Backlog Wonk'd: Arlen Specter Watches The Baseball, Hitchens Enjoys Noel Coward, Tony Perkins Throws Off 'Vibes'
What a fantastic spring it's been in DC, what with the terrible muggy spell in early May, and now there's nothing but terrible swampy grossness ahead! Fortunately, DC's "celebrities" can be spotted both in- and out of doors, where they engage in elite activities such as air travel, grocery shopping, lunching, and even watching sports events. After the jump: Find out which famous politician hums loudly to himself in public bathrooms.
Ever been waiting around to pick up your deli sandwich or your luggage or collect your mail or whatever, and you see some very put-together man or lady giving you the eye like they would like to take you up to Eliot Spitzer's room at the Mayflower? It's probably one of those terrible people you've seen on O'Reilly's show talking about the sanctity of post-marital sex. Tell us about these encounters, and other more boring encounters please! Write to tips@wonkette with subject line "Wonk'd."
Ugh so many of these things:
- Sat adjacent to Christopher Hitchens at the Shakespeare Theatre (Noel Coward, Design for Living) on Friday. He was with his family and they all looked very nice and familyish. Their seats weren't together (two plus one) so Hitch did the right thing and sat by himself. Hitch was carrying a water (vodka?) bottle with red cap, but did not appear to be inebriated, nor did he repair to one of the two lobby bars for a refresher during the two intermissions.
He looked like a pretty decent guy to be honest and a family man -- too bad he is such neanderthal in certain matters.
- Rep. Bennie Thompson (Mississippi) was next to me on my flight from National to New Orleans last night. Heard him say that John Lewis stopped him at National last night and said hes still on some TSA no-fly lists due to his arrest a few weeks ago so Thompson wants to file a bill to remove him from all the lists. Seemed like a nice guy though, and spent most of his time reading a huge stack of newspapers.
Gene Taylor was also on the flight, but he wasn't sitting near me so no gossip.
- Looks like Michelle Obama took her entire staff to Good Stuff. There
was a big crowd outside (although that's normal), and they cheered
when she came out, but all I saw was a big cluster of young women
(staff) piling into a black secret service van ... So you may want a
second confirmation. [What like "reporting"? Hah. --Ed.]
- While my day on the Hill normally begins with overpriced (shitty) coffee and harassing questions from coworkers, this morning I had quite the nice surprise. After bitching about squawking females in my office, I was delighted to hear that the reason for such obnoxious early morning static was because the House office building cafeteria had some fabulous visitors, Tim Gunn and Leanne Marshall of Project Runway fame. Being a Midwestern girl who had to move to Europe to learn fashion basics as simple as matching her own socks, I am an avid watcher of Project Runway and all things Tim Gunn. While fabulous, they were also subject to the horrible dining options the House cafeterias have to offer, as well as flocks of horribly dressed staffers bombarding them for pictures. Here to lobby for intellectual property rights for designers, they didn't seem to mind being the glimmer of hope and excitement in our otherwise pitiful lives.
- I almost bumped into Sam Donaldson on 16th St. by the Jefferson Hotel, which reportedly was Sam favorite watering hole before renovations started. Because of the renovation, 16th St. has jersey barriers blocking the sidewalk making it so you have to walk in traffic to get around them. Not too bad it you are going north as I was and can see the traffic coming; however, Sam was going south and looked really nervous as he hugged the jersey barriers so close that he kept bumping into them, of course he could have just been drunk.
- Just saw Tucker Carlson (tie status: neck) at the Potbelly Deli north of Dupont on Connecticut Ave. I couldn't tell what type of sandwich he was eating or if it was "big," "regular," or "skinny" but I did determine that he was drinking root beer and eating sour cream and onion potato chips.
The best part is that when he was leaving, he said to his companion (a 20-something hill type), get this: "Thanks for lunch."
