Lady Maggie Thatcher may not be wielding power these days but The Iron Lady wasn’t the least bit shy about displaying her disdain for political consultants while schmoozing with William and Mary College educators in Williamsburg, Va. On the heels of one mid-term political election, Lady Thatcher recalled the mishaps of another: “Had it not been for political consultants who gave Jeb Bush bad advice to attack his opponent (Lawton Chiles) in the last election, Jeb would have won (the Gubernatorial race) in Florida.” Of course Lady Thatcher and Jeb’s dad, former President George Bush, continue to enjoy a mutual admiration society.
Scotland Yard, apparently, accustomed to Mrs. Thatcher’s strong opinions, directed University relations to bar press during her address to students. But the students were quick to report her support of former dictator Augusto Pinochet’s extradition to Chile.
Ottawa born composer and singer, Paul Anka was a big hit in Washington the other evening at the venerable Warner Theatre. A modern rendition of oldies from his new album, “Body of Work”, brought down the house. Fellow Canadian Celine Dion who will grace the crowd with her voice at Larry King’s Cardiac Foundation benefit later this month is featured on the new album. Anka’s only mention of “the ‘M’ topic” was when he joked that he got a note from Bill Clinton, saying he used to make-out to my songs before Hillary took out the stereo. “Enough said.” Anka’s invitation to the White House is in the mail.
Celine Dion isn’t the only entertainer using her celebrity status to promote good causes in Washington this month. Soprano Denyce Graves will sing for the Children’s Defense Fund’s 25th anniversary gala. That association continues one of Hillary Clinton’s pet charities since her days on the Board.
The Clintons, always at home with the show biz crowd, honored rock and roll legend Fats Domino, actor Gregory Peck, novelist Philip Roth, tapper Gwen Verdon choreographer Jacques d’Amboise, and Metropolitan opera soprano Roberta Peters at the White House this week for their contributions to the arts.
Georgetown is abuzz that actor Michael Douglas and controversial New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd are quite the item. They made a big splash partying with the Al Gores, actress Lauren Bacall, Sony President Howard Stringer et al at retired Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn’s 20th anniversary soiree. Earlier this week President Clinton’s own sexual escapades with Monica Lewinsky played a role in American mid-term elections, albeit the reverse of that anticipated. But ironically, Bill Clinton’s detractors are still buzzing about the envoy he fired for sexual advances to embassy secretaries. Former Ambassasdor John Hicks’ actions while serving in Eritrea, a small country on the Red Sea, would likely have gone unnoticed had it not been for Ken Starr’s investigation into President Clinton’s own affairs of the heart and Paula Jones’ accusations. Apparently when it comes to Clinton appointees, it’s a case of ‘don’t do as I do but . . .’ Clinton had appointed the career foreign service office to the ambassadorial post two years ago.