- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Concerned about how the Washington Wizards will perform this season? Don’t be, because star player Caron Butler has been keeping himself fit as a fiddle through his favorite hobby, cycling.

We caught up with Mr. B at Sunday’s first annual Sister to Sister Bike for the Heart event at the Verizon Center, where he and other notables, including organizer Irene Pollin, wife of Verizon Center owner Abe Pollin, espoused the virtues of exercise.

Since starting Sister to Sister 10 years ago, Mrs. Pollin has helped 90,000 people get screened for heart disease, the leading cause of heart attacks in women. Mrs. P says biking is a perfect way for young people, especially, to reduce cholesterol.

“Did you know Washington is the fourth-largest biking community in the country?” she asked.

“That surprised me because I thought we were a bunch of nerds,” she added.

“No, I see cool people out biking all the time,” Mr. Butler later responded. He should know: During the warm weather months, his personal best is “17 to 22 miles a day in about three hours,” said the two-time All-Star.

“I got to meet Lance Armstrong. It was brief, but one of the best experiences of my life,” he reflected on his encounter with the seven-time Tour de France winner.

Standing nearby listening to Mr. Butler, WJLA anchor Maureen Bunyan could not resist trying to show up her athlete friend.

“My claim to fame is that I biked through Europe, and I probably exceeded that a day. But I was much closer to Caron’s age,” she said with a laugh.

All that jazz

Former second lady Tipper Gore was kicking up her feet Sunday night at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and Blue Note Records’ 70th Anniversary Gala Concert at the Kennedy Center, where she was a guest presenter.

Looking glorious and trim, Mrs. Gore handed out the night’s top prize to 24-year-old Ben Williams, a native Washingtonian who attended the famed Duke Ellington School of the Arts and Michigan State University College of Music.

During the finale, we saw Mrs. Gore being spun around the stage by none other than Billy Dee Williams, the suave actor and singer.

“She’s a good dancer, but I think an even better drummer,” Mr. Williams said of Mrs. G, who used to play drums in an all-girl rock band back in high school in Arlington.

Maybe her jubilant mood had something to do with the fact that her husband and her president now have something in common — the Nobel Peace Prize.

“I think it’s great for the president and the country. Al did call him, and they talked about it,” she told us while being besieged with adoring fans at the after-party.

One of her admirers is Sen. Evan Bayh, who attended with his wife, Susan.

Mrs. Gore “proves that there’s life after politics,” the Indiana Democrat said.

But don’t get too excited, Republicans. Mr. Bayh told us he’s not contemplating getting out anytime soon.

Power list

We’ve gotten our little mitts on GQ’s highly anticipated 50 Most Powerful People in D.C. list, which will not be revealed in its entirety until later Tuesday on GQ.com.

Topping the list? Drum roll, please. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is numero uno, with political guru David Axelrod coming in at No. 6 and presidential confidante Valerie Jarrett at No. 16.

White House social secretary Desiree Rogers is way down the line at No. 40, but according to society queen Sally Quinn, she’s lucky to be listed at all. “Normally, you would not put the social secretary on a power list, but because of her close relationship with both Obamas, she’s different,” she tells GQ.

Fashionistas will be pleased to hear that Ikram Goldman, the “unofficial stylist to Michelle Obama,” comes in right behind Ms. Rogers at No. 46.

“She orchestrated the high-low thing,” said Susan Swimmer, author of “Michelle Obama: First Lady of Fashion and Style,” to the magazine. “One day Michelle is wearing H&M and the next, Narciso Rodriguez.

This is the first time GQ has published such a list since September 2007.

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

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