- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Can't get enough

Alfred A. Knopf, which is forking over a record amount of dough $12 million, reportedly to publish Bill Clinton's memoirs, is also gearing up to publish an unauthorized biography of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, written by Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein.

"It's going well; we're down to the last stages" of writing the book, Mr. Bernstein tells Inside the Beltway in a telephone interview from New York. The unsanctioned look into the life and career of Mrs. Clinton, New York Democrat, will be published in 2003.

"Hillary Clinton is very well-known, but very little is known about her," Mr. Bernstein says, suggesting that he might have a page-turner on his hands. But that's as far as he'll go.

"One thing Bob [Woodward] and I learned long ago," he says, "is that you don't talk about things until they come out."

It will be interesting to see whether Mrs. Clinton can publish her own memoirs before Mr. Bernstein's book is released. She is reportedly being paid upwards of $8.5 million by Simon & Schuster for her personal reflections. Mrs. Clinton's book is due for release this spring, with no exact date set.

As for Mr. Clinton's "candid" memoirs, they were due for publication next year, but, as this column reported earlier this month, the notoriously tardy former commander in chief appears to be running late again.

"It's not scheduled for publication as of right now," said Paul Bogaards, executive director of Knopf.

Writing again

Yes, Virginia, there is more to life than politics.

Joshua Gilder, former White House speechwriter for President Reagan, who wrote the famous "Go ahead, make my day" speech, among other memorable speeches, has written his first novel that has nothing to do with domestic or foreign affairs.

Rather, Mr. Gilder, the co-founder of a Washington consulting firm, titles his crime thriller "Ghost Image" (Simon & Schuster), taking readers inside the operating room and under the skin of his characters. Politics or not, the Library Journal calls the book a "gripping debut by a former presidential speechwriter."

Power lunch

Bipartisan restaurateur Tommy Jacomo celebrated his 30th anniversary as general manager of the Palm yesterday, surrounded by a cast of Washington icons, who for once served him a power lunch.

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams officially proclaimed yesterday "Tommy Jacomo Day"; political satirist Mark Russell stood up to roast his longtime friend; political strategist James Carville (accompanied by his wife, senior White House official Mary Matalin) likened the atmosphere of the Palm to a "treehouse"; TV talkmeister John McLaughlin bellowed "Happy 30th, Tommy," followed by his signature "bye-bye"; NBC's Tim Russert similarly taped a special edition of "Meet the Press" for his favorite restaurateur, as did fellow network talk hosts Chris Matthews ("I always like walking into a place where the guy knows my name."), MSNBC's Pat Buchanan and Bill Press, Fox News' in-house lawyer Greta van Susteren (still glowing from plastic surgery, she revealed her "new portrait" to hang in the Palm actually a picture of singer Britney Spears), CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson ("What are the chances of us being on 'Crossfire' in 30 years?" Mr. Begala asked his co-host. "Zero," replied Mr. Carlson).

Other well-wishers included U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, former Cabinet secretary and author Bill Bennett, Redskins quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, AOL founder Jim Kimsey and talk-radio host Laura Ingraham.

Mr. Jacomo's reaction to the star-studded tribute?

"Enjoy your lunch, thank you," he said.

Some things never change

Regarding the startling Census Bureau revelation yesterday that there are more than 21 million immigrants living in the United States who speak English "less than very well" and the fact that our elected officials not only aren't concerned, but they're "accommodating" foreign-tongued arrivals with bilingual ballot cards, Inside the Beltway reader Bob Emmrich of Cincinnati observes:

"I get a U.S. Senate calendar each year from my friend in [Kentucky Republican Sen.] Jim Bunning's office. Every day has a short anecdotal story relative to that date. On Friday, Nov. 22, this year's note says: 'The Boston Gazette published a story [in 1802] noting that the rise in immigration appears to correspond with a rise in Democratic votes.'"

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