• News
  • Washington Whispers

Washington Whispers

June 2007


White House Press: Moving Day Is July 3

By |

It's almost here: the day the White House press corps moves back into the West Wing. The shift begins July 3 and the newly renovated press area officially opens on July 11 with a ribbon-cutting, with the first briefing planned for the following day.

But it almost didn't happen, thanks to a little ...

Read More

TAGS:
White House
journalism

Teddy's Boy Turns 40

By |

All together now, let's sing "Happy Birthday to You" to Congress's newest 40-year-old, Rep. Patrick Kennedy. There's a party and, naturally for a congressman and a Kennedy, it's being turned into a political fundraiser for his re-election. We just intercepted the invite and it looks to be a doozy.

Read More

TAGS:
Kennedy, Patrick

Speed Has Limits, Even for Powell

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is a freak for speed-the kind delivered under the hood of a Chevy Corvette. He owns a 400 horsepower 2005 Vette and is hunting for one of the new sports cars with a pepped-up 440 horsepower engine. But it's a compro mise choice, he concedes. "You know they ...

Read More

TAGS:
Powell, Colin

Facing Waxman, the Goal Is Survival

JOE CIARDIELLO FOR USN&WR H ow many lawyers, lobbyists, and publicists does it take to plug a congressional investigation? Thankfully for Washington's K Street, a heck of a lot. With 460 full committee and subcommittee oversight hearings having already taken place in just the House since ...

Read More

TAGS:
Waxman, Henry
Congress

Bloomberg's 'Rove' Also His Party Guy

Kevin Sheekey isn't just New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's political guru pushing him to run for president as an independent. He's also the mayor's image-maker and party guy. We've learned that it was Sheekey who dreamed up the now famous Bloomberg Party that caps events surrounding the annual ...

Read More

TAGS:
Bloomberg, Michael

Before Fox, He Was the Evil 'Eggnog'

Now known as the Washington face of Fox News, Brit Hume back in the 1970s was a staffer for muckraker Jack Anderson. We hear that when the CIA releases its secret files on covert actions, like spying on Anderson's staff, Hume's code name will be revealed: "Eggnog." It must have been boring for the ...

Read More

TAGS:
Hume, Brit
journalism

It's a Very Small Political World

"Hey, Ken Walsh," our surprised White House correspondent heard June 13 when he and his wife, Barclay, were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary at a hilltop restaurant over looking the Athens Acropolis. "It was Al Gore," says Walsh. The former veep was in town to show off his global warming ...

Read More

TAGS:
Gore, Al

Conservative, Even in Self-Promotion

He has probably published more con serva tive books than anyone else, but when Alfred Regnery decided to write his take on the politi cal movement, he shopped it to a publishing house other than his Regnery Publish ing. "You can't have your name on the top and the bottom of the book's spine," he ...

Read More

TAGS:
conservatives
books

What's an 'L' Among Political Foes?

In the strange bedfellows department this week, we've got the hand-holding of the right-leaning American Conservative Union and left-tilting American Civil Liberties Union. Come June 26, in front of the Senate, ACU boss David Keene will join with ACLU's Anthony Romero to demand the re turn of basic ...

Read More

TAGS:
ACLU

Face Time with Secretary Chertoff

BEFOREAFTER 

It's not an easy job running the Washington Whispers desk. Sometimes we just have to ask the most obvious and sometimes embarrassing question. Like when Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff came to the regular Christian Science Monitor newsmaker breakfast this week. As ...

Read More

TAGS:
Chertoff, Michael

Honoring the First Antiwar Candidate

George McGovern, now there was a real antiwar candidate. And in what some think is a historical deja  vu moment, the man who famously opposed the Vietnam War is to be feted by many in the current antiwar movement to mark his 85th birthday and the 35th anniversary of his Democratic presidential ...

Read More

TAGS:
McGovern, George

Skip the Shoes, and Change the World

Women, you've been challenged. By skipping the next shoe purchase at Payless and instead sending that $26 to a political candidate, you could forever change politics. "They need to start enjoying that pleasure instead of pinched toes," says Democratic fundraiser Susie Tompkins Buell, the founder of ...

Read More

The P.U. Factor in Money Politics

By |

Bob Shrum, the political guru who helped Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race, tells us that it stinks to campaign on the cheap. The No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Campaigner author tells this story: Though Kerry spent about half his $12 million fortune, his bank was bare early on.

Read More

TAGS:
politics
Kerry, John

Secretary's Serenade

By |

A long-planned get-together between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel finally came off last week, with the two huddling in Rice's private little office in Foggy Bottom. We hear Rice schmoozed the New Yorker, talking up his big issues of trade,

Read More

TAGS:
Rice, Condoleezza
Rangel, Charles

Bid for Camelot

This weekend features another live auction at Alexander Autographs, where lots of JFK and Jackie O items will be up for sale. A rare signed wedding picture, with an estimated price of $12,000, is just a little bit of the stuff our pals at Alexander have to offer. They traffic in all sorts of ...

Read More

TAGS:
Kennedy, John

Suckers for Seersucker

By |



If it's summer in Washington, then Sen. Trent Lott, the No. 2 Republican, is plotting Seersucker Thursday."When Senator Lott became leader in 1996," says spokeswoman Susan Irby, "he instituted 'Seersucker Thursday,' usually designated in the month of June. He wanted to bring a little southern ...

