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Washington Whispers

March 2007


Bobblehead Bill and Glam Hill

If you were an executive at Mattel toys, you probably couldn't have done a better job making Bill and Hillary Clinton dolls than the two new ones we're revealing today: Bill as a basketball bobblehead and Hillary as a grown-up Barbie.

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The Power of Prayer

All those prayers from the president of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., have paid off. We hear that President Bush will give the commencement address. About two months ago, we Whispered that the president's former faith-based initiative czar, Jim Towey, was offering up his prayers for the ...

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TAGS:
Bush, George W.

C-SPAN's Scully Gets a Fitz

New from FitzLand: C-SPAN biggie Steve Scully, who's also president of the White House Correspondents' Association, is this year's recipient of the Fitzwater Center for Communications Award. The center, at New Hampshire's Franklin Pierce College, gives the award out to those it feels exemplifies ...

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TAGS:
journalism

Fred's Fans: He's In It to Win It

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton coined the "I'm in it to win it" phrase first, but friends of Law & Order actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson say he's thinking the same thing.

"Very simply put, he is seriously considering a run," says one.

Now you may be saying, "Duh, he already said he was thinking ...

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TAGS:
Thompson, Fred

Giddyup, Sundance

Gov. Bill RichardsonWe told you (below) that New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had lost enough weight to make his horse, Sundance, very happy. And here's the proof from his campaign.

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TAGS:
Richardson, Bill

This Tom Clancy Walks the Walk

Every military thriller writer wants to be compared to Tom Clancy, but to be called better? That's what Aiden Rocke is hearing about his first work, Rogue Threat, and the upcoming sequel, Hidden Threat. Military writers say his books, filled with terrorist tales, are very realistic. So how does he ...

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TAGS:
books

Tony Snow, Best of the Boomers

Nobody loves the baby boomers more than the baby boomers, so it shouldn't be a surprise that one of the generation's notables, White House spokesman Tony Snow, takes a center-stage role in PBS's two-hour special, The Boomer Century 1946–2046, on March 28. It will show three pics of Snow: as a kid,

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TAGS:
Snow, Tony

Out Loud

"St. Patrick's Day is an occasion that unites two distinct groups of Americans: those who are of Irish descent, and those who wish they were."

President Bush, during his annual White House meeting with Ireland’s Prime Minister Bertie Ahern

"Now I wake up in the morning and say, 'Who do I hate ...

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TAGS:
Thomas, Helen
Rehberg, Denny
Mohammed, Khalid Shaikh

The McLarty Dynasty

From our small-world file: When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, he called on an old school friend from Hope, Ark., named Thomas "Mack" McLarty to help build support in the business community. McLarty's reward was the post of White House chief of staff. Now we hear that the latest Arkansas ...

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TAGS:
Huckabee, Mike

New GOP Boss Brings His Game

JOE CIARDIELLO FOR USN&WRSports has often been the way for Mel Martinez, the Florida senator and new Republican Party general chairman, to prove he's different and a team player. As a kid in communist Cuba, for example, he'd show his rebel side by wearing a Catholic scapular around his neck during ...

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TAGS:
sports
Republican Party
Martinez, Mel

Still a Specter on Capitol Hill

It's been over five years since the first anthrax scare on Capitol Hill, but the fallout continues. Not only do letters sent to congressional offices get held up sometimes for weeks for inspection, but several offices ask couriers to open the letters before giving them to receptionists. It happened ...

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TAGS:
anthrax

Donors Going to Bat for Giuliani

It's not just spring training for baseball. On March 14, donors will be warming up for the New York Yankees' No. 1 fan, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Insiders say he's hosting his first fundraiser, the "New York City Home Team Reception." A baseball theme will rule: The $2,300 price will include ...

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TAGS:
Giuliani, Rudolph
baseball

The Ouch Factor of Saturday Votes

That recent rare Saturday Senate vote on the Iraq war was painful for more than just lawmakers. We hear that Hadassah Lieberman, wife of Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, slipped on an ice-covered sidewalk and broke a wrist. His office says that the observant Jews were walking from ...

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Birthday Surprise at 32,000 Feet

We're not spoiling anything when we tell you that the wife and family of Federal Emergency Management Agency Director David Paulison had a surprise 60th birthday party planned at his Florida home earlier this month. He never made it. The same weekend, tornadoes hit Alabama and Georgia, and he ...

