Friday, June 17, 2005

Where's Bubba?

Hollywood on the Potomac
by Janet Donovan

Celebrities and politicians "spring from the same DNA". Jack Valenti

Where's Bubba?

When The Governor of Montana offered me his silver neckpiece at Rock the Vote's 15th Anniversary Gala at The National Building Museum, I knew I was at the right party. "This seal is on every government door knob", quipped Brian Schweitzer, the state's first Democratic Governor since 1988. However, the thought of resembling a door knob at a chi-chi party prompted me to politely decline the offer in favor of a future purchase on the state's website.

How did a Democrat get elected in a Red State? "I spoke to Bubba. He liked me." Bubba, of course, refers to the 42nd President of The United States who has been known to influence an election on sheer charisma. As for what part of Montana 42 liked best is anyone's guess but here, take a crack at it: clean air, clean water, great hunting, great fishing or liberal Marijuana laws.

"There are Republicans in Blue States and Democrats in Red States. We have to have a little fun and lighten up," continued Schweitzer on the intensity of politics so prevalent in society today.

Sounds like a plan. Too bad The Supreme Court just overturned state marijuana laws.

As for Bubba, he was a no show which didn't bother Jack Kemp who was more than happy to share temporary rock star status with Senator John McCain.

Kemp, the former American Football League All-Star turned Congressman turned Secretary of HUD turned Republican Vice Presidential candidate turned free market advocate, was in splendid form.

Referring to Rock the Vote protesters, he queried: "What's wrong with encouraging young people to vote?" He then compared the "rent-a-crowd" noisemakers to right-wing nuts. It was an odd statement coming from a man so closely aligned with The Heritage Foundation, Washington's foremost ultra conservative stronghold. Perhaps it's true that his name is being floated for a presidential bid in 2008.

Kemp and former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe bantered about bi-partisanship at the award presentations. "I may be for Hillary and I may be for McCain." TMc "Let me as a Republican salute Obama." JK "The point is to get out the vote." TMc "Let's do something really popular and get out of here." JK

Rock the Vote is an organization that empowers young people as a political force and the evening raised around $700,000.

Overheard: "They left him alone in the Green Room and forgot he was there." Sister 2 Sister Publisher Jamie Foster Brown on the disappearing act of headliner Senator Barack Obama. Former RIAA honcho Hillary Rosen: "Jack Kemp needs to get down with The Black Eyed Peas later cause they have more in common than they know." Former Rep. Susan Molinari on her fabulous handbag sporting photos of her two children: "My husband gave it to me for Christmas," referring to her husband former New York Congressman Bill Paxon.

Seen: Rep. Mary Bono with long dark hair and bangs looking very Cheresque. Senator John McCain , surpise surprise holding court.

Photo: The Governor of Montana: Washington Life photographer Douglas Sonders

The Garden Party

Ricky Nelson would have been pleased with The Garden Party at the home of National Journal Publisher John Fox Sullivan and his talented wife Beverly held in honor of Bob Merry, Publisher of Congressional Quarterly.

Guests were relieved to know their so called "family feud" was just folklore. The two publishing rivals have actually remained good friends all these years and get a kick out of the so-called discord. So how did this rumor start?

According to Merry, The National Journal was founded by disgruntled CQ employees in 1969 and the competition began. "John and I never pass up an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in what is a very brutal market to out maneuver the other at every turn." This night was an exception. The only maneuvering going on was getting to the bar in a hundred plus crowd including political pundit Mark Shields, Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, and author Jim Dickensen.

SANDS OF EMPIRE, Merry's just published book, is receiving kudos from both sides of the political aisle, although not lacking in high voltage controversy.

Well, gotta go now and help find Obama, so that's all folks!

Yup. That's All!