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Heard on the Hill: Mini-Meek

Time will tell if Rep. Kendrick Meek is successful in his bid for a Senate seat, but it appears he’s already grooming his replacement in the House.

The only problem? That replacement is just 12.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Florida Democrat’s son, Kendrick Meek Jr., has spent much of his summer on Capitol Hill, following dad around as he attends to official duties.

Looking like an identical (but younger) version of his dad, the mini-Meek “wears suits and ties to work and likes Congressional lapel pins, too,— spokesman Adam Sharon told HOH.

Politics runs in the Meek family. The Congressman often recalls that when he was 12, he made campaign signs at the kitchen table for his mother, who was running for the state Legislature. And when his mother, former Rep. Carrie Meek (D-Fla.), retired from Congress, he ran for her House seat and won.

So is politics in the future for the next generation?

Perhaps — the Congressman likes to joke that the only thing standing between his son and Congress is the Constitution, Sharon said.

Department of Pots and Kettles. Sen. Charles Schumer is considered to be one of Congress’ biggest publicity hounds, so an HOH spy was amused to hear the New York Democrat complaining about a colleague’s efforts to draw media attention.

Our tipster reports seeing Schumer hopping out of a white SUV on Wednesday morning and heading into the Dirksen Senate Office Building, all the while gabbing loudly on a cell phone. The press-savvy Senator could be heard carping about how angry he was that someone (the spy couldn’t tell who) was holding a news conference on Wednesday. The event was “all about PR,— our tipster says Schumer groused into the phone.

And HOH thought Schumer had never met a press conference he didn’t like.

It Does a Body Good. When the Longworth House Office Building cafeteria began offering $5 lunchtime value meals a few weeks ago, it was touted as a way for staffers to grab a bite without breaking the bank.

But Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper didn’t like what she saw.

It wasn’t that the Pennsylvania Democrat didn’t appreciate the value — she just didn’t like that soda was the sole drink option for the meals.

So, Dahlkemper — the first clinical dietitian ever elected to Congress — successfully petitioned the cafeteria overseer, Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard, to offer milk as an alternative to soda in the value meals.

Beard happily obliged.

“Congresswoman Dahlkemper’s request is udder-ly appropriate,— CAO spokesman Jeff Ventura told HOH. “We absolutely value the health of our employees, and she raises a very valuable issue, and we are absolutely receptive.—

Dahlkemper spent 25 years as a dietitian before joining Congress. Since taking office, she has introduced multiple bills designed to fight the obesity epidemic.

And while Dahlkemper’s request for milk is the first she has made to the cafeteria, she didn’t rule out asking for menu changes in the future.

“I got them to cave on milk,— Dahlkemper said. “Next is flax seed and wheat grass.—

Mmmm, thanks Congresswoman.

Issa Goes Martha Stewart. Who needs a fancy fete? Rep. Darrell Issa showed two colleagues that it’s the little gestures that make a birthday special, as he presented two colleagues with candle-studded doughnuts during a hearing on Tuesday.

The California Republican dressed up the Dunkin’ Donuts that were brought for committee members with b-day candles, and he gave them to House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), who turned 75 on Tuesday, and committee member John Duncan (R-Tenn.), who turned 62.

Good thing there were doughnuts lying around the hearing room, or else Issa might have had to resort to far-less-festive celebratory bags of chips.

Baby News. Adam Sharon, spokesman for Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), is used to issuing press releases and making statements on behalf of his boss. Now Sharon has some hot news of his own: He and his wife, Abigail, welcomed daughter Adele on Wednesday morning. Weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces and measuring 19.5 inches long, Adele joins big sister Eden, Sharon tells HOH.

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