Ourisman: Soon to be ambassador?

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • May 09, 2006

by Karen Feld

We hear that Mary Ourisman is up for an ambassadorship. Her pals report background calls from the FBI. When asked about it, Ourisman — with husband Mandy, of the auto dealer family, and former ambassador Stuart Bernstein and his wife, Wilma, at the star-studded Kennedy Center’s 35th anniversary gala on Sunday evening — coyly replied: “I don’t have a clue.” The Ourismans are big GOP contributors, and Mary, who went to school in Austin, was director of development for GOPAC, a major Republican Party fundraising entity. The first lady was a surprise guest at Mary’s Texas-themed 50th birthday luncheon in February.

A quick save at the Sulgrave

On the eve of their Saturday wedding, power couple Marguerite Sallee and Mort Kondracke celebrated at an elegant dinner dance at the Sulgrave Club with friends: Judy Woodruff and Al Hunt; David and Ann Gergen; Rep. Roy Blunt and wife Abby; Rep. Mark Kirk and wife Kimberly; the other Beltway Boy, Fred Barnes; and tennis coach Kathy Kemper and Jim Valentine. When Frank Carlucci passed out during daughter Andrea Kondracke’s toast, one guest yelled, “We need a doctor!” Andrea, a medical resident at Columbia University, was right there. Fortunately, Carlucci was back on his feet and dancing at the wedding the next day. The groom sang an original song to his bride, “Make Someone Happy.” The evening then turned into a fun sing-along.

Green Book-worthy newlyweds

The wedding ceremony took place at St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House on Saturday morning followed by reception on the Hay-Adams roof. Guests included: Gen. Colin Powell and wife Alma; Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld and wife Doris; Jean and Steve Case; Bill and Lynda Webster; Juan Williams; Charles Krauthammer; Wolf and Lynn Blitzer; Bill and Honey Alexander; Walter and Cathy Isaacson; David and Catherine Bradley; and the nominee for secretary of the interior, Idaho Gov. Dick Kempthorne. Marguerite’s family, staying at the Hay-Adams, had an additional bonus later that afternoon. They watched out their windows as President and Mrs. Bush and former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush went to the same church for the wedding of Alexander Ellis IV and Sarah Aker. Ellis’ father is the president’s first cousin.

Mort joked that he has lived in Washington for 30 years and had never heard of the Green Book — the local social register — until the couple was nominated to be included last week.

Everyone’s talking about Lerner …

Ted Lerner, the new Washington Nationals owner, who has spent most of his 80 years avoiding the spotlight, is the talk of the town. Even Mark Russell, at the Shoreham Hotel’s 75th anniversary gala the other evening, quipped: “There hasn’t been this much money in one room since Ted Lerner dined alone” and “The Shoreham Hotel opened in 1930, when Ted Lerner was 5 years old. His parents gave him a baseball and a set of blocks — Bethesda!” … Steve Bralove, son of the original owner of the historic hotel, said that his locker at Woodmont Country Club is next to that of Lerner, but he’s been “very tight-lipped.” … By the way, Lerner is still an avid tennis player. Other club members have dubbed Lerner’s club nook “the locker.”

… And it’s all positive

And at the Kennedy Center spring gala — celebrating 35 years and named in honor of our 35th president — Fred Malek was accepting condolences from guests on not winning the Nationals franchise … D.C. Council Member Jack Evans accepting accolades for his help in bringing the team to D.C. and getting the new stadium built … In the “I’ve-know-Ted-Lerner-since …” category: Washingtonian Al Small said he was in real estate deals with him, and Marvin Weisberg knew him from their high school days. And — so rare in this town — only positive words about the entire Lerner family.

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