New Is Old in the Bush Kitchen
It looks as if all those criticisms two years ago that first lady Laura Bush dumped her Clinton-era chef not because she disliked his style but just to put her stamp on the White House kitchen are proving true. Because at last week's state dinner for Queen Elizabeth, chef Cris Comerford produced a carbon copy meal in the style former Chef Walter Scheib designed-right down to the pea soup, a Bush fave. It should have been no surprise. Comerford was Scheib's deputy, one he called the best to replace him. By all accounts, the Bushes loved the chow, revealing another truth in Chefgate: The former social secretary who helped organize Scheib's firing because she didn't like his "country club" fare was wrong. They did like his style, and Comerford has adopted it.
Prince Philip's Rule on Lapel Pins
It turns out that a friend of Whispers was part of the greeting committee for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip when they visited Virginia's 400-year-old Jamestown last week. Richmonder L. Ray Ashworth, a former House delegate who's the chairman emeritus of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees, tells us that the folksy Prince Philip zeroed in on his 400th-anniversary pin. "I told him what it was and said, 'Do you want one?'" Declining, the prince said, "I decided not to wear pins a long time ago. In the first place, you might stick yourself when you put them on, so I don't wear them."
Hints at Why We've Avoided Attack
Americans aren't the only ones frustrated by the lack of news on terrorism attacks thwarted by Uncle Sam. The FBI feels it too-yet realizes it can't brag on all its success. But FBI Director Robert Mueller offers us some reasons there haven't been any sensational hits: Terrorists don't have many places to train anymore; cooperation between governments is stronger; intelligence is better; and many of the bad guys have been captured. "I think we've become safer," he says. But beware. He says al Qaeda attackers are still here, most likely "waiting for the opportune moment."
The Maestro and His Blockbuster
Alan Greenspan's upcoming memoir is already causing a stir in publishing circles, where it's expected to top the sales of any modern life story. It had better: Penguin paid $8.5 million. And while those who've seen Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World have been sworn to secrecy, we're still told it is an "amazing" story.
Decanting 101: Pour It Back in the Bottle
Assistant White House Usher Daniel Shanks, the president's wine guru, offered us this trick to decanting fine wines. For a big California cab, for example, pour it out three hours early, but don't leave it in the decanter. "Pour it back in the bottle," he suggests. That gives it two shots of flavor-inducing air-and you can remember what it is.
Paul Bedard's blog is at www.usnews.com/whispers