COLUMNS

Dems powering up for 2008

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • March 31, 2006

by Karen Feld

buzz

Democratic insiders agree Hillary Clinton is about to become the most powerful woman in the country — but some now are saying not as the president. She could wield more power as Senate majority leader … and we hear Denver has the lead to land the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

KESSLER AND ‘EVERYBODY’ ELSE ON LAURA

Local author Ronald Kessler’s “Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady,” which will be published next week, called me to boast that this is the first book about the current first lady with “White House approval and cooperation.” “I’ve talked to everybody,” Kessler told me.

“Who’s everybody?” I asked. “The president?”

“No,” admitted Kessler, sheepishly.

“The first lady?”

“No.”

“Barbara, the former first lady?”

“No.”

Perhaps that tells us something about who the author considers “everybody.”

THE TWINS, THANKS TO FERTILITY DRUGS?

Kessler says the biggest scoop in the book is that the twins, Jenna and Barbara, were conceived after Laura Bush took fertility drugs.

WILL LAURA LEAVE THE WHITE HOUSE ‘WHITER’? Dirty politics? Not in the super-“clean” Bush White House. So clean that we wonder if Laura Bush has stock in Windex. Kessler portrays her as a “neatness freak” who relieves stress by cleaning with Windex, Formula 409 or Clorox. “Laura used to always get these little sponges at the grocery store when we lived together in Houston and polish the kitchen sink whenever she was sort of nervous or had extra energy,” said her college sorority sister and roommate Janet Heyne. “It gives her a sense of control.”

“When she is tense, she cleans,” her friend Pamela Nelson said. “She finds it soothing.” Apparently she still does. Shortly before Laura was to leave for a Middle East trip in May 2005, Nelson discovered her cleaning.

KEMP BATTLING CANCER

We’re sorry to hear that former GOP vice presidential candidate, congressman and Cabinet secretary Jack Kemp, 70, is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. Buzz wishes him a full recovery … Longtime ABC news radio personality Bill Greenwood retires today … Sweden’s new foreign minister is well-known in Washington’s diplomatic and social circles. Jan Eliasson, while ambassador to the U.S. and living in Washington from 2002 until last year, secured the prime real estate on Georgetown’s waterfront for Sweden’s new chancery.

SMITS ALL TOO BRIEF AS SANTOS

Jimmy Smits, who plays Houston Democratic Rep. Matt Santos on NBC’s “The West Wing,” wins the presidential election on the show next month. He’s been filmed leaving Blair House and walking into the White House’s West Wing. His term will last two weeks — on air, at least — since the show has been canceled.

LANSBURY HEADS KENCEN’S 35TH

We hear actress Angela Lansbury (with her new knees) and composer Marvin Hamlisch head the list of talent for the annual Kennedy Center spring gala on May 7 — all part of the 35th anniversary hoopla.

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