- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 4, 2007

Gone to rehab

It’s rehabilitation time for Ann Coulter, who came under heavy fire over the weekend after using an anti-homosexual epithet to describe 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.

“Can’t anybody take a joke anymore?” Inside the Beltway had commented to the conservative author and pundit by e-mail yesterday.

“That’s not funny, Comrade!” Miss Coulter wrote back in all-capital letters, adding: “I am writing from speech rehab.”

Ultimate insult

Let’s face it, one of the downsides for men who live and work in Washington is that your hands tend to get soft.

Seriously, the average guy in the nation’s capital isn’t pouring concrete, corralling horses in Rock Creek Park, or playing shortstop at RFK Stadium. He’s typing on a keyboard, lobbying on Capitol Hill, arguing before the Supreme Court, or welcoming heads of state to the White House.

That said, President Bush might want to take a hint and retreat to his Texas ranch soon, where he can hammer a few nails, clear some of that stubborn brush or string some barbed wire between fence posts. Consider this official White House pool report surrounding his weekend tour of tornado-ravaged Americus, Ga.:

“Residents lined the street, rushing [Mr. Bush] with cell phones for pictures as he stopped, house by house, to shake hands,” it reads, quoting resident Felicia Stafford as saying: “He’s very nice, loving and warm. He’s got very soft hands.”

What a party

Grilled tenderloin at Terry McAuliffe’s house: $500 a plate.

Taking notes while Mr. McAuliffe spins political yarns: $1,000.

Learning everything you ever wanted to know about former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton but were afraid to ask: Priceless.

There are some things money can’t buy, but this isn’t one of them.

Inside the Beltway has finally found one way to get the inside scoop on everything Bill and Hillary, whether it pertains to politics or is personal in nature, like how Mrs. Clinton really feels about losing Hollywood to fellow senator and 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama.

But such exclusives come at a price. We’ll rely on readers with inquiring minds to tell us how high they want us to bid. We figure if enough of us pool our money, we’re “In Like Flint” — dinner for a dozen at the McAuliffe abode:

“Join legendary political fundraiser, entrepreneur — and now best-selling author — Terry McAuliffe for an evening of politics and dinner hosted in his home. The author of the recently released New York Times bestselling book, ‘What a Party! My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals,’ and chairman of the Hillary Clinton for President 2008 campaign, will regale a small group of guests (no more than 12) with stories from a life in politics like no other. From JimmyCarter through George W. Bush, Terry McAuliffe has been at the epicenter of American politics, and he will discuss events from his book in an informal setting, Irish-American style. This promises to be a seriously fun and informative evening.”

Auction bidding, which benefits the Country Day School in McLean, commences Friday evening at 9 at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons Corner. Otherwise, all we need to know is how you want your steak cooked.

Colorful clients

It wasn’t that Peter Mirijanian didn’t appreciate our column item from last year when Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack showed up for an encore performance at his public relations firm’s sixth-anniversary party at Felix in Washington.

We’d written that an overflow crowd of Washington VIPs were swigging martinis and dancing to the live swing band the Joker’s Wild, while vintage black-and-white footage of Ol’ Blue Eyes, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., turned the trendy Adams Morgan venue into the Sands, circa 1964.

Nor did the media relations pro, who specializes in crisis communications, mind when we mentioned his career has taken him from being the spokesman when Marc Rich appealed to former President Clinton for his pardon, to toiling in AlGore’s camp during the outrageous 2000 presidential election, to representing embattled lobbyists today.

And he was flattered when we gave him two thumbs up after he grabbed the microphone and belted out several Sinatra classics. (“It’s my party, and I’ll sing badly if I want to,” Mr. Mirijanian, who used to be a stand-up comic in New York, told guests).

So what more could he possibly request of us when we showed up for his firm’s seventh-anniversary party on Thursday night at Felix?

“Last year, you did a very nice write-up, but it ran next to an item about Saddam Hussein, and the photo was of him holding up a rifle,” he says. “It looked like he was a client of mine.”

Should anybody else require his firm’s services, Peter Mirijanian Public Relations is found at 1133 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 675.

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

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