Gen. Peter Pace, the nominee to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the hot A-list dinner party guest these days. He’s the first Marine ever to be named top military boss. And last Friday evening, Debbie Dingell nabbed him for a barbecue at the Potomac home she shares with her husband, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.
Winners and sinners at Billy Graham crusade
Not only did the Clintons turn out for Billy Graham, the nation’s spiritual counselor, at his final U.S. crusade in New York City last weekend, but so did Elizabeth Ray. She was the pretty blonde Capitol Hill clerk who told reporters in 1976, “I can’t type, I can’t file,” and said she was hired for sex. Ray’s liaisons with her boss, Rep. Wayne Hays, D-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee, led to his fall from grace. But, these days, Ray feels the grace of Billy Graham and his call to God. Looking stunning, she says that she “felt a kinship” with the 86-year-old Graham because he hails from near her hometown in North Carolina.
Court buzz all over town
Power players lunching at the Palm were buzzing all week about the high court – how many vacancies and how soon. Bush opponents fear he may have the opportunity to fill not only Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s slot but also that of Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor before the first Tuesday in October.
Birthday boy and his toys
Hermen Greenberg and his beautiful wife, Monica, hosted a glorious “Country Picnic” complete with a country band at their well-manicured Rutledge Farm in Middleburg, Va., on Sunday afternoon. The occasion was Hermen’s birthday, but he bought 1,000 toys and since there were three generations of longtime family friends on hand, they were a big hit with the youngsters. Well-wishers – Norma Lee and Morton Funger, Grace and Morton Bender, Susan and Larry Harris, Mary Ann and Eivind Bjerke, Rosemary Bogley, Ridgeback breeder Jay Hyman, Ray Poston, Wyatt and Tandy Dickerson, and his daughter, Elizabeth Sinclair, who is the ex-wife of Greg Earls, now residing at Federal Medical Center Devens prison outside Boston – as well as Hermen’s brothers, Harold and Raymond Greenberg and their wives, and his sister, Lee Kirstein – enjoyed the magnificent tented buffet lunch from bison to birthday cake.
Bed, board and Bufferin
I ran into Ward 5 Council Member Vincent Orange the other evening at a party at Morton’s, where the D.C. mayoral candidate discussed the pros of a new stadium to be built in Council Member Sharon Ambrose’s district: “If you get tired after a game, there’s a hotel there; if you get hungry after a game, there’s a fine dining restaurant there; and if you get a headache [presumably from too much cheering or too much beer], there’s a CVS there.”
Presidential hospitality at its finest
Actor Geena Davis, who plays the first female president in the upcoming ABC TV series “Commander-In-Chief,” which is now in production, told President Bush she’d never seen the Oval Office. So of course POTUS obligingly arranged an escorted tour for her.
Two embassies tango for U.S. retail biz
The Brazilians and Bolivians teamed up last Tuesday to host a dinner and cultural evening that featured Argentina’s premier tango duo and ended with Bolivia’s dramatic and colorful Diabolos dancers. South American ambassadors from Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay and Venezuela joined in the fun. Bolivian Ambassador Jaime Aparicio and his chic wife, Pamela, and Georgetown boutique owner Keith Lippert organized this event for the National Retail Federation, which included chief executive officers from 30 of the largest companies in the United States, including Sears, Radio Shack and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The dinner was hosted by Brazilian Ambassador Roberto Abdenur and Mrs. Abdenur. Guests dined on seared sea scallop with lump crabmeat followed by red snapper and beef medallions. The party then moved to the Bolivian Embassy, where the ambassador and Mrs. Aparicio hosted guests for dessert and entertainment. Ambassador Aparicio was delighted with the evening: “This event was an initial step to build bridges in the Americas and show the potential of South America as a region and trading partner with the largest retailers from across the United States.”
Bellissima! Sophia is coming
The National Italian American Foundation is planning a big 30th anniversary Washington gala on Oct. 15. One of the film industry’s great sex symbols, Sophia Loren, a frequent and most charming dinner guest at the Clinton White House, has agreed to attend.