Speaker Hastert boogies
House Speaker Dennis Hastert has a surprise for President Bush and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern when they travel to Capitol Hill for the annual St. Patrick's Day Speaker's Lunch. We hear that the coach has invited the wildly poplar Dublin band The Commitments to entertain. The Thursday event will be the 26th Speaker's Lunch in a row. It will be limited to about 100 lawmakers and diplomats, and even senior aidesand especially pressare not expected to be invited in for the party.
Tenet's head bob
Seems that former spymaster George Tenet won't be rushing his story of running the CIA under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to print. Insiders say he's decided to defer the deal with Crown Books, worth nearly $5 million, until after he has more time to pull his thoughts together. Publishers engaged in a wild bidding war to get his story of the CIA before and after 9/11, with Crown eventually winning and asking that the book be ready for the presses later this year. But we learn that Tenet didn't want to be tied to a firm deadline. What's more, he's been extremely busy traveling around the country giving speeches, preparing for his first teaching gig at Georgetown University and mulling the creation of his own worldwide consulting firm. Crown probably knew something was up: Tenet never signed the advance contract. "He's just not ready to write it yet," said our source, "and he needs time to think about it." In the meantime, Crown keeps the money. But not forever. Tenet still plans to complete the project.