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Heard on the Hill: One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Senate Democratic leaders are seeking every vote possible as they look to lock in 60 votes for health care reform. So it’s likely they would have welcomed the GOP Senators who attempted to break into a Democrats-only lunch on Thursday.

[IMGCAP(1)]HOH spotted at least three Republicans heading into the Democrats’ huddle, which was being held in the Mansfield Room. But — sadly for vote-hungry Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) — the GOPers weren’t defectors (or even spies); they were simply confused. Republicans were having their own lunch nearby, and the wayward Senators got the wrong room.

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) got through the door before realizing he was in enemy territory, while a few minutes later, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) recognized his similar error and quickly turned tail, shooting a look of mock horror to a few reporters and staffers lingering near the entrance. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) began strolling toward the door, only to stop short once he noticed that Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) was entering at the same time. Grassley looked confused, and Warner put his arm around the Iowa Republican and playfully tried to steer him into the room.

Sorry, Sen. Reid, it looks like that trapping strategy is not going to work.

Rapper’s Delight. Grammy Award-winner Ludacris might be a proud Atlanta native, but the star spent the weekend making friends in Washington.

The rapper (real name: Chris Bridges — but we’ll just call him “Luda—) spent his weekend in the 2-0-2, speaking at a National Press Club luncheon on Friday and hosting an annual dinner for his Ludacris Foundation at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on Saturday.

And Luda was expected to honor Rep. Maxine Waters at Saturday’s dinner, awarding the California Democrat the foundation’s first-ever Congressional Leadership Award for her community service work. At the Friday luncheon, Ludacris recalled that he has spent time with Waters, reaching out to young people in her south Los Angeles district.

In a statement to HOH, Waters said she is honored to receive the award.

“Millions of people admire Ludacris for being a talented singer and actor, but I also know him and respect him as a philanthropist. He could simply use his fame and fortune for his personal benefit, but he decided to ‘Stand Up’ for the kids,— she said, echoing the lyrics of one of the singer’s raps. “His foundation is making a real difference.—

Others on the guest list for the soiree included legendary music producer Quincy Jones (also set to be honored), a slew of other celebs and D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. Luda said he wanted to host the dinner in Washington because “we want to connect with all the policymakers and the movers and shakers of the United States of America.—

But don’t expect the star to seek higher office … yet, anyway.

“Maybe for president in 2012? I’m here to let everyone know you don’t have to worry about that,— Ludacris said — then later added, “Since I’ve been up at this podium, I am strongly considering running.—

HOH’s Dumb Criminals. HOH is just full of cautionary tales lately.

Last week, we relayed the tale of an alleged drunken driver who hit a Capitol Police cruiser and then drove off. (He was subsequently, duh, arrested.)

And now, we bring you yet another lesson of what not to do while driving on Capitol Hill.

William Crudup allegedly drove up to the entrance of the Capitol’s south barricade at about 5 a.m. on Oct. 15, according to a Capitol Police summary report released Wednesday. As is common procedure, an officer on the scene asked the 57-year-old Maryland resident for some identification, and while doing so, “smelled a strong odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle and observed the Defendant’s eyes being bloodshot red.—

Driving up to the Capitol while smoking reefer? Bad call, dude. You aren’t going to find any greasy snack foods up there.

The officer then searched the vehicle, and in doing so, discovered “drug paraphernalia,— according to the report. Multiple field sobriety tests were conducted (which Crudup apparently failed), and he was promptly arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and transported to Capitol Police headquarters for booking.

It’s unclear from the report why Crudup drove up to the Capitol while allegedly high. Maybe he misunderstood the Obama administration’s recent shift in marijuana policy?

Overheard on the Hill. “Landrieu, Chambliss Announce Creation of Senate Natural Gas Caucus.—

— The title of a Thursday press release that made HOH’s inner 12-year-old giggle uncontrollably. Might we suggest the caucus hold a chili cook-off as its inaugural event?

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