Maybe Souter's the 'Male Harriet Miers'
In the fight over Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, a lot of really nasty stuff has been said about Justice David Souter as critics try to draw a sharply negative comparison with President Bush 's pick. Namely: Souter was a Republican unknown whose political friends conned former President George H. W. Bush into naming him to the court, where he blossomed into an embarrassing moderate liberal. Conservative Phyllis Schafly sneers that Miers is a "female Souter." Or maybe he's a male Miers: Both are single, in their 60s, frugal, and workaholics. What would happen if Cupid strikes in the court, some ask?
Silly issues, all, say Souter's few allies who'll talk. He isn't paying attention to how Miers's critics are hooking the two together, they say. "I pay little attention to this kind of foolishness, and I don't think he does either," says former New Hampshire Sen. Warren Rudman, Souter's rabbi in the 1990 confirmation. Blasted as a political Trojan horse by even party elders, Souter evidently is ignoring all the harsh words, and friends say he's probably not even aware of the flap. The abstemious justice watches little TV, skips court stories in the media, and devotes all his energy to his work. "That's David," says a friend. "If I told him about what people were saying, he'd say, 'What? I didn't know that.' " Souter's pal pauses, chuckles, then adds: "We should all be so lucky."
Mel's Passion--to Be Wrong
The man who brought religion to the big screen with The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson, is jumping back into the fray with his first-ever book endorsement, we hear. Friends say he's promoting the new book The Right to Be Wrong: Ending the Culture War Over Religion in America. The basic premise: When it comes to dealing with religion in public, you don't have to be right. In an E-mail provided to Whispers from the Becket Fund, a religious liberties legal group, Gibson says, "Making The Passion of the Christ taught me many things. One was just how scared some Americans are of religion in public. The Right to Be Wrong explains why they are scared and why they don't have to be."
Girls Rule in Dee Dee Myers's World
Just in time for the upcoming 2008 election, former President Clinton's spokeswoman, Dee Dee Myers, tells us she's planning to release a new book: Why Women Should Rule the World. "I love guys," she says, "but y'all haven't done that well." Published by William Morrow, it'll be less about soccer moms and more about female strategies in business and government. Or, in TV terms, "I like to think that we're evolving from Desperate Housewives to Commander in Chief. "
Riding the Rails With Old '41'
Forget those ad-wrapped city buses and VW Beetles: Former President George H. W. Bush has something much bigger to promote his Texas library and museum fundraising efforts. Tipsters say that Union Pacific Railroad has just finished painting a new locomotive in presidential colors and numbering it 4141 in honor of Bush, the 41st president. The paint job looks like Air Force One and includes the seal of Bush's museum, which is set to open a new train exhibit. The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum will help to unveil it this week and then use it for a November fundraising tour to Dallas. Union Pacific will then put it on the Houston-to-Fort Worth run.