- The Washington Times - Friday, September 26, 2008


Talk about timing: Tuesday is the official release date of Peggy Noonan’s latest book (the former Ronald Reagan aide has seven best-sellers under her belt), and from what she writes don’t expect any miracle healers to surface on Capitol Hill and cure the current economic crisis.

The book, “Patriotic Grace,” follows the American struggle since Sept. 11, 2001, when Americans came together as never before, only to then usher in seven years of divisiveness. The author admonishes at one point, “We should leave behind the bitterness and blame: they are empty wells.”

But she warns, at the same time, not to put too much faith or place too many demands on our elected leaders, as “a lot of voters do seem to want them to pretend to higher wisdom that they possess.”

“We have been asking a great deal of the mere mortals who lead us,” Miss Noonan notes. “I would like to think many senators and congressmen, and I know some of them, sometimes go out and have a drink with friends and give vent to their surprise and dismay: ‘I’m just a guy who loved politics! I buy my suits at Moe’s Big and Tall! I’m not a theologian, I’m not a scientist! You shouldn’t make me make these decisions! I’m stupider than you understand!’”


William F. Marshall of Clifton, Va., writes: “Returning from California for a business trip [Wednesday], I discovered that my McCain/Palin bumper sticker on my car, which had been parked at Dulles Airport for two days, had been scraped up with what appeared to be a razor blade.

“Apart from being annoyed at the damage to the sticker and the paint job underneath, I didn’t think too much about it until I heard Rush Limbaugh [Thursday] afternoon reporting that the Obama campaign has reportedly sent ‘patrols’ to walk around parking lots looking for cars with GOP/conservative bumper stickers …

“Interestingly, on my bumper sticker, it was Palin’s name that had been scraped out the most, not McCain.”


Sens. Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden Jr. are scheduled to appear together on Saturday afternoon at the University of Mary Washington campus in Fredericksburg, Va., where “they will talk about their vision for creating the kind of change we need.”

Gates open at 3 p.m., with political promises beginning at 5:15 p.m.


Economic bailout pending, Inside the Beltway is told that Virginia Sen. John W. Warner will host a reception with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Oct. 13, at the Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner.

To get in the door costs $1,500 — or $2,500, if you bring a friend or spouse. But don’t pull out your camera: posing with the Republican vice-presidential candidate will require shelling out $10,000.

If that’s not enough to spend, write a check for $25,000 and you can eat dinner with Mrs. Palin. There’s no moose meat on the Ritz menu, but the suburban Virginia hotel serves a mean pork cheek.


Tiki Barber fans take note: The former running back for the New York Giants, rain or shine Saturday, will sign the several children’s books he recently co-authored with his twin brother, Ronde, cornerback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the National Book Festival on the national Mall.

The football star will appear again from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Children Pavilion.

All told, Mr. Barber collaborated with his brother on three picture books: “By My Brother’s Side,” the Christopher Award-winning “Game Day” and “Teammates,” as well as two middle-grade novels: “Kickoff!” and “Go Long!”

“We have a number of authors who have very large fan followings, and we’re bracing for that,” Library of Congress spokeswoman Jennifer Gavin told Inside the Beltway on Thursday.

Among the 70 or so additional authors on hand will be festival hostess first lady Laura Bush, and her daughter, Jenna Bush, co-authors of the book “Read All About It!”; as well as Kimberly Dozier and Bob Schieffer of CBS News, veteran newsman Daniel Schorr, singer Dionne Warwick, thriller best-seller Brad Meltzer; and yes, Salman Rushdie will surface.

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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