It didn’t surprise anyone when Sam Donaldson told his colleague Barbara Walters at the Spina Bifida Roast at the Hyatt Regency the other evening: “You are the second most qualified person I know to sit on the Supreme Court.” Somehow, we don’t think he had Bush-nominee Harriet Miers in mind for No. 1.Walters, just back from Saudi Arabia, called the roast, “very gentle.” “It was more like a bake-off,” she said.
Actually, the best lines of the evening were those delivered by Walters herself, such as this one directed at Bush confidante and roaster Karen Hughes, who is heading the nation’s public diplomacy efforts: “Karen is now undersecretary of state for public diplomacy. I think that means keeping Ferragamo open late for Condoleezza Rice.” And “I can’t decide if Sam [Donaldson] reminds me of ABC News or ABC Carpet,” quipped Walters, who surprised many when she called Donaldson the best White House correspondent in history.
Overheard at the Walters roast: Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., introducing her husband, Sidney, to former Rep. Paul Rogers, D-Fla., often referred to as “Mr. Health”: “This [Rogers] is God.”
Moves, political and otherwise
Former President Jimmy Carter’s son, Jack, 58, is considering a challenge to Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., for his seat next year. Jack Carter and his wife live in Las Vegas, where he operates an investment firm. … Word is that Cynthia McFadden will replace Ted Koppel when ABC’s “Nightline” moves to New York in January. … One of Washington’s most popular chefs, Ris Lacoste of 1789, plans to leave at the end of year to open her own restaurant.
The Clinton & Stewart show
Bill Clinton will be honored yet again, this time at the World Financial Center in Manhattan, when the American Red Cross of Greater New York celebrates its 100th birthday on Oct. 20. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” will emcee the dinner.
Moonlighting at top dollar
Like many students, famed White House intern Monica Lewinsky wants to earn spending money while studying at the London School of Economics. But this grad student is not pounding the pavement. Her representative, Barbara Hutson, is looking for a British media outlet to pay Lewinsky for her first interview as a U.K. resident. While Lewinsky is trying to live a quiet life and find a nice guy to marry, as she’s said to pals, a few extra bucks in the form of six figures can’t hurt. The asking price for this talk: $100,000.
A dozen for the book biz
Upcoming books by Washington author Christopher Buckley – “Boomsday,” a comic novel about baby boomers, mass suicide and the collapse of the economy – and Vanity Fair contributing editor Christopher Hitchens – “God Is Not Great: The Case Against Religion” – are among the first acquired for the new Warner imprint, Warner Twelve. Publisher Jonathan Karp says they intend to release one book per month beginning in April 2007.
Beattie snags a Rea
Another Karp protÃ©gÃ©, native Washingtonian, American University alumna and novelist (“Vermont” and “Weekend”) Ann Beattie (CAS ’69), the Edgar Allan Poe professor of English and creative writing at the University of Virginia, just won the coveted $30,000 Rea Award, which was established in 1986 by Michael M. Rea, a publisher and collector of first-edition short stories. Previous short story winners include Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Ford and Canadian writer Alice Munro.
Kate, check NIH coke study
Beleaguered model Kate Moss, who was released from key contracts after being photographed doing cocaine, can find a work opportunity here in the nation’s capital. The National Institutes of Health is sponsoring research opportunities for current cocaine users interested in participating in an inpatient drug research study at their clinical pharmacology unit in Bethesda.
Pets lost and found
Kudos to D.C. resident Dan Cohen, founder of Animal Attraction, a Web site that connects people through pets. He traveled to Gonzalez, La., where the largest animal shelter for hurricane victims is located, to help petfinders.com put together a system to ID pets and place the information and photos on the Internet for owners to search.