COLUMNS

Strange bed partners

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • April 27, 2005

by Karen Feld

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Former President Jimmy Carter and Bush 41’s Secretary of State James Baker, co-chairs of the Commission on Federal Election Reform organized by American University’s Center for Democracy and Election Management, met last week. The group’s members include former Senate Leader Tom Daschle and former Rep. Susan Molinari. No word yet as to how the meeting went, but Baker has made it known to pals that he doesn’t have the highest regard for that fellow from Georgia.

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Former President Jimmy Carter, left, and Former Secretary of State James Baker III, co-chairmen of the new Commission on Federal Election Reform, confer during the first public hearing at American University on April 18 in Washington. Carter and Baker were holding the first of two public hearings to examine the state of America’s federal elections and recommend improvements.

Blanchard’s theory of capital

Jim Blanchard, the former Michigan governor, congressman and ambassador to Canada, now with the D.C. law offices of Piper Rudnick, pointed out the big difference between being in politics and in the private sector. “No one gives me money anymore,” said Blanchard. “Now they ask me for it.”

Good Time Charlie back on the range

Charlie Wilson, the outrageous former congressman from east Texas, may have retired and moved back to the Lone Star State, but he’s just as outspoken as ever.

Actor Tom Hanks has purchased the film rights to his book, “Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History.” When asked whom he’d like to see play him in the film, Wilson explained, “I have no editorial control. They could make me out to be a transvestite or a kleptomaniac and I can’t do a damn thing about it.”

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Former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard, pictured in 2004, says private sector life is much different from the political arena.

Supposed to be surprise: Kemp approaching 70

Joanne Kemp is planning a 70th birthday bash for hubby Jack in Maui in July. The whole family will be there, including their two sons who played pro football, as did their dad. Meanwhile, she hopes the menu won’t have to include Jack’s fave – hot dogs. She says she’s been trying to figure out how many hot dogs he’s consumed in his lifetime … all those ball parks and stadiums.

Dose senators get some culture

Members of that private club known as the U.S. Senate have formed yet another caucus, the Senate Cultural Caucus. This one is bipartisan and is not related to the Congressional Arts caucus on the other side of the Capitol, but both are dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts and humanities. Sens. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Jim Jeffords, I-Vt., Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., are spearheading the new cultural caucus. There was once a Senate arts and humanities caucus in the ’80s co-chaired by Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., that sort of disappeared. We hope this one has more longevity.

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Kennedy
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Jeffords

One of Saks’ native artists

A lot of the striking turquoise and coral jewelry for the spring season at the local Saks Fifth Avenue stores was designed by Michelle Dupont, who operates her cottage business out of a home studio in McLean. Dupont, whose parents are Marlene and Fred Malek – he’s a partner in the Washington Baseball Club, one of the wannabe owners of the Nationals – also uses beads made from Elk antlers for necklaces.

You’re a good woman, Kristin Chenoweth

The Washington Opera is thrilled that Tony Award-winning singer-actress Kristin Chenoweth will star with Plácido Domingo in a special one-act offering of Franz Lehár’s operetta The Merry Widow as part of the Washington National Opera’s 50th anniversary celebration at the Kennedy Center in September.

In vino veritas

Whoever would have thought that the ex-wife of one of America’s richest men, Metromedia CEO John Kluge, would toil in a vineyard?

“We’re on the cusp of a huge transformation from a boutique vineyard to something bigger,” says Kristin Moses, Patricia Kluge’s stepdaughter, talking about The Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard in Charlottesville, Va. Encompassing more than 200 acres now, Moses expects the fruits of her labor to double by 2006, creating the largest winery in Virginia, already the fifth-largest wine producing state. Let’s drink to that – straight up, not “sideways”!

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