- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We felt like just another member of the Kennedy clan Saturday morning at the National Portrait Gallery, where a special painting of Eunice Kennedy Shriver was unveiled at a reception where the 87-year-old Mrs. Shriver was honored by family and friends.

Mrs. Shriver, mother of Maria Shriver, sister of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and the late President Kennedy, has made her own mark in the world as a champion for people with disabilities as the founder of Special Olympics, which she started in 1968.

The portrait depicts Mrs. Shriver on a beach in her home state of Massachusetts, flanked by Special Olympics athletes. This is the first portrait commissioned by the gallery of a person who has not served as president or first lady.

G2 caught up with Mrs. Shriver’s sister Jean Kennedy Smith, the former ambassador to Ireland.

Mrs. Smith tells us Mrs. Shriver was inspired by their sister Rosemary, who was mentally retarded, to do more to help those less fortunate.

Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Rhode Island Democrat, was on hand to support his aunt. He tells us his grandfather Joseph P. Kennedy, the former ambassador to the Court of St. James, always joked that the strong-willed and ambitious Eunice would have been the politician in the family had she been a man.

“Follow-up is the charity of genius, and nobody does follow-up better than Eunice,” noted long-time Kennedy family friend Terry Lierman, chief of staff to Rep. Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat.

Mr. Kennedy told us he experienced the power of his aunt’s tenacity firsthand. “When I was in boarding school, she would send me notes about Special Olympics events going on, and then when I was in college, she would call and write me about other events,” he recalled.

Maria Shriver, the first lady of California and author of “Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went Out Into the Real World,” did not address the crowd gathered for the unveiling but told G2 she’s “exhausted” from her recent documentary on Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicts her father, Sargent Shriver, so there won’t be more books in the near future.

Ah, shucks. We were hoping she’d write a tome called “Ten Things to Do to Get Hair Like Mine.” It’s voluminous and glossy, even though she’s 53, and there’s not a gray hair in sight.

Definitely not an item

G2 chatted up liberal journalist David Corn, Mother Jones’ D.C. bureau chief, at John McLaughlin’s Sunday morning brunch at Teatro Goldoni to get his take on comedian Wanda Sykes‘ controversial monologue at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents Dinner.

“I’m not involved with her,” he said, tongue firmly in cheek. “Whatever you’ve heard isn’t true. We are not romantically involved.”

He then added, “I’m more concerned about the unsupervised billions in bailout funds.”

Thanks for clarifying.

Cruise control

The big news at The Washington Times’ table Saturday night at the White House Correspondents Dinner was the cruise by of Mr. Top Gun with wife Katie Holmes. Towering over her hubby, Misscq Holmes waited patiently while Tom Cruise bantered with Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and head coach Jim Zorn, both guests of the paper.

Since parting ways with Paramount in 2006, Mr. Cruise’s production company has been backed by Mr. Snyder. However, their chatter at our table was more about exercise equipment than exercising options. Mr. Cruise was overheard bragging to Mr. Snyder and Mr. Zorn that he is down to 5.8 percent body fat.

Too bad California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger skipped the dinner. We think he would have had a lot to add to this conversation.

To contact Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover with a tip or to request event coverage, please e-mail [email protected]

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