One Man's Oval Office Dreams
Publicly, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer promises he doesn't want to be president. But that's not what the front-running New York gubernatorial candidate says in private. The real message: He wants the top job. Our former colleague, Margaret Menge, now the editor of a Hudson Valley weekly, tells us that Spitzer revealed this to St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital CEO Allan Atzrott. "He told me that Spitzer recently told him that he'd like to be the first Jewish president," says Menge. Atzrott also told her Spitzer has talked it over with New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and won his support.
A Weird Tale, but Who Will Read It?
James Guckert, a White House reporter before quitting when his background and conservative politics were questioned, is getting ready to tell his peculiar story. Guckert, an alleged male escort who wrote for the defunct Talon News under the byline Jeff Gannon, says it will be about "what happened to me and why it happened and what it means for the future of journalism." But don't rush out to buy it: He's got only an idea and a new agent, who has to find a way around the issue of "who cares?"
He Can Shop, but He Can't Hide
Democratic Rep. John Murtha says he used to be able to shop unnoticed in his Johnstown, Pa., Wal-Mart. But that was before he became Congress's biggest advocate for Iraq troop withdrawal. "Very few people come up to me and disagree," he says, adding that just 20 percent of his mail has been negative. "The public, man, they were ahead of us. When I go anyplace, they stop me in the airports; they stop me at Wal-Mart," he laughs. "Hell, I used to be able to go to those places and nobody knew who the hell I was. Now, Christ Almighty, it's a different story." About those 20 percent of critics: "The staff, it worries them. It worries my family," he says.
In Crawford, the Vacation That Isn't
It may look as if he's out of touch at his Texas summer White House, but please, please don't call President Bush's ranch time a vacation. Our Kenneth T. Walsh, author of From Mount Vernon to Crawford, the history of presidential retreats, says the Bushies are dubbing this summer break a "working vacation." Clearly sensitive to claims he is standing by while the Mideast and Iraq burn, Bush plans several trips and even a weeklong return to the real White House in the middle of his August break. Oops, that's "working vacation." Bush is a big vacationer, having spent 370 full or partial days at his ranch during his term, but fellow Texan LBJ beat that easily, with 474 visits over his 5 1/2 years.
With Elizabeth Weiss Green