- The Washington Times - Friday, May 22, 2009

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, New York Democrat, just isn’t feeling woman enough these days.

Fresh off the passage of the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, which she introduced in Congress, Mrs. Maloney trumpeted the bill to her longtime friend and feminist icon Gloria Steinem, whom she saw recently at a reception at Val-Kill Cottage, the home of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

“I was so proud and thought she would be impressed,” the congresswoman recounted to us. However, Ms. Steinem responded with a flat, “OK, but what are you doing for women?”

Somewhat taken aback, Mrs. Maloney explained to Ms. Steinem that she was working on a number of issues, including health care, climate change and economic stimulus.

Her pal Gloria wasn’t buying it. “OK, but they have their own advocates,” she said. “You need to work more for women.”

In her defense, Mrs. Maloney is working on behalf of her fellow women but apparently is too modest to speak up, so G2 will vouch for her. When we ran into her Wednesday evening, it was at the home of French Ambassador Pierre Vimont, where she was headlining an event for Innocents at Risk, a nonprofit established to raise awareness about girls and women being sold into slavery. In 2005, Mrs. Maloney introduced and helped pass the End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act.

We could not help but ask if the congresswoman had introduced Ms. Steinem to her newest colleague in the New York delegation, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, appointed in January to fill Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vacated Senate seat.

“Don’t go there,” said the congresswoman (who had her own designs on the seat), sticking her finger down her throat as if she wanted to gag.

“She is joking. She likes to quip,” the congresswoman’s assistant and scheduler, Morgan Day Harris, explained later.

Is this what they call sisterly affection?

CBS evening blues

Last-place CBS Evening News took a beating Wednesday night — all in fun, of course — in the ballroom of Washington’s Fairmont Hotel, where some of the best and brightest in politics and media convened to roast and toast Katie Couric. The anchor was being honored with the Helen Thomas Award at the annual gala of the American News Women’s Club.

“It takes a great generosity to allow yourself to be made the center of attention for a good cause, especially someone as camera-shy as Katie,” White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod needled before lowering the boom: “But Katie does it all the time to help not-for-profits like CBS.”

Mr. Axelrod then turned to fellow roaster Mike Huckabee, former candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and current cable talk-show host. “You and President Obama have a lot in common,” he observed. “Both started seemingly quixotic campaigns. Both scored upset victories in Iowa, and both went on to achieve big things. Barack Obama won four years in the White House, and Mike won an hour a week on Fox News.”

However, the architect of the Obama presidential campaign wasn’t quite done with Miss Couric, the longtime “Today” show co-host. “The transition from NBC to CBS was a little tough,” Mr. Axelrod said. “She went from asking, ‘Where in the world is Matt Lauer?’ to ‘Where in the heck are my viewers?’”

Miss Couric joined in the spirit of the occasion — did she have a choice? — with some self-deprecating humor of her own. “I love the CBS Evening News — or as I call it ‘the Witness Protection Program,’” she cracked.

To contact Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]

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