- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2002

'A' List
Waging war against terrorists doesn't stop Washington's most powerful players from pausing for refreshment. And chances are this year that Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld will be the life of the party.
Inside the Beltway has stolen a peek at "The 2002 Washington A List," published every year by Washington Life magazine. Each year, the list of 60 or so power couples, compiled in secret committee, welcomes some new faces and bids adieu to some familiar others.
Mr. Rumsfeld and his wife, Joyce, for the first time have made the A list thanks, in large measure, to Osama bin Laden and his gang of thugs, who not only elevated the popular Pentagon chief into the limelight, but also exposed his charming chutzpah.
And who would have ever placed an ambassador from Pakistan into the mix of Washington elite? Now, in between bites of her crab cake, Maleeha Lodhi can educate fellow A-teamers like Michael Jordan (new on the 2002 list) and Mrs. Paul Mellon on topics such as Kashmir and the Taliban.
Speaking of new faces in the D.C. party circle, no 2002 gala is complete or secure without the presence of Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and his wife, Michele, who join old-timers such as Ben Bradlee, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Jack Valenti.
Interestingly enough, missing from last year's A List but making this year's (even though he has announced he's leaving town after his current congressional term expires) is House Majority Leader Dick Armey. Also arriving from Capitol Hill for the first time are House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and his wife.
And President Bush must be enjoying what "Miss Maureen Dowd" is opining on of late, for the lady scribe for the first time is among the list of heavyweights.
Other newcomers: Her Majesty Queen Noor al Hussein of Jordan, who has been spending more time in Washington that Cindy and John McCain (who remain on the list), Supreme Court Justice and Mrs. Stephen G. Breyer, Mr. and Mrs. Ted Koppel, Sen. and Mrs. John Edwards, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul.
Most noticeably scratched off the list?
EPA Administrator Christie Whitman; Sens. Fred Thompson, John W. Warner and Dianne Feinstein; and former senatorial powerbrokers Howard H. Baker and his wife, Nancy Landon Kassebaum.
"Last year, with the election dragging on, the selection committee could only surmise who would be important in the new [Bush] administration," Washington Life Editor in Chief Nancy Bagley tells Inside the Beltway. "Some were thought to have a more important role than it turns out they have.
"But then again, they could easily be back next year," she says.

Heads with heels
It's not your father's Washington anymore.
Today, the stage for the swearing-in ceremony of Teresa C. Chambers as the chief of the U.S. Park Police will be shared by three women, each of them first in their respective positions.
Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton, who will administer today's oath, is the first woman to head the 152-year-old Interior Department. Fran Mainella happens to be the first female director of the 86-year-old National Park Service. And Chief Chambers is the first woman to serve as chief of police in the 210-year history of the U.S. Park Police.

Safe hunting
Good grief, we hope we didn't foul up plans for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairmen's Council "Pheasant Shoot" fund raiser in Boonsboro, Md.
Dogs, guides and 12- and 20-gauge shells will be provided by the committee for the March 11 hunt. All participants need to do is supply their own shotguns and obtain a hunting license (oh, and pay a registration fee of $2,000).
Rep. Nita M. Lowey, chairman of the committee who is holding the shoot, suggested Democrats pick up hunting licenses before the shoot at "Dick's Sporting Goods or Wal-Mart."
What she failed to mention in the invitation, as we were reminded yesterday, is that Maryland requires that all hunters complete a state-certified hunter-safety education course. More than a dozen readers sent us copies of the state's hunting regulations, including Todd R. Lowery.
"I hope that Representative Lowey and her colleagues have taken this course, as I would not want to see them hunting illegally," writes Mr. Lowery. "I mean as so-called 'champions' of gun control and thereby protecting the citizens from the hordes of crazy, beer-guzzling hicks with guns, Ms. Lowey and her colleagues, I'm sure, know the basic requirements for obtaining a hunting permit.
"Moreover, I reckon that Ms. Lowey and the DCCC would have serious problems with supplying unlicensed and unsafe persons with firearms."
No immediate comment was received yesterday from the committee.
Unfortunately for the Democratic hunters, very few hunter-safety courses are given this time of year in Maryland.


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