- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Books

It must be raining books, because G2 caught up with author and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich at a reception for his latest novel, “To Try Men’s Souls,” on Monday night at Mount Vernon, George and Martha Washington’s scenic plantation. His old pal and former aide, conservative pundit Tony Blankley, turned up for support.

We asked Mr. G., whom, you’ll remember, The Roots’ drummer Questlove here called “the most famous Republican,” under what circumstances he’d consider a run for the Republican presidential nod in 2012. “[Wife] Callista and I will have to look at that in February of 2011,” Mr. Gingrich replied. “I think for the moment we’re trying to develop a generation of solutions, and we’re trying to lay out the case for saving America from socialism and secularism, and I think that for right now that’s our job.”

Compared to that, running for president should be child’s play.



Vote Mrs. Z

You may remember Jill Zarin as the mouthy but lovable “Jewish mother” on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City,” trying (usually in vain) to keep the peace between the other high-maintenance Manhattanites on the show while she juggled her multiple charity functions.

The ever in-demand Mrs. Z is taking a break from the production of the next season of the series to visit the District this weekend for a cause close to her family. When her teenage daughter Allyson was 10 years old, she was diagnosed with arthritis. On Saturday, Mrs. Zarin will join members of Congress, patients and their families for an event to elevate musculoskeletal awareness among the public through an event organized by the Bone and Joint Decade National Action Network (NAN).

“A lot more kids have arthritis than you may think,” Mrs. Zarin tells G2, “but no one ever talks about it in kids, because they think it is an old person’s thing.”

Mrs. Z won’t be in town long enough to meet with the cast members filming “The Real Housewives of D.C.,” but she wouldn’t mind doing some lobbying for her choice for first lady Carole Crist, wife of Florida’s Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running for the United States Senate next year.

The tanned bachelor governor married his equally tanned and telegenic bride just last December.

“She’s my best friend,” confides Mrs. Zarin. “If Charlie ever ran for president, I would join his committee. He’s doing great things in Florida.”

That does not mean, mind you, that Mrs. Z is always aligned with the Republican Party. “I’ve always been an independent thinker,” she says. “I think we should start the Jill Zarin party: pro-choice, pro-gay rights and very little government intrusion.”

And tax breaks for shoes and handbags.

Booked!

Speaking of glamorous wives, Michelle Obama is the subject of yet another book dedicated to her world-famous style.

Mary Tomer, the founder and editor of the popular blog, www.mrs-o.org, which follows the first lady’s every sartorial whim, is publishing “Mrs. O: The Face of Fashion Democracy” next week.

The sleek coffee table tome chronicles Mrs. O’s fashion evolution from confident high school student, to promising coed, to wife of a charismatic young senator from Illinois.

Ms. Tomer features rare photographs of the campaign trail sleeveless sheaths that first put Mrs. O on the fashion map, close-up shots of her ubiquitous brooches, as well as reflections from industry insiders on her nascent days as an international style ambassador for our country.

A must read for slobbering fans and fashionistas alike.

• To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected] times.com.

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