Albright flushed and toned for book tour

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • April 18, 2006

by Karen Feld

You’ll be surprised to see a newly slim and toned Madeleine Albright, 69, flogging her new book, “The Mighty and The Almighty,” when it’s released next month. The former secretary of state and U.N. ambassador — 60 pounds slimmer — was spotted at the IMF last week when former President Clinton received the Fulbright Award. She said she was very proud of herself, and she should be. She looks great. She followed clinical nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman’s book “The Fat Flush Plan,” as well as working out with D.C. trainer extraordinaire Margo Carper. The Fat Flush plan is a holistic one that claims to reshape your body while you detox your system.


Those of us who have been around Capitol Hill for a long time remember Mike Gravel, 75, the former Democratic senator from Alaska. He’s the first of the Democrats, albeit a dark horse, to throw his hat in the ring for the 2008 presidential nomination. While in the Senate, Gravel made headlines by inserting some 4,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers in the public record. A strong advocate of withdrawal from the war in Iraq, Gravel, who had hoped to be on George McGovern’s presidential ticket, is likely to appeal to McGovern liberals. Gravel, another politician who never went home, has been living in Arlington since retiring from the Senate in 1981. He’s founder and chairman of the Democracy Foundation.


Award-winning comedienne Lily Tomlin will perform her one-woman show at Strathmore’s Spring Gala on April 29. I spoke to Tomlin the other day after she filmed the last episode of “The West Wing.”

“I will miss the show and the people there,” she told me. “It’s a home away from home.” So I had to ask if she’d like a job in the real West Wing. “Maybe I could have influence,” she said. “I’d be working for a social justice group and pass on information.”

Tomlin is not a stranger to D.C. audiences, having received the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Award in 2003 — and she even performed at the now-defunct Cellar Door. But she’s never performed at the White House. “I could play the East Room, but it depends on the administration. As a guest in their temporary home, I wouldn’t want to be rude and pull an Eartha Kitt,” said Tomlin, referring to Kitt’s anti-war comments at the Johnson White House in 1968, which upset Lady Bird Johnson.


“I’m not a telephone operator or a kid in a rocking chair,” Tomlin said. “I’m a sweet old down-to-earth girl from Detroit.” This talented performer recently studied singing for two months so that she could sing harmony with Meryl Streep in a Robert Altman film based on “A Prairie Home Companion.” “Bob is unflappable. He’s not afraid to let actors go where it takes them,” said Tomlin, who has done several Altman films.

She’s also shooting a film about D.C. called “The Walker,” co-starring Woody Harrelson. It’s about a foursome who play cards every week at an exclusive Washington club. To prepare for the role, Tomlin said, she’s been practicing her canasta skills with Lauren Bacall so that they can do dialogue and still play the game. “I play somebody’s wife, [married to] a man who doesn’t want to give up any power,” said Tomlin, who quickly adds a clarification: “These women are not Laura Bush.”

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