- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2001

A List

We've stolen a peek at the new "Washington Social A List for 2001," which as with any change in presidential administrations welcomes some new faces and bids adieu to familiar others.

Like Bill Clinton's pal Vernon Jordan, who's fallen from this year's list of social elite, which will be published tomorrow by Washington Life.

Also noticeably absent from the new A-list is former Republican Sen. William S. Cohen, defense secretary under President Clinton.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew M. Cuomo is also gone, partying now with the New York social set in his bid to become the state's next governor.

And whatever became of Bob and Elizabeth Dole? The loyal Republican husband-and-wife team made last year's A-list, but now are nowhere to be found.

Making room, perhaps, for Sen. John McCain and wife Cindy, two new additions to the A-team after their impressive showing in the 2000 presidential contest.

Mr. Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton remain on the A-list, albeit listed now in the alphabetical category beneath new headliners President and Mrs. George W. Bush and Vice President and Mrs. Richard B. Cheney.

The 2001 list, containing 60 or so power couples, also makes room for Mr. Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card, and his wife, Kathleen, as well as presidential brother Marvin and sister Doro Bush Koch, who each live in the Washington suburbs.

Also new to this year's list is Republican House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and his wife, Jean, and keeping their solid standing among the privileged is Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and his wife, Vicki.

After all, as Washington Life Editor in Chief Nancy Bagley tells Inside the Beltway, "It's always more fun when you have a Kennedy in the house."

Bush league

Somebody goofed at the Web site www.whitehouse.org, which publishes the right biography of the nation's 43rd president, George W. Bush, but the wrong picture.

The familiar face in the photo would instead be the nation's 41st president, former President George Bush. The Web site has now seen fit to correct that error by putting in the picture of the current president finally getting their Bushes straightened out.

Redrawing Dreier

Democrats don't mind saying that "successful redistricting is the key to a Democratic House majority in 2002."

Sound suspect?

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) points to "opportunities and pitfalls" for both parties, but is optimistic that once redistricting is completed next year its candidates can improve the chances of winning back the House in as many as 43 states.

The DNC cites the fastest growing demographic group, Hispanics, who generally support Democrats by a 2-1 margin. Those numbers could prove key in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, the latter enjoying Democratic control of the governorship and the state legislature.

In fact, the buzz on Capitol Hill this week would have one of the Republican Party's most powerful members, House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, to be especially vulnerable were his suburban Los Angeles County district significantly redrawn by the Democratic majority.

The 11-term Republican isn't flinching.

"Anyone who can come to the conclusion that someone like David Dreier is going to be vulnerable either doesn't know how to read a map or they don't know how to look at figures," the chairman's chief of staff, Brad Smith, tells Inside the Beltway.

"This idea that there are no living Republicans left in the county of Los Angeles is just absurd," he said. "In order to eliminate a David Dreier district, you'd have to eliminate the cities of Arcadia, Glendora and Pasadena, all of which are a very strong hold, not only for Dreier, but for Republicans. And there just aren't enough cities to counter that. It would be almost impossible to draw out David Dreier."

Still, pinning their hopes on a redistricting analysis by Democratic strategist Mark Gersh, Democrats remain encouraged overall. They say their party is underrepresented in several congressional delegations "relative to partisan voting strength," citing Georgia and North Carolina as examples two more states where Democrats enjoy gubernatorial and legislative control.

Mikulski, hands down

Who is the funniest woman on Capitol Hill?

A record number of women now serve in the hallowed halls of Congress, and "this higher amount of estrogen on the Hill has not only led to a heightened sense of civic responsibility, but a heightened sense of humor," said Cindy Urman, who's helped organize heated competition to find the "Funniest Woman on the Hill."

The Marshalls' Women in Comedy Festival and Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, are asking female lawmakers to recite their best political jokes. Each joke will be matched by a $1,000 donation to My Sister's Place, a Washington shelter for abused women and their children.

One of the funniest political comediennes in history, Paula Poundstone, will judge the entries, with the funniest woman announced next Thursday in Mrs. Boxer's office. This column's money is on Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat.

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