Heard on the Hill: Swim, Bike and Run, Congressman!

Posted September 13, 2010 at 7:04pm

Just before returning to the House and flexing his legislative muscles, Rep. Adam Schiff took time to flex his body’s muscles. The California Democrat spent Sunday morning participating in the Nation’s Triathlon.

Schiff finished a 1.5-km swim, 40-km bike ride and 10-km run in 3 hours, 2 minutes and 21 seconds. Not bad for a 50-year-old father of two.

A tipster tells HOH that Schiff ran the race with ease and even flashed a smile and a thumbs-up on hearing his name called. “He certainly didn’t appear to be struggling,” our spy says.

Schiff, who placed 2,638th overall, partook in the triathlon to raise money for the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. This was his second race; Schiff competed in his first triathlon earlier this year on Father’s Day.

The Hero the GPO Deserves

Move over, Stan Lee. Here come the guys at the Government Printing Office.

The legislative branch agency best known for printing the Congressional Record recently released its first comic book, “Squeaks Discovers Type!” Colorfully illustrated but also educational, the comic is designed to help kids learn about the history of printing (what else?).

The book centers on a young boy who is assigned to write a report on printing but falls asleep playing a video game without getting his work done. Enter video game character Squeaks, a green mouse from outer space reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog, who comes to life and takes the youngster “on a dream tour through time and space, and tells him all about the history of printing,” GPO employee/newbie comic writer Jim Cameron says.

“Squeaks” was produced entirely in-house, written by Cameron, illustrated by GPO graphic designer Nick Crawford and printed at the GPO’s North Capitol Street facility. It required some research; Crawford says he studied things such as Gutenberg’s movable type to make sure his images were accurate.

While it’s unclear whether there will be a sequel, the comic creators are excited about their little green mouse.

“When you work for the government, comic books aren’t usually the first things you get to work on,” Cameron jokes.

Democrat Takes Bite Out of Crime

Bill Keating wants to nab a seat in Congress — but while dining at a Massachusetts restaurant Sunday, he wound up helping nab a thief who snatched a purse from a fellow patron.

Keating, who will take part in a heated primary today for the Democratic nomination for retiring Rep. Bill Delahunt’s seat, was eating breakfast with his wife when a commotion broke out. A man ran out of the crowded restaurant carrying a woman’s purse, and Keating — who is used to going after criminals as a district attorney — joined a group of fellow patrons to chase the thief.

The purse snatcher made it several blocks before Keating and another diner grabbed him and held him down until police arrived. Officers arrested the man, and the woman got her purse back.

Along with chasing criminals as a DA, Keating is used to running — HOH hears he ran the 440-yard dash in high school.

A modest Keating told the Boston Globe that he was just happy so many people helped out the woman. She returned the favor: When Keating went to pay his bill, the restaurant staff told him his breakfast had been paid for.

The Athletes Are Coming

Get ready, staffers: Olympians and NBA players are descending on D.C. today.

Olympic silver medalist Michelle Kwan, Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill and NASCAR champ Carl Edwards are scheduled to be in town to promote the Million PALA Challenge, a new presidential fitness program.

The challenge aims to get 1 million or more Americans competing for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, given to Americans who engage in “moderate to intense” physical activity five days a week for six weeks.

The project is being spearheaded by first lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, along with Dominique Dawes, Olympic gold medal gymnast and co-chairwoman of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

HOH wonders whether dashing between back-to-back meetings on Capitol Hill — in heels, no less — counts as the “intense” physical activity needed to qualify for the fitness award …

Overheard on the Hill

“Congrats to my son, Connor & his debate partner, Eric Wingate. Took 1st place at today’s debate tournament. Congrats to all the debaters.”

— Proud dad Rep. Kevin McCarthy in a Sunday tweet. The California Republican’s son won the blue ribbon in Kern County High School’s first debate of the season.

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