- The Washington Times - Monday, November 30, 2009

We reported last week that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, author of the new memoir “Going Rogue,” would not be celebrating Thanksgiving at home, but in Washington state.

What we really wanted to know was whether Levi Johnston, the father of Mrs. Palin’s grandchild Tripp, would be present at the clan’s gathering in light of her indicating on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” earlier in the month that he might be.

Well, a source close to Mrs. Palin confirms to G2 exclusively that Mr. J was not there.

Perhaps he was too busy practicing his dance moves.

According to press reports, Mr. Johnston, who will appear in Playgirl magazine early next year and has glammed it up for other magazines, has his sights set on being a contestant on ABC’s popular “Dancing With the Stars.”

“I think if my phone were to ring right now, I would probably say yes,” he said. “I mean, I’m pretty athletic, so I think I could do just about anything,”

Yeah, anything but face “Sarah the Barracuda.”

Friends in low places

The now infamous White House state dinner crashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, whose personal and legal problems have been strewn all over the media in recent days, play a prominent role in “Best of DC: Defining Change in American Leadership.” Publisher Matthew Christian Davis is not ashamed in the slightest.

“Best of DC,” available at Amazon.com for $100, is a coffee-table-size tome celebrating Washington “success stories” in philanthropy, business, fashion and other sectors with glossy photographs and platitudes about the “positive” side of the Greater Washington community.

Mr. Davis selected Mrs. Salahi to be the emcee for the book’s launch party in June at the National Press Club, calling her a “powerful force” in Washington who has “one of the biggest smiles and faces in town.”

A huge photograph of Mrs. Salahi, along with former Miss District of Columbia Kate Marie Grinold, opens a chapter dedicated to “women’s empowerment,” showcasing the number of charities run by women and supporting women’s issues.

Mr. Davis says he also selected the America’s Polo Cup, Mr. and Mrs. Salahi’s sporting event, as an example of a success story in “sportsmanship” in one of the 27 chapters in the 360-page book.

When asked if he was slightly chagrined to have the couple, who are being investigated and may face criminal charges for their shenanigans, presented as pillars in the community, Mr. Davis said no. “I am proud to have them,” he said.

“I am one of their friends. I don’t owe them anything, and they don’t owe me anything. They have enemies, but they also have a lot of friends.”

Mr. Davis tells us that he has spoken with the couple since the news broke and admires the way they have been communicating with their friends, including him, and “not hiding” from them.

Indeed, on the couple’s shared Facebook page, messages of support and loyalty are being posted publicly.

“My question is … who screwed up and did not put you on the list???” reads one, with tongue firmly in cheek.

“Please say ‘it ain’t so’ and let your friends know that you are not culpable. This media coverage is distasteful,” reads another.

“I too will stand up and testify that Tarek and Michelle are fine public servants to the US of America. Their international diplomatic efforts are of the greatest in their circles.”

One former “friend” of the Salahis who is keeping her distance is Katherine Kennedy, star of the upcoming reality show “Blonde Charity Mafia.”

“I know the Salahi’s quite well, having worked with them. They lured me in, but when I found their fraudulent claims, I decided to put my efforts elsewhere and sever connections with the couple who loomed in a cloud of bad news,” Miss Kennedy wrote us in an e-mail.

Mrs. Salahi, as we have reported, is a possible cast member for “The Real Housewives of DC,” currently being filmed and set to premiere on Bravo next year.

We reached out to one of her rumored cast mates, Mary Amons, but she declined comment.

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

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