Wonk'd: Chalabi's Change of Skin Care Regimen
Some of you wonder why the Wonk'd famous-for-DC posts don't appear with more frequency. The sad truth is that people don't send us much. Perhaps you don't understand: The bar is VERY LOW. Matt Cooper in line in at Starbucks? Counts. Margaret Carlson picking up her dry cleaning? Totally. Matthew Yglesias looking lost on M Street? That too. You want more Wonk'd? Send us more sightings: . Come on, you can't walk a block in this town without tripping over George Stephanopolous and he counts, too! In this issue: Bennett, Kidman (of course), Jenna and Barbara Bush, Scalia, Stein, Carter, Alito (8" thick! Not the way you think.), Chalabi at Kiehls, Greenspan, Bradgalina, and, yes, Stephanopolous. After the jump.
• Saw Bill Bennett yesterday morning [10/19] turning left onto Independence (towards the Dept. of Ed.) from 7th st. He was driving a shinny new white Toyota Corolla. Maybe he wasn't so good at gambling as he claimed, my bicycle is worth almost as much as that car...
• Nicole Kidman was shopping today at Urban Chic in Georgetown [10/27]. She was shopping for gifts for a pregnant friend and hanky-panky underwear for herself. Very friendly and cordial.
• Jenna was sitting with Barbara and 41, and I think Neil Bush, as well as what looked like a couple of her friends while watching the Houston Astros get dismantled by the Chicago White Sox. Their seats were right behind home plate so they were in clear view during games 3 and 4. The best part was in game 3 she was drinking beers in plain sight right behind home plate and then she left before the game ended in 14 innings.
I understand Barbara leaving early, but Jenna? I guess when they stopped selling beers it was only a matter of time before she had to hit the road.
• George Stephanopoulos and his much taller wife Ali Wentworth came into Sushi Ko in Glover Park when I was three martinis (and no entrees) into dinner last Thursday [10/27]. I noticed him while he waited for a table, and mentioned to one of my tablemates that he was there. Unfortunately, my tablemate didn’t hear anything but “George Stephanopoulos” and yelled “George STEPHANOPOULOS? That guy—“ I cut him off with “is standing right behind you”. We (maturely) collapsed into giggles, George Stephanopoulos definitely heard us, smiled in our general direction, revealing some wrinkles that showed he’s definitely beyond his “Boy Wonder” days, and went upstairs to enjoy his dinner in peace.
Scene: Neil's Diner, (70th and Lex, NYC) 9:00am 10/29/05 -- My wife and I were having breakfast in a neighborhood diner and we noticed 4 security detail acting a bit fidgety. We are former beltway inhabitants and quickly realized someone "big" was on premises because they were all packin' heat and didn't look like schlubby NYC guys. In case you were wondering, my wife ordered a Denver Omelet and I had a Pancake Lumberjack (tasty)! As we got up to leave, my wife took a peak in the back room and she said to me, "I just caught a glance of the VIP in the back of the diner, when we walk outside tell me if you see who I think I see". As we walked outside and around the corner, sure enough, facing the window, (his back to 3 walls as is customary for SS protectees), is Nino himself! There's no mistaking his oversized specks and his comb over along with his scowl. I paused while in his sightline, he looked up form his cup of coffee and I waved at him. He acted kind of startled and he looked at me like I was nuts, my wife cracked up and we moved on. If not for the security detail, I would've given him the bird, but I thought better of it. It's the closest I'll ever come to meeting Satan, that is until I croak....
While waiting for my parents in the visitor's center at Arlington Cemetery on Sunday 10/30, who should I see walking through the lobby - no hat, no glasses, egg-shaped head a-shinin' - but he of Ferris Bueller (and Nixon White House) fame, Ben Stein. In town for the Marine Corps Marathon, perhaps? He smiled politely off to my left, at someone who recognized him, but otherwise shuffled quickly through the main area. He is shorter than one might imagine, and was sporting a pair of khakis that were far too long.
Saw Jimmy Carter on a SFO to ATL flight last night [11/6]. Gracious man shook hands with everyone on the plane. He was a bit smaller than I remember but looked good for 81. His wife Rosalyn loked exactly the same. You would imagine that he would be a nice gracious man in person and he was definitely that. Got a very warm reception from the mostly Bay Area passengers.
Those of us in D.C. who were riding the 30 bus to work this morning [11/8] caught an uber blonde Nicole Kidman on the corner of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue doing what appeared to be a lighting test for her upcoming film "The Visiting". Nothing much phases us Washingtonians - worker drones walked past her and the camera crew as if they were invisible. Someone please tell her that blonde is not the color for her.
I saw Judge Samuel Alito leaving the Old Executive Building in a hurry on the night of 11/8. I don't care what anyone says -- guy is definitely qualified. I mean, his briefcase is friggin' eight inches thick! Also, he beats out Roberts by having a marginally less noticeable bald spot. From looking at some photos when I got home, it appears he was wearing the same suit he was nominated in. This seems to indicate frugality, but rule out Queer Eye-style homosexuality. Alas. Finally, the car that was waiting for him appeared to be driven by Janet Reno. The plot, as they say, thickens.
Saw Ahmad Chalabi in Kiehl's on M Street in Georgetown Sunday, Nov. 13, around 2:30 p.m. His retinue was right out of a movie: two sunglassed, stone-faced, ear-pieced guards in suits stationed outside the store entrance; at least two more trailing him as he browsed; and one sandy-haired assistant on his mobile the entire time. By the time I made my purchase and left, Mr. Chalabi had set what looked to be one bottle of shampoo and another of conditioner near the register and was still browsing. I didn't get a good look at the bottles, so I'm afraid I can't tell you whether he's normal, dry or oily.
Nov. 13, 4:05PM Alan Greenspan leaving the canal trail at the bottom of Reservoir Rd in a convertible, Andrea Mitchell on his side.
Saw Angelinia and Brad in the (Senate) Dirkson Building, DEE CEE. [11/17]
I saw George Stephanopolous in Georgetown yesterday [11/19] out for a Sunday afternoon stroll. He was wearing a light green turtleneck sweater and pushing a baby in one of those high-tech expensive Buga-Frogga-whatever orange strollers. He looked very pleasant. Accompanying him was a mini-entourage of 2 children and a short blonde woman who didn't turn her head as I drove by, but may have been a nanny or Ali W. She had really bad highlights and was short and dressed like a teenager, so I'm hoping it was the nanny.