Not-so-trivial presidential pursuits

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • December 16, 2005

by Karen Feld

Texan Noah McCullough is only 10 years old, but the presidential trivia expert has already co-hosted Jay Leno‘s show – and says he’s a 2032 GOP presidential hopeful. In February, Noah’s first book, “The Essential Book of Presidential Trivia,” will be published to coincide with Presidents Day. I received an advance copy of the 250-page paperback, in which, thinking ahead, he even acknowledges his future attorney general. The book is filled with inspirational trivia: “President Grant couldn’t stand the sight of blood.” Perhaps that explains why he became president instead of a doctor – but not why he was an Army general. We also learn that “Grant, who died of throat cancer, swabbed his throat each day with cocaine and became addicted to it.”MBA prez with low heart rate

As for more recent presidential trivia, Noah tells us that President George W. Bush, the only president with an MBA and the lowest heart rate of anyone in the job, once “repaired his broken bed with neckties.” Of course, we all know that repairing low approval ratings isn’t quite so easy. But certainly that knowledge gives us hope.

Raj: Soon an ‘Apprentice’ rep?

Raj Bhakta, 29, the creative and brazen bow-tied Vail, Colo., real estate developer from NBC’s “The Apprentice,” wants to run for Congress as a Republican in Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District, the seat held by freshman Democrat Allyson Schwartz. Raj is a resident of Fort Washington, Pa., and got fired on week nine – and then asked out Robin, Donald Trump‘s receptionist. He’s free-market oriented on biz issues and pro-choice, calls himself a modern GOP, and he’s half-Indian and half-Irish. But let’s not forget one of Raj’s quotes that may come back to haunt him: “You want me to be a politician for you and bring in who I think is the best sacrificial lamb?” Or “There’s a spin on it! Like a tricky Democrat!” to Anna Kournikova, while trying to return her tennis serve.

Swann seeks gov pass

Bhakta might not be the only celebrity challenger in the Keystone State: Former Pittsburgh Steeler Lynn Swann plans to run as a Republican in the gubernatorial race.

Kay watching Hillary

If Hillary Clinton lands atop the Democrat ticket in 2008, watch Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Insiders say she’s looking at the second spot on the GOP ticket if her colleague Clinton runs. I hear that’s why she didn’t go for governor.

Overbooked Marvin

Marvin Hamlisch has a full plate – and something is likely to get knocked off. Not only is he still composing and touring, but he’s principal pops conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra as well as orchestras in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, N.Y., and, most recently, San Diego. We hear that Palm Beach, Fla., is negotiating with him as well. We know he’ll keep the NSO, based at the Kennedy Center, as a priority, but I hear that he’ll resign from either Pittsburgh or Buffalo in order to concentrate on the other cities.

Stranger in a strange land

Whoever said there’s not a connection between entertainment and politics? Barbra Streisand fans who would like to see the songbird receive a Kennedy Center Honor should think about voting for Hillary in 2008. We hear that Streisand turned down the top honor this year because she didn’t want to even come to Washington during a Bush administration – much less attend the State Department and White House receptions hosted by the administration.

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