COLUMNS

Political survivor?

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • April 20, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz

Don’t “DeLay” explanations! Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich talked to The Buzz about advice he’d give embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. “He has to brief the country on why what he did is justifiable. He’ll have to reach out to show he’s cooperating in the investigation and why he has a case to make.” We’re not sure Newt meant via a six-page e-mail to his Texas constituents, but it’s certainly a step in that direction. It begs the question, will he survive politically? “I don’t know,” says Gingrich, “but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.”

Hmmm, smells like … Beltway-speak

Despite the fact that the White House dispatched Karl Rove, an old friend of DeLay associates and lobbyists Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed, to call Democratic attacks on DeLay “drivel,” it appears as though the White House has decided that Leader DeLay is a liability. A recent Wall Street Journal editorial said he “smells like Beltway.” It’s unlikely that the conservative Wall Street Journal would print such a thing without talking to a White House source. Coincidently, President Bush’s new chief speechwriter, William McGurn, was previously chief editorial writer for the Journal. Just a whiff of the Beltway – the perception is bad enough, whether or not it’s found that he violated House Ethics, campaign finance rules, or took questionable junkets. The odor seems to be offensive to GOP loyalists, and the president has distanced himself from Rove on this one.

Restless Dems ready for 2008

We’re still recovering from last summer’s round of political conventions, but one savvy and politically astute woman who’s looking ahead is Mame Reiley, top aide to Gov. Mark Warner, D-Va. She set up Howard Dean’s office at the DNC, and the inside word is that she’ll be named co-chairman of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Looking to succeed NAB’s Fritts

Eddie Fritts says he’s retiring after 23 years as head of the National Association of Broadcasters. No replacement has been chosen to step into those big shoes, but names floated include Disney’s Washington VP Mitch Rose, who is a protege of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Ark., and Marty Franks, executive VP at CBS-TV.

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Tennis benefit slams a quarter mil and bike ride with BoltonTennis Hall of Famer Virginia Wade autographed a program for Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., one of those who along with NBC’s Bob Okun, Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., former Rep. Guy Vander Jagt, R-Mich., and Ronald Reagan’s Defense Secretary and a former CIA Deputy Director Frank Carlucci hit with the pros at the 20th annual PhRMA/Volkswagen Celebrity Tennis Gala at the McLean Racquet and Health Club on Saturday evening. The event raised $240,000 for cystic fibrosis – including an auction item that went for $800 – a half-hour ride on the back of Josh Bolton’s motorcycle. (Caution to winner: Carry a comb or chances are that by the end of the ride your hair might look like the U.N. ambassador nominee.)

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Tennis v. baseball: Go figure

Between matches players watched – what else? – the Nats on a large-screen TV, which prompted pro Sherwood Stewart to express his preference for tennis because “in baseball,” he said, “the strike zone is too small.”

But Baird likes baseball; in fact, he’s been working on his playing form for the 44th Annual Congressional Baseball Game on June 23 at RFK Stadium. Baird has been using a machine to simulate wind resistance, and hopes to pitch from the new hydraulic mound at RFK.

Untold stories

Mike Deaver, who was President Reagan’s longtime confidant, plans to share some untold private reminiscences from his last visit with the former president. The occasion is America’s Great Generations Gala to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association tomorrow night at the Grand Hyatt. George and Trish Vradenburg, a playwright who wrote “Surviving Grace” about her mother’s battle with the dreaded disease, chair the event. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Mark and Eunice Shriver, and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card are scheduled to attend.

The other Quayle

Watch Marilyn Quayle! The buzz is she’s eyeing a run for governor of Arizona. The former vice president and his wife live in Paradise Valley, Ariz.

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