- The Washington Times - Monday, August 14, 2006

Model leaders

Republican Arizona senator and presidential wannabe John McCain is doing whatever it takes to keep his figure before the American public — even if it means modeling the latest fall fashions. And he’s not alone.

Marie Claire magazine recently came to Washington to shoot a special 20-page fashion section, due out this week in the September issue. Not to be outdressed by Mr. McCain is another possible White House contender, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. (So much for the old debate about whether the New York Democrat’s bad fashion selections would sink her Senate chances.)

Rebecca Pawlowski, director of communications for the Washington Convention & Tourism Corporation, tells Inside the Beltway that fashion shoots of both politicians and assorted other Washington VIPs took place on the U.S. Capitol steps, Union Station and the Sewall-Belmont House, to name a few locations.

Calmer waters

Billionaire Reform Party founder and two-time presidential candidate (1992 and 1996) H. Ross Perot, Veterans Affairs secretary and former Republican National Committee chairman Jim Nicholson and America’s leading wine importer John F. Mariani Jr. enjoyed some vacation time together in Bermuda in recent days.

“Ross has three boats, nice ones,” says our source, who spotted the trio aboard one “fast boat.”

It wasn’t terribly long ago, as political campaigns go, that Mr. Nicholson, as head of the RNC, personally begged conservative Patrick J. Buchanan not to divide the Republican Party by running as the Reform Party’s candidate for president — which he ended up doing in 2000.

Cut and uncut

A request has been directly made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for CBS to air the entire “60 Minutes” interview that Mike Wallace conducted with the controversial head of state last week in Tehran.

CBS, which aired the edited version last night, has now granted C-SPAN permission to air the entire 90-or-so-minute segment this evening. Interestingly enough, C-SPAN will first air the edited “60 Minutes” version at 8 p.m., immediately followed by the entire interview.

“We agreed with CBS News that airing this interview … fits with C-SPAN’s style of airing events as they happened and without commercials,” said Terry Murphy, C-SPAN’s vice president of programming. “This is also a unique opportunity for viewers to see for themselves the editorial process at a major network news organization, and find out which portions of an extended interview actually make it on air.”

Old Town French

That was renowned chef Christophe Poteaux, most recently of the Aquarelle in the Watergate Hotel, is contemplating everything from menu ideas to atmosphere at his soon-to-open restaurant Bastille in Old Town Alexandria.

Mr. Poteaux learned the art of cooking as a boy at his family’s restaurant in Paris, while for dessert he observed his grandfather’s crusty creations at his pastry shop in Bordeaux. The chef later trained at the French Culinary Institute, and went on to impress restaurant-goers from New York to Los Angeles to Washington.

Life of a hermit

“Osama Captured by Rednecks!” blares the headline of the Weekly World News, which considers itself the world’s only reliable newspaper. “Terror Chief Hunted Down in Missouri.”

We pulled the tabloid off the rack in the Safeway checkout line to read: “Osama Captured in Ozarks! Outdoorsmen do what the entire United States couldn’t do.”

According to the tale, a group of local hunters spotted smoke coming from the chimney of a trapping cabin that belonged to Dewley Sapps. But the “crazy hermit Dewley,” they all knew, died last spring.

So, says hunter Jerry Gnurc, he and the other men quietly approached the cabin, only to lay eyes on a lean figure sitting on a stump reading a book.

“He was a real tall drink ‘o water, and I guessen’ he might be one of the Crump brothers from over in Piatt County,” Mr. Gnurc said. But as the hunters drew closer, they realized they were peering into the bearded face of Osama bin Laden, dressed in a white robe and Afghan cap.

“They recognized Osama from TV and set the dogs on ‘em,” Mr. Gnurc explained

The newspaper went so far as to publish a photo (perhaps enhanced by Reuters) of a pair of German shepherds (unusual hunting dogs, to say the least) sinking their fangs into the obviously surprised terrorist.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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