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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: The Stars Align … With Members of Congress

Celebrities seemed to outnumber the Washington power brokers at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner — and Members of Congress were happy to take a backseat to the glamorous imports.

HOH spotted Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) at a pre-dinner soiree mugging for a photo with actor Bradley Cooper and tween-poppers the Jonas Brothers. Warner told HOH that his own celebrity-spotting skills aren’t that great, and that at last year’s dinner, he relied on one of his teenage daughters, who accompanied him to the glitzy affair, to ID the famous faces. This year, his other teen daughter was supposed to attend, he said, but she stood him up to attend a Sweet Sixteen birthday party.

Also getting into the celeb-gawking act was Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who showed us the camera-phone pics she and her husband snapped during the night: one with comedian Jay Leno, another with actor Chevy Chase, and a snapshot of actor Richard Schiff. “It’s exciting,” she enthused. (Also, we must note that the Florida Democrat’s BlackBerry was clad in a blingy pink-rhinestone protective skin — “the best Secret Santa present ever,” she tells us).

And Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) seemed excited to meet actor Dennis Quaid. “Wolf Blitzer introduced us,” she said. HOH tried to chat up Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), but he seemed so deep in conversation with actress Wendie Malick, we couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

One exception to the celebrities-are-cooler maxim: Sen. Scott Brown, natch. The Massachusetts Republican (whom President Barack Obama jabbed at during his dinnertime speech, jokingly referring to Brown and the Jonas Brothers as “tween heartthrobs”) was spotted holding court at the pre-dinner cocktail party held by ABC, where even celebrities lined up to meet him — including “Hurt Locker” director Kathryn Bigelow. We spotted Brown and one of his daughters deep in conversation with talk-show host Chelsea Handler.

One Senator almost didn’t make it to the celebrity den at all. HOH saw Sen. Chris Dodd getting lost in the cavernous Washington Hilton. The Connecticut Democrat took a wrong turn off the red carpet and wound up in a sea of breast-cancer-walk participants who were gathered in the hotel. The directionally challenged Dodd finally had to grab a security guard to escort him to the festivities.

And while the boldfaced names gathered in their black-tie attire for civilized chats with official Washington, HOH eyed one quasi-celebrity taking a decidedly more downscale approach to visiting Washington. We saw washed-up reality star Jon Gosselin strolling into the Dupont dive bar the Big Hunt Saturday night, with a 20-something woman on his arm. Way to keep it classy, Jon.

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Editor’s Note: Congress and the coalition-curious