COLUMNS

Oh, behave! Blog’s-eye view of Brit politicos

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • April 22, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz

Students are posting their diaries, once private domain, online on blogs, but they aren’t the only citizen journalists. Sandra Howard, wife of Britain’s Conservative leader, Michael Howard, was thought to be ever so shy – that is, until this week when she published her daily online diary. The Tory leader’s wife sounds a bit catty dishing about her husband’s weakness for “pretty girls,” trashing first lady Cherie Blair’s hair – because she has secured London’s best hairdresser for the campaign, while she, Mrs. Howard, has to settle for early morning blow-dries from one of her husband’s staffers – and even the “cheeky buggers” in opposition parties. Perhaps, this is all just a warm up for the novel she’s penning.

Starter homes

We hear Robert Barnett, the D.C. power lawyer who made the Clinton book deals, is shopping around a book proposal by another famous name on his roster – former North Carolina senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards apparently wants to be apolitical this time (could he be strategizing to reach across party lines and appeal to grassroots America in 2008?) – and is writing an illustrated book featuring personalities’ memories of their starter homes. The book will include both Edwards’ own recollections of his first home and those of his political colleagues as well as celebrities in sports and entertainment. The book is tentatively titled “Blueprints: The Architecture of Our Lives.”

His first home was a far cry from the million dollar home they purchased last year in Carrboro, N.C., and the multi-million dollar Georgetown manse where the Edwards live now, and an even further stretch from his dream house on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Restaurant warning: Credit where credit undue

Diners at upscale restaurants around MCI Center are apparently being targeted by a gang of thieves. They snatch purses and

flee to Maryland malls and Tysons Corner where they make purchases at once. One reader told us a similar story while having drinks at Zaytinya, a favorite of Chelsea Clinton’s. Of course, the establishments want to keep this problem under wraps.

Former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, left, was roasted along with Sally Quinn on Tuesday evening by several close friends and colleagues, including Bob Woodward, right. Pictured above, Bradlee and Woodward attend a June 17, 2002 Press Club event.

Pope shirts at Post, not fit to a TPope stories abound this week. One newsie recalled when Pope John Paul II visited the U.S. in ’79, someone in The Washington Post newsroom had “Washington Pope” T-shirts made. Then president of The Washington Post, the late Kay Graham, approved the T’s with the condition that Posties never wore them out of the office.

Quinn

On the menu: Ben and Sally roast

Posties were noticeably scarce Tuesday evening at the Fairmont Hotel when the American Newswomen’s Club roasted the couple so powerful that no last names were needed – just Ben and Sally – he, former Post executive editor, and she, former Style section dominatrix, 2005 recipients of the Helen Thomas Award for Excellence in Journalism. Roaster Al Hunt, now of Bloomberg News, said, “When Nightline trotted out its baseball expert Sally Quinn, I really got goosebumps. Then she said what it would be like when the Nationals score their first touchdown.” And directed to Ben Bradlee: “I think it’s very nice she let you keep your maiden name.”

Hunt

The one-two punch

Power couples Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff, Bob Woodward and Elsa Walsh, James Carville and Mary Matalin, Chris and Kathleen Matthews, and George Stephanopoulos and Alexandra Wentworth (via video) – did a schtick portraying Ben and Sally, where she announced herself as “Deep Throat.” Post columnist Richard Cohen, who was in from New York for the occasion, explained that he was there alone “because I was supposed to appear with Nora Ephron.”

Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball pointed out that Sally “used a typewriter like an Uzie.” He went on to talk about all the careers Ben has launched – Chuck Colson, G. Gordon Liddy and Pat Buchanan. “One was the burglar and the other guy slid the red meat under the stage,” he said.

Carville
Stephanopoulos

No holds barred here. Mary Matalin, former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, quipped: “If there was any first lady of journalism it would be Jeff Gannon.” Mary also pointed out that “everyone in this town falls into one of three categories: they worship Ben, they respect Ben or they are a Nixon family member,” she said.

And her husband James Carville, erstwhile Democratic Party political advisor, held up his part of the show, too. “People say we have a mixed marriage, a Democrat and a Republican. Look at Prince Charles. They’ve got a mixed marriage – an Episcopalian and a Clydesdale.”

The last word

The gracious Bradlee curtly summed it all up, while holding four index cards: “What an honor to be roasted by such a distinguished group of hacks. If you weren’t on television, no one would have ever heard of any of you except for Woodward.”

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