- Dusty Bill Clinton dropped into the Brookings Institution today to hawk his Clinton Global Initiative. He laid a nice man hug on his old Oxford roomie and Brookings’ President Strobe Talbott in the lobby. It was generally agreed by loitering Brookings’ staff that WJC looked a little stooped by age and that heart bypass surgery-thingy.
- Spotted (and surreptitiously snapped a blurry photo of) notorious traitor Arlen Spector in the diamond dugout section of the Phillies game on Sunday. His red phillies cap served to remind him which team he was rooting for.
- Just saw Leon Panetta heading in to Hook in Georgetown for some
sustainable seafood. Huge security detail for the CIA chief. He was dining with Rahm Emanuel.
- Don't know if this really counts, but I saw Eric Holder (who seems a lot thinner in person) and Stephen Colbert's arch nemesis Eleanor Holmes Norton at a dinner for the National Bar Association (the bar association for black folks!) Saturday night. The event was honoring, um, Eric Holder. I took a grainy, terrible, sideways picture with my camera phone (a real camera does not fit in a shiny clutch, sorry).
- Just saw Donald Rumsfeld walk down 16th street, wait for the light to change, (where I was also waiting for the light), have a very friendly conversation with a cab driver (spy?) who was also waiting for the light, and then turn on L street and going into 1620 L. No idea what goes on in there. Take away: be wary of DC cabbies. They are in cahoots with Rummy.
- Passed notorious screamer Howard Dean in a bathroom at BWI. He was wearing big old-fashioned spectacles down on his nose and was humming some ditty to himself, pretty loudly. This was in the Southwest terminal so I hope he brought his own snacks.
- Haha, I saw Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas -- blue blazer and tan pants, slightly blingy watch -- in the checkout line with his wife at Wegman's. He seemed anxious like he had somehow managed to avoid buying groceries in public until just this moment, or maybe he felt the checkout was where he was mostly likely to be identified. Took him forever to get through and he spent some time at the off-brand ATM as well. This sighting would be unremarkable if it weren't for the fact that I feel like Justice Thomas has managed to avoid being featured in the Wonk'd column for more than 2 years.
- My husband saw Bill Crystal [Kristol? -- Ed.] outside his office at Connecticut and L. It was 9:00 a.m. and he said Bill looked sad and disheveled as he shuffled by in shirt sleeves with no tie and his top couple of shirt buttons undone. Walk of shame perhaps?
- I was checking out a Kohler toilet at Home Depot in Dallas when I heard a familiar voice say, "they're mighty proud of their work, wouldn't you say?" (that's Southern for: that's a shit-load of money for a toilet). I turned my head to the right, and then down to discover I was sharing a virtual stall with Ross Perot. Damn, and I thought life was short!
He was standing there in what I guessed to be about a 34R suit straight off the rack from a Robert Hall Varsity Shop. Nice guy, but fuck him and the Chevy Biscayne he rode in on, Tirebiters are not intimidated by big rich! I bought the toilet and the matching sink.
- After a flight a few months back, I was waiting at baggage claim in New Orleans, which is usually painfully slow. I started checking out the too-well-put-together-to-be-straight guy across the baggage carousel from me: impeccable suit, perfect haircut, nice tan, fit body, etc. Too well dressed and tidy for 10pm. Thinking he looked oddly familiar as I caught his glance more than once, I tried to place him...did I do him before? He was totally throwing off a bi-married cruisy vibe.
I looked down at the luggage coming out and noticed a cardboard box passing by with "A. Perkins" written in Sharpie. Tony Perkins...Family Research Council...arrrrrghh! Wasn't sure if I should go admonish him or invite him for a drink at the bar.
Thanks to Tom, Julia, Emily, Random Staffer, Ron, Starstruck in DC, Gordon, Amy, Will, MargeSimpsonsBlackFriend, Beth, Matt, Tarek, Diane, Kelly, and Joey in NOLA for these hotttt hott tips.