Heard on the Hill: Lady Jane Charms Capitol Hill

Posted April 14, 2010 at 6:46pm

Turns out even Senators get a little jealous of celebrities.

[IMGCAP(1)]Sen. Dianne Feinstein appeared alongside actress Jane Seymour on Wednesday at a Capitol Hill luncheon for Childhelp, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing child abuse. And the California Democrat told attendees that she couldn’t help but be struck by the 59-year-old actress’s gorgeous long brown hair and trim body.

“I figure I’ve been watching her now for a couple of decades,” Feinstein said. “And, Jane Seymour, I don’t know how you do it.”

Feinstein wasn’t the only Member awed by Seymour. Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), a longtime friend of the actress, recalled his favorite Seymour film is the 1980 cult classic “Somewhere in Time,” which tells the story of a man who uses hypnosis to find a woman whose portrait he has fallen in love with. In the movie, when the couple unite, Seymour says, “Is it you?”

A portrait of Seymour now hangs in Burton’s office signed, “Dan, is it you?”

“She’s one of the most wonderful people I know,” Burton gushed.

Although Seymour is a frequent visitor to D.C. — she called Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) “one of my dear friends” — the actress told HOH she was only in D.C. for the Childhelp event. Seymour has been involved in the charity for 24 years, fighting what she called the “world’s dirty secret.”

And while Seymour’s advocacy efforts are noteworthy, HOH couldn’t help but ask the actress who played “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” what her former character might have thought of the recent health care debate.

“I think she proved that being a real doctor, you are part of a whole community,” Seymour said, adding that the relationship between a doctor and a patient, as well as patients taking cues from their own bodies, is paramount for good health care.

“Tests are great, but interaction and positive reinforcement and caring are free and incredibly effective,” she said.

Veggies Vs. Cheeseburgers. In-N-Out Burgers might be delicious, but some healthier fare could be giving the fast food treat a run for its money — and that’s according to a devoted In-N-Out fan, Rep. Joe Baca.

The California Democrat admitted that he’d recently indulged in the beefy burger, but he told celebrity chef and dietitian Ellie Krieger, whose show on the Food Network highlights nutritious cooking, that he was quite surprised that her dishes were “on par” with his beloved In-N-Out.

Krieger testified Wednesday before the Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry (of which Baca is the chairman) about healthy food and nutrition education in schools. Krieger tells HOH that a reception held Tuesday night featuring some of her recipes might help change the idea that foods that are good for you can’t be delicious, too.

“There are two worlds: food that we love to eat and the other is food that’s good for you,” she tells HOH. She says she hopes her show reveals “their beautiful intersection and helping people explore that.”

Krieger served up dishes such as a white gazpacho, crab salad in wonton crisps and Asian summer rolls for lawmakers including Baca and Reps. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) and Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.).

Krieger says she sampled some delicious food in Washington herself: She dined Tuesday night at the Source and raved about the tuna tartare, dumplings and asparagus soup.

KBH: She’s No Beckham. Don’t call Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison a “lame duck,” even though the Texas Republican has said she isn’t running for another term in 2010 — and despite the fact that she’s sporting a brace on her foot.

Hutchison injured herself during a weekend soccer practice session with her son, spokesman Jeff Sadosky tells HOH. He wasn’t sure exactly what the injury was but indicated it wasn’t serious. It isn’t slowing her down, after all.

“Never,” he tells us.

Farrow Calls Out Obama. Dozens of celebrity advocates have come to Capitol Hill to lobby for various charitable causes since President Barack Obama took office (just read the other items in today’s HOH for proof).

But nobody has humanitarian street cred like actress Mia Farrow — and the longtime celebrity do-gooder has a bone to pick with the president.

Farrow took part in a conference call Wednesday alongside other humanitarian advocates, including John Prendergast from the Center for American Progress’ Enough Project and Sam Bell of the Genocide Intervention Network, to discuss the recent national election in the war-torn nation of Sudan. Although the election is the first in a generation, observers have said it was rigged to favor Sudanese President (and accused war criminal) Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s ruling party. And Farrow thinks Obama should do more to spotlight the corruption, calling al-Bashir “a thug.”

“When President Obama offers his first comments on this sham election, he does have an opportunity to send a clear message,” Farrow said. “This is a moment of hope that President Obama will take a strong position. It’s a great opportunity to cast these elections in the doubt … in which they were born and played out.”

HOH notes that Farrow — who along with promoting good causes, made adoption cool way before Angelina Jolie — left the call early to tend to one of her children, who was sick.

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