When L.A. Met D.C.: A Record Day on the Hill

Jimmy Jam, Kelly Clarkson, Neil Portnow and the artist known as Barack.
Jimmy Jam, Kelly Clarkson, Neil Portnow and the artist known as Barack. (Molly Riley - Reuters)
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, September 7, 2006

When the folks from the Grammys threw a mini-concert on Capitol Hill yesterday, it was almost as good as the real Grammys -- so much showbizzy drama and glamour we didn't know where to look!

Hot couples: cute sweetheart Reps. Mary Bono and Connie Mack , who lingered side by side the entire time and left together . . . "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson giving a big hug to Kelly Clarkson -- seems they're still good pals despite the public distance she's put between herself and the show.

Crazy fashion: music types with tattoos, piercings, low-cut shirts (the men , that is). Clarkson, in a black hoodie and a nose stud, had chopped off her hair into an asymmetrical '80s 'do. "It was just so hot," she told us. The D.C. types, natch, kicked it Brooks Brothers-style.

Name-dropping -- literally: Clarkson took the podium to give the junior senator from Illinois his Grammy for best spoken-word album: "I'm honored to be presenting this to Senator Barack ." Silence. Then Mr. Obama gamely stepped forward. And Jackson told us he plans to hang with Mariah Carey in D.C. after her concert tonight.

But, dawgs, it was all about the music. As part of the official business of the day -- demonstrating how a record is made -- Clarkson belted out "Maybe" with backup from members of the recording industry caucus. Most looked uneasy -- except for Maryland's own Rep. Steny Hoyer , who shimmied and grooved and clapped his hands above his head.

"I could see him on the dance floor," Jackson said approvingly. "He's got some moves. Hope he moves like that in Congress."

We'll Be Right Back, in a Day or Two

Troy, lost and found.
Troy, lost and found.(Courtesy Laura Ingraham)
Laura Ingraham missed two days of her nationally syndicated radio show this week to hunt for Troy , her 12-year-old yellow Labrador. Troy, a regular on the show, wandered away from Ingraham's new Northwest Washington home Monday afternoon and became the object of an exhaustive dog hunt, complete with on-air and online updates. The conservative commentator made a tearful call to her show yesterday morning asking for help, and assembled pals to paper the neighborhood with Troy's picture.

Happily, Lab and mistress were reunited after a dog walker saw the flier and saw the dog, with no tags or collar, meandering about a mile from home. "He came home and gobbled down food," Ingraham told us. "I was bawling." The walker got a very nice reward, Ingraham said; the radio host finally got some sleep and plans to be back on the air this morning.

Who Cares If She Can Dance? She's a GOP Supporter!

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay is using his post-congressional clout to influence another election -- the viewer voting on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," which has its season premiere next Tuesday. The Hammer has sent out a mass mailing asking his friends to vote for Sara Evans because she "represents good American values." And he doesn't want them to vote for Jerry Springer.

"I am writing to you today in an effort to help a good friend of mine, country music singer and GOP supporter Sara Evans," DeLay begins. Evans sang at the 2004 Republican convention; now DeLay wants to return the favor. "Let's show Sara that same support by watching and voting for her each week to help her win this competition. One of her opponents on the show is ultra liberal talk show host Jerry Springer. We need to send a message to Hollywood and the media that smut has no place on television by supporting good people like Sara Evans."

Cha-cha: The new ideological battleground.

At Nats Games, the Perennial Also-Ran

Another political conspiracy? At yesterday's Nationals game, Teddy Roosevelt was once again a loser in the Presidents' Race. Four 10-foot-tall mascots -- Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and T.R.-- made their debut July 21 at RFK Stadium for the fourth-inning dash down the first-base line. Teddy hasn't won a single race in 25 games. "It's not fixed," swears Nats veep Chartese Burnett, who explained that staffers, sportswriters and team friends inhabit the giant foam heads.

With only 11 home games remaining in the season, Lincoln leads with 11 wins, followed by Jefferson's seven and Washington's six. (No winner was declared on July 23.) A desperate Roosevelt was disqualified for cheating Sunday when he started the race from the visitors' dugout. "Sometimes he gets kind of crazy," Burnett explained.

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

· Chelsea Clinton , dining on a veggie bento box yesterday outside Teaism on Lafayette Square -- you know, just behind her old house -- with a female friend. The 26-year-old Manhattan-based management consultant looked very fashion-forward in gray sweater over green tee, cuffed dark jeans and white stilettos, and her strawberry-blond curls pulled back in a ponytail.


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