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Lockhart's Other House Victory

Don't tell us that Joe Lockhart, former President Clinton's spokesman and a major player on the Democratic PR front, didn't think his party's takeover of the House was in the bag before Election Day. Want proof? The day after the Democratic victory, he bought a sprawling $3.1 million house in the ...

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Bubba Likes Hoyas in March Madness

Good news for Georgetown University men's basketball fans: Noted college hoops fan Bill Clinton thinks the Hoyas could go all the way to the Georgia Dome. "I think he might be leaning toward Georgetown," says Bubba's sports pal and political guru James Carville. The "Rajun Cajun" should know. Not ...

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TAGS:
basketball
Clinton, Bill

Out Loud

"I've gotten to the point where I think just about anyone would be better than Bush."

George McGovern, the former senator and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate

"I don't have much to say

anymore. Hell, I'm 82."

Former President Bush, explaining why he lets former President Clinton talk most ...

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TAGS:
McGovern, George
Tancredo, Tom
Bush, George H.W.
Gingrich, Newt

It's Working: Sneakers Are Moving

Jan Scruggs, head of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, says his appeal through Washington Whispers for soccer equipment is working. In an E-mail to us, he reports that groups around the country are mobilizing to help troops in Iraq outfit themselves in soccer gear but also the kids they are ...

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TAGS:
Iraq war (2003-2011)
sports

Live From the Pentagon With Bob

JOE CIARDIELLO FOR USN&WRNothing screams change to an old setting like a new set of furniture and edgy decorations. President Bush signaled a new, more formal tone when he junked former President Clinton's gaudy Oval Office furnishings. Nancy Pelosi returned grace and style to the House speaker's ...

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TAGS:
Gates, Robert

Breaking Bread Now, Heads Later

The groundwork is being laid for the first meeting between the two party chairmen, longtime Democratic boss Howard Dean and gop newbie Sen. Mel Martinez. But it's not just to gab over a cup of Starbucks. Both sides want to make sure that the other won't let states hold primaries before New ...

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TAGS:
Martinez, Mel
Dean, Howard
primaries

No Retreat, and a Plan to Get Even

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is joining the activist world with a plan to return conservatives to dominance. DeLay calls his new group the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, and it has one mission: recruiting and electing conservatives in all 50 states. He plans to begin building it ...

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TAGS:
DeLay, Tom

Don't Mess With This Texan's Picks

Katrina cleanup czar Donald Powell didn't get his Super Bowl picks right, but he did correctly predict the vastly underrated New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers would make the playoffs. So considering those creds, we asked him his pick for the World Series. "The Houston Astros vs. the ...

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TAGS:
baseball

A Nelson Mandela for an Earlier Time

Most White House reporters stick to what they know when it comes time to pen a book. But Cox Newspapers correspondent Bob Deans thought bigger. "I found it fascinating to write about the first great leader we know of in English America—Chief Powhatan." Yes, the father of Pocahontas and the first ...

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TAGS:
books

Juicing the GOP Message

Florida's Rep. Adam Putnam, the No. 3 House Republican, isn't shy about his Sunshine State pride. After his alma mater University of Florida Gators won the national football championship, he met with reporters in the Capitol sitting next to an alligator head. Since then, he's talked politics with ...

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TAGS:
Florida

What's With Watts and Richardson?

It could have been the environment, the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, or the brash frankness of an ex-politician. But former Rep. J. C. Watts, once the House GOP's main communicator and a sometimes entry on Republican vice presidential lists, fessed up at the University of ...

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TAGS:
Richardson, Bill

A G-Man's Version of Oprah's List

He's no Oprah. But FBI Director and avid reader Robert Mueller has started a new bureau reading list to help his G-men broaden their horizons. The list has more than 60 books about the FBI's history, terrorism, intelligence, and professional development. "He just thought," says an insider, "that we ...

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TAGS:
FBI
Mueller, Robert
books

Out Loud

"I'm pro-American, pro-democracy. I'm pro-government. I follow my boss. He's my boss; that's the way it goes."

Pat Riley, coach of the Miami Heat, referring to Bush while being honored at the White House for the team's 2006 NBA title

"You know you drag this out as long as you can. ... You've got ...

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TAGS:
Vilsack, Tom
Snow, Tony
McCain, John

Bolton Throws Book at United Nations

We went to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference last night for dinner. Red wine, red meat, chocolate pudding cake with red berries for dessert. Heard the veep, just back from a tour of the war zone, where he was targeted by al Qaeda.

"As you might have heard, I've just been out of the ...

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TAGS:
Bolton, John R.
UN
books
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