Forget today’s Kennedy, the lion of the Senate. HOH misses his old persona, the guy whom HOH slyly referred to in 1998 as only “Teddy the K.— The one who performed bawdy skits garbed in a wig and pantyhose as he impersonated Fawn Hall.
[IMGCAP(1)] Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
A font of HOH fodder, from his cardigan sweaters to his cantankerous demeanor to his withering quips. Frank’s late-1980s sex scandal figured big in early columns. Steve Gobi, Frank’s live-in boyfriend who ran a “call boy— service out of their home, once told HOH that he provided services to Congressional wives. “I was sleeping with Congressmen’s wives long before I was sleeping with Congressmen,— he said.
Former Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio)
The toupee-wearing, rant-prone Ohioan who famously ended speeches with an emphatic “Beam me up!— earns a special place in HOH’s heart. Colorful and confrontational, Traficant refused to go down — he’s serving a federal prison stint for bribery, racketeering and forcing Congressional aides to work on his Ohio farm — quietly.
Former Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.)
The always-colorful “Ragin Cajun— dressed as Gen. George Patton in a political strategy video, cooked chicken and andouille gumbo with Martha Stewart, and performed an Eminem ditty at a Washington dinner.
Former Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.)
The be-mascara-ed Harris was an HOH regular for stories too many to recount. An intern delivering her “voting— shoes to the House floor, car crashes, those tae kwon do outfits, the temper tantrums … well, the list is too long to count (or to recount).
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas)
The architect of the Republican revolution knew how to deliver a sound bite. But not everyone liked his one-liners — especially not Frank, whom Armey once called “Barney Fag.—
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)
Gingrich set the ’90s-era fashion tone — who can forget that helmet hair and pinstripes? — and provided juicy scandal in the form of a nasty divorce from his second wife, Marianne, whom he admitted to cheating on while investigating former President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Former Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho)
Even before that unfortunate visit to the men’s restroom, Craig was an HOH favorite, regularly appearing in the column as a member of “The Singing Senators.— But his involvement in an airport bathroom sex sting lands Craig in the HOH Hall of Fame. And because Craig just never seemed to understand he had become a Congressional punch line, once describing himself, post-scandal, as “an avid, aggressive pro-driller— (on energy issues, of course).
Reps. Linda and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.)
Capitol Hill’s version of Paris and Nicky Hilton, the Sanchez women are forces to be reckoned with. Elder sister Loretta left the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, accusing its chairman of treating women with disrespect. She flashed her abs in Muscle & Fitness Hers magazine. And it wouldn’t be the holidays without her Christmas card, which always features her posing with her cat, Gretzky. Linda, once a regular on the Congressional party circuit, has slowed down in recent months, expecting her first child in May.