- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Before Nick Jonas took the podium Monday at the National Press Club, the audience was reminded that no screaming adulation would be permitted in the presence of the teen idol. Clapping was fine, but anyone who screamed would be escorted out.

The concerns about proper decorum, however, did little to temper the enthusiasm of the young and vocal fans as the 16-year-old heartthrob — one-third of the Jonas Brothers — spoke about his struggle with diabetes.

You may recall: In an effort to raise public awareness for his disease, young Mr. Jonas was in town last month to testify on Capitol Hill along with dozens of other youngsters afflicted with it.

“That was amazing to be a part of. Such an honor. I was very thankful to be a part of it,” Nick replied when asked by one attendee (via the event’s moderator) to describe his Hill experience.

“I was a little nervous when I spoke, but it was great to see that it went over well. I’ve seen a lot of the kids that were there in some of the cities that we’ve gone to, and it’s great to see them again and to see that they’re now doing things in their own community and their states, that they’re going out and trying to raise awareness and speak out about diabetes and fund research and hopefully find a cure one day.”

Another attendee asked about Nick’s visit to the White House.

“I’ve always had this dream of becoming president one day,” he confessed. “I’ve thought about it a lot, and so just being there was kind of cool, to see the history and being in the White House. It was such an honor, and we were able to play an acoustic set for the Obama girls and some of their friends.”

He added that he has joked with his brothers about getting a bumper sticker made for his future bid for the presidency that would read, “Jonas 2040.”

Does he expect to return to Washington in the near future?

“I’m not completely sure when I’m coming back next but definitely would love to. It’s my second visit in the last couple of months, and it’s a great place to come to speak out about important things like this.”

Hey, if Nick Jonas pursues his dream of becoming president, we’ll definitely be seeing much more of him in the coming years.

Grand old rally

Attention, Granny: If you’ve been looking for an excuse to visit your grandkids in the nation’s capital, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is happy to provide one.

We hear that Mr. Reich, who served under President Clinton and is a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, will hold a rally on Sept. 13, Grandparents Day, demanding that President Obama include a “public option” in his highly polarizing health care package.

Mr. Reich’s choice of dates is not, we repeat not, coincidental.

“I’ve just become a grandparent, and I’m worried … about the kind of world my little granddaughter is inheriting,” Mr. Reich has been quoted as saying.

Our friends at grandparents.com are elated that the holiday honoring our elders is getting some love. After all, most people just send a card or call, but Mr. Reich wants to put the nanas and grampies of the world in the center of a national debate.

“If Grandparents Day can be hijacked, by political groups of either stripe, or, for that matter, by car dealers or charity telethons, that means the holiday, now in its 30th year, has finally arrived,” says Gary Drevitch, senior editor of grandparents.com. The group has not taken a position on the health care plan but will “absolutely” be organizing around the rally to promote the importance of grandparents and their special holiday.

“Just like Washington’s birthday or Labor Day, Grandparents Day is open for business,” he said. “Gentlemen, start your white sales.”

No word on whether wheelchairs and dentures will be provided by Mr. Reich at the rally.

Hail to the co-chief

Speaking of rallies, our buddies at the Creative Coalition, the nonprofit advocacy group made up mostly of actors who lobby for arts funding, have added a new cheerleader to their galaxy of stars.

We hear that actress Dana Delany, known for playing the imperious Katherine Mayfair on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” will join actor Tim Daly as co-president of the bipartisan group, replacing actor Tony Goldwyn.

Now in its 20th year, the organization was highly visible at the national political conventions last summer and held several soirees built around the presidential inauguration and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year.

Our sources tell us Miss Delany will be coming to Washington more often in her new role. We think she’ll have plenty of “imperious housewives” in Georgetown to buddy up to.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail undercover@washingtontimes.com.

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