Heard on the Hill: Impromptu Press Visit

Posted July 8, 2011 at 5:09pm

Rep. Charlie Rangel walked into the House Press Gallery on Friday morning with a question for the Fourth Estate.

The New York Democrat wondered how he could get an invitation to give a press conference, a spy tells HOH.

Technically, all Members have to be invited to give a presser, so that’s not too weird. What did strike reporters and gallery staff as a bit strange was that Rangel — not his staff — would ask for the invitation.

It was a “very impromptu visit,” Rangel spokeswoman Hannah Kim tells HOH.

A tipster says Rangel, looking rather spiffy in a bright blue bow tie, stuck around the gallery for a while, asking reporters and gallery staff how to word the title of his press conference so it would be covered.

He said he did not want “to get to St. Peter and not have used more of his political influence to speak out for the disadvantaged,” the witness says.

The visit left some scribes with the impression that Rangel has more time on his hands of late. “It seemed like he spends his time these days wandering around and seeing who will listen to him,” the tipster says.

At 1:03 p.m. Friday, HOH received a media advisory from Kim that the Rangel press conference was scheduled for 2:15 p.m. the same afternoon.

Emma Dumain contributed to this report.