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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: It Happened One Night

Wednesday night’s black-tie Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association dinner yielded a few fun sightings: HOH spotted a few pairings that made perfect sense, like the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. conferring with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) or Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) chatting with Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) during the VIP reception sponsored by Fox News.

[IMGCAP(1)]But we saw one seriously odd couple — Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) appeared to be deep in conversation with Fox News lightning bolt, talk-show host Bill O’Reilly. A Nelson spokesman says that his boss actually likes O’Reilly and that the two of them were teasing conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, who was a couple feet away.

And talk about strange combinations, Sen. Lamar Alexander paired a classic tuxedo with decidedly unconventional footwear. The Tennessee Republican was sporting a pair of black exercise shoes — those odd-looking shoes with curved bottoms that are said to have all kinds of health benefits, like strengthening one’s core and burning calories. Alexander isn’t the only one who favors the health-promoting kicks. Former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was known to wear them, as do celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna.

“Everyone knows Gwyneth and Sen. Alexander are trendsetters — what else can I say?” Alexander spokesman Jim Jeffries joked.

At least he left his trademark plaid flannel shirt at home.

Meanwhile … Not every political VIP attended the dinner Wednesday evening: An HOH spy eyed Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) at the opening-night performance of “Little Shop of Horrors” at Ford’s Theatre. … HOH hears Rep. Doris Matsui attended a black-tie, invite-only gala for the opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History’s newest permanent exhibition, “The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.” The California Democrat sits on the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents. … Reps. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) saluted military medical personnel at the Armed Services YMCA 4th Annual Angels of the Battlefield gala at the Ronald Reagan Building.

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