- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2006

Band on the run

“I play the flute, sax and guitar, and I’ll be playing all three Saturday night,” White House spokesman Tony Snow told Inside the Beltway yesterday.

The obvious next question: Where does he find the time?

Much has been written of late about Mr. Snow and his myriad gigs. When not speaking on behalf of the president of the United States, he’s taking the unprecedented step for a White House press secretary and appearing at Republican fundraisers across the country.

And, we didn’t need to remind him, awaiting his arrival at home are his wife, three children and a host of pets.

“We’re down to one guinea pig, one cat and two dogs,” Mr. Snow said. “Look, my family always comes first. And my wife and kids will all be there Saturday night.”

He was referring to a charity concert his rock ‘n’ roll band, Beats Workin’, will perform at the Old Town Theater on King Street in Alexandria. (The show, from 8 p.m. to midnight, is $35 and includes a food buffet and a cash bar. Tickets can be reserved at www.oldtowntheater.com.)

“We’re a cover band. We play stuff from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and a little bit of the ‘50s,” Mr. Snow said. And yes, the band has its groupies.

“Everybody pulls for a bunch of old guys who can still play rock ‘n’ roll,” he said. “Mostly I’ll be playing guitar on Saturday night. That’s when the people will see me let it all out.”

So he finds music to be a stress reliever?

“Yes, although I’m just getting back with the band,” Mr. Snow said. “After my [serious bout with] cancer last year I was out the whole time. I played with the band a few weeks ago, and I’m still working back into the starting rotation.”

Given the many hats he’s worn — most recently host of the “Tony Snow Show” on Fox News Radio; “Weekend Live With Tony Snow” and “Fox News Sunday” on the Fox News Channel; syndicated columnist; presidential speechwriter; and newspaperman (including editorial page editor of The Washington Times) — where does Mr. Snow see himself in five years?

“I don’t have a clue. But I see myself in five minutes on Marine One,” Mr. Snow replied, darting out of his West Wing office to board the presidential helicopter.

Mrs. Laura

We always eagerly await the newest Talking Presidents doll.

There’s the Ronald Reagan talking doll (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”), the George W. Bush doll (“Working hard to put food on your family”), GeorgeBush (“Read my lips”) and Donald H. Rumsfeld (“The only choice one has is to proceed”).

The newest talking doll, just in time for Christmas, is “Dr. Laura” (“I am my kids’ mom”).

Laura Schlessinger, of course, is a popular radio personality and best-selling author of 14 books. As a doll, Mrs. Schlessinger stands 11 inches tall and is packaged in a display box that includes photos from her personal collection.

(No doubt Inside the Beltway will be hearing again from Mrs. Schlessinger. The last time we included her in our column she wrote back, numerous times, to complain — OK, she went ballistic — because we didn’t place “Dr.” before her name. We explained to her that the newspaper’s writing style recognizes only medical doctors with the honorific, but she refused to listen.

(So much for being “the kind of person you’d like to come home to every day” — as she preaches on her show.)

PR ladies

There are three finalists for the 2006 Washington PR Woman of the Year award, as determined by the Washington Women in Public Relations: Kristen Grimm, president and founder of Spitfire Strategies; Margery Kraus, president and chief executive officer of APCO Worldwide; and Marilynn Deane Mendell, president of Win Spin CIC Inc.

The winner will be crowned Nov. 15 at a Mayflower Hotel awards luncheon honoring all three finalists. Good luck, ladies.

Yo, Frankie

What Washington event this weekend would bring together a pair of Supreme Court justices, a baseball legend, a famous crooner and a couple of seasoned Hollywood actors?

Given their surnames, it would be the annual convention and awards gala of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF).

Newly appointed Supreme Court JusticeSamuel A. Alito Jr. will be receiving a special achievement award from his colleague, Justice Antonin Scalia, while Chrysler Group CEO and President Tom LaSorda will receive achievement honors from baseball great Tommy Lasorda. Other awards will be presented to, among others, singer Frankie Valli and philanthropist Catherine Reynolds.

In addition, actor and director Mel Brooks will be at the Hilton Washington & Towers to represent his late wife, actress Anne Bancroft, who will be posthumously inducted into the NIAF Italian American Hall of Fame by actor Alan Alda.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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