- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fashion statement

Besides actress Bo Derek, who shows up everywhere these days, Eddie “Bubba” Favre turned the most heads at Wednesday night’s 62nd annual Radio & Television Correspondents’ Association Dinner at the Hilton Washington, honoring Vice President Dick Cheney.

The stocky mayor of Bay St. Louis, Miss., you see, was sporting khaki shorts and sneakers — with black jacket and bow tie, mind you — at the strictly black-tie affair.

“I’m not taking them off until we’ve recovered,” the distant cousin of Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre told Inside the Beltway of his shorts. His city lost almost its entire infrastructure when it was slammed by Hurricane Katrina last year.

Mr. Favre said about 70 percent of Bay St. Louis remains closed for business. Thus, the reason behind his fashion statement, aimed at attracting the attention of Uncle Sam as his city struggles to rebuild. His unusual attire has not gone unnoticed by President Bush.

“Eddie said, ‘I’m not going to wear long pants,’ and I’m saying to myself, ‘One of these days the president is going to show up [in Mississippi] and Eddie sure enough will put on long pants,’ ” Mr. Bush remarked during one presidential tour of the ravaged Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“I didn’t know him very well. I arrived here … and he’s got short pants on. Eddie, I like a man who sticks to his guns. Thanks for hosting us.”

Tagged forever

“Should I duck?”

— Donna Brazile, former Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign manager, when crossing paths recently with Vice President Dick Cheney, who no doubt will never live down his recent hunting accident.

Clear mind

“I’ll have milk,” TV talkmeister John McLaughlin announced to the bartender at Morton’s recently. He settled for fruit punch.

Hidden desires

If she could do it all over again, newswoman Judy Woodruff, formerly of CNN, would be a detective, in the mold of her favorite girlhood sleuth, Nancy Drew.

Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes wishes she could don a robe and fill a seat on the Supreme Court, while ballet legend Suzanne Farrell dreams of conquering space.

We’ve opened the new portrait volume, “Extraordinary Women: Fantasies Revealed,” to learn the dreams of 58 accomplished women, several of whom live and work in Washington: former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, anti-gun crusader Sara Brady, youth volunteer Alma J. Powell, radio host Diane Rehm, presidential daughter Lynda Johnson Robb, actress Lynda Carter, biographer Kitty Kelley, and Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift, whose fantasy is to rescue needy animals, as she did her pet cats.

“The Kennedy Center hosted a book-launching party for us, [and] it was a wonderful event,” says Ilene Leventhal, who with co-author Francine Levinson and celebrity photographer Clay Blackmore have designated portions of the book sales to two charitable organizations — the Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (Mrs. Levinson is a past president of the clubs) and the Hand to Hand Eviction Prevention Program (founded by Mrs. Leventhal in 1990.)

The National Museum of Women in the Arts will host a reception book-signing on May 9, while the authors are scheduled to appear on NBC’s “The Today Show” on May 1.

Giant stride

Congratulations and a job well done to Dr. Donald E. Wilson, the retiring dean of the school of medicine at nearby University of Maryland. When he took over the helm of the school in 1991, Dr. Wilson became the first black dean of a predominantly white medical school.

Today, Maryland’s school of medicine has one of the most diverse student bodies in the country — about 15 percent of the students are black. Since 1995, more than 400 blacks have graduated from the school.

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

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