COLUMNS

New Year’s political fears

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • December 20, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz
New rumors of Jack Abramoff-related indictments are being whispered all over town. Consensus is that the scandal may hit both parties before it’s over. … Year-end White House damage control on Iraq may ease any stressors in the new year and help Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito sail through the Senate confirmation process, as Democrats worry that President Bush could have the opportunity to appoint another Supreme or two while in office. … Republicans facing re-election are lining the president up early in the election cycle. He can help them raise money next spring. But, unless his approval ratings soar, many are saying they don’t want to take the chance on him coming into their districts as we get closer to the November midterm elections.

Bubba lauds Elton

Former President Bill Clinton sent video remarks for Sir Elton John‘s pre-wedding “hen night” cabaret last night at the Too2Much nightclub in Soho, England. “If there were more people like Elton, the world would be a better place,” Clinton said. John is marrying longtime partner David Furnish at Windsor’s Guildhall followed by a reception for 700 at Woodside, John’s home in Berkshire. John and Furnish were frequent guests at the Clinton White House, and the former president has hit the links with Sir Elton as well.

Grudge rematch pits two ‘Contenders’

Two contestants from the NBC boxing show “The Contender,” including local boxer Jimmy Lange, are fighting for a major championship title at George Mason University’s Patriot Center in Fairfax. Lange challenges Joey Gilbert Feb. 18 for the North American Boxing Middleweight Championship. The grudge rematch pits two rising talents with the NABO Middleweight title at stake.

Very fly: Bill & Lynda go fishin’

Bill Webster, the former FBI and CIA director, has found a place in the world he’s never ventured. He and his wife, Lynda, will go fly-fishing over the holidays in Argentina, where he says he’s hoping to catch a lot of trout.

Sighting

Former Homeland Security honcho Tom Ridge at Café Milano Thursday evening. … Speaking of security, some readers are wondering why concerns over that have been minimized in the new baseball stadium lease discussions. The proposed site east of the Anacostia River is surrounded by federal buildings.

Carol, ‘you’ve gotta have heart’

D.C. Council Member Carol Schwartz, a key vote on the baseball stadium lease, was at Arena Stage’s opening of “Damn Yankees” Thursday evening, sitting in the front row wearing bright red. Schwartz was among the audience members holding up baseball placards. No word as to whether the musical revival influenced her vote – or caused her to sell her soul to win the pennant.

Faked out by Jack?

We hear that baseball supporter Jack Evans made a last-minute deal with council chairman hopeful Kathy Patterson. He offered to withdraw from the chairman’s race in exchange for Patterson’s vote in support of the baseball lease. But, as we reported in this column months ago, he had planned to withdraw from the race regardless.

And here’s an interesting statistic: 75 percent of Nationals fans – at least those attending games – live in the Maryland or Virginia ‘burbs, not the city itself. That means they can’t vote for the council members voting today on the stadium lease for the site near South Capitol Street and the Anacostia River.

Life’s curveballs

Turn down one dream job offer, and you never know where the next will take you. Baseball fan Ralph Cicerone, the new president of the National Academy of Sciences and former chancellor of the University of California at Irvine, was offered the job of announcer for the San Diego Padres in 1980. That’s a far cry from being an atmospheric scientist shaping environmental policy, but at least this sports fan ended up in a city with a baseball team.

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