Read More

TAGS:
Senate
Lott, Trent
fashion

Pumping Political Pain

When it comes to laying blame, little speaks louder than a nice picture, and this time it's the Republicans who have the better image when it comes to who's at fault for rising gas prices.

The Senate Republican Conference has shipped us some nice color digitals of Senate Democrats standing in ...

Read More

TAGS:
Senate
gas prices

Spreading the Wings of 'the Wall'

JOE CIARDIELLO FOR USN&WR-->"The wall": It's not just for the Vietnam War anymore. The folks who brought us the wing-shaped Vietnam Veterans Memorial are making plans for an expansive underground visitor center that will tie all American wars together. "The casualties of the Vietnam War," says ...

Read More

TAGS:
Vietnam War

Crooner Bono Hits the 2008 Trail

Bono, the U2 singer who has made his ONE campaign against poverty a worldwide effort, is turning to the 2008 presidential campaign. Joined by the political odd couple of former Senate Republican leader Bill Frist and former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, plus actress Ashley Judd, "ONE Vote ...

Read More

TAGS:
Frist, Bill
Daschle, Tom
poverty

Cheney Never Saw Veep Job Coming

Vice President Dick Cheney went back home this month and revealed what hooked him on public service. "Boys State triggered something," he says of the American Legion's youth government education group. Talking to Wyoming's current crop of Boys Staters, the veep says he attended in 1958 but never ...

Read More

TAGS:
Cheney, Dick
Wyoming
Vice President

Reality of Fate Tickles Bush 41

Even though New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer interviewed former President George H. W. Bush for tidbits to include in his latest Washington thriller, The Book of Fate, he tells us that the 41st president was wowed when his trinkets showed up in the book. "He got a real kick out of ...

Read More

TAGS:
Bush, George H.W.

Her Vast Right-Wing Media Conspirators

By |

It's taken 15 years, but Sen. Hillary Clinton and the hive she once stung as the "vast right-wing conspiracy" have something in common—the so-called "Van Gerthstein" books.

"Dishonest, deceitful, and dare I say practicing grand larceny with somebody else's story!" barks conservative R. Emmett ...

Read More

TAGS:
Clinton, Hillary
books

John Kerry, the New Comeback Kid

JOE CIARDIELLO FOR USN&WR I n his failure to beat President Bush in 2004, Sen. John Kerry was written off by many Democrats for bumbling his campaign and, when he mulled running again, was pummeled by strategists who said his time was over. Facing irrelevancy, he could have followed the path ...

Read More

TAGS:
Kerry, John
politics

The Juniors Ticket: RFK-Ron Reagan

Nearly 5,600 "friends" have joined a MySpace site that aims to draft Robert F. Kennedy Jr. into the presidential race, the latest sign that not all voters are satisfied with the current Democratic crop. Now the site's host has another idea: Add Ron Reagan Jr. to the ticket. They call it the ...

Read More

TAGS:
2008 presidential election

Labor's Chao Makes History

Elaine Chao celebrated becoming the second longest serving labor secretary in a classy way. The day she passed his record of 6.3 years, she called former Johnson Labor Secretary Willard Wirtz to compare notes on the job. Wirtz, now 95, and Chao, a buff of labor history, talked about the good old ...

Read More

TAGS:
Department of Labor

The Gipper Could Write Speeches Too

Ronald Reagan sure had a bright team of writers to draft his unique words, but now we've got proof that the Gipper was pretty good on his own when it came to tuning up those speeches. It's a rare hand-edited text of one of Reagan's most famous and memorable addresses: "The Great Communicator's"

Read More

TAGS:
Reagan, Ronald
speeches

More Proof It's the Boob Tube's Fault

We probably didn't need a poll to tell us that the Simpsons, Will & Grace, and MTV aren't exactly morally inspiring. But it might be worse than you thought. The Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute provided us with an extensive new poll that says those who watch four hours nightly ...

Read More

TAGS:
television

OutLoud - June 3, 2007

"I dream of playing basketball."

Sen. Barack Obama, a longtime fan of pickup hoops

"I feel like I've been attending my own funeral."

Rev. Billy Graham, who was feted by three former presidents at the dedication of his library

"The Mormonism thing is really suspect, but they'll take it ...

Read More

TAGS:
Obama, Barack
Graham, Billy

The New Nancy: Jeri Thompson

Get ready for the comparisons between Nancy Reagan and likely GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson's wife, Jeri."America fell in love with the Reagans and they'll do it with Fred and Jeri," says a pal. Like Nancy, Jeri is her husband's adoring, hand-holding top advise -- and even his driver.

Read More

TAGS:
Thompson, Jeri
Reagan, Nancy

Vegas Goes All In for Its Lawmaker

Poker players are dealing a straight flush for the lawmaker who's championing their fight to bring back legal Internet gambling: Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley of Vegas. "Shelley has been a longtime supporter of our rights as poker players and a strong voice in Washington, D.C., on our behalf,"

Read More

TAGS:
Berkley, Shelley
gambling