Wonk'd: My Assistant Handles That
Today's Wonk'd -- the second this week, after Tuesday's bonus installment -- catches the famous-for-DC and famous-for-famous acting like shrinking violets. Both Wolf Blitzer and Dave Chappelle sidestep admirers, while Tiki Barber and James Carville embrace the zeitgeist.
Arlen Specter and Chris Matthews can't be bothered to acknowledge anyone. But Michael Chertoff is approachable, and America's Next Top Model hangs out at DC's current yuppie café. Read on! Ask where to find the celebritocracy, and we provide the answers!
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* I was walking along M Street last Saturday night (4/29) and my group passed two older men in tuxes. As we passed, one of my friends was like, "Wait, that's Wolf Blitzer!" My friend (who had been imbibing liberally) asked the guy if he really was Wolf, and WB was like, "Yeah," none-too-enthusiastically. My friend was all, "Hey, Wolf, how's it going?!" and WB was like, "fine." and then he and his companion walked into the Ritz-Carlton. After they left another one of my friends insisted that WB's companion had been Alex Trebek, but I never watched Jeopardy so I can't vouch for that. But my friend said that he'd recognized Alex's voice. Either way, it was exciting.
* Busboys and Poets at 14th and V, 4pm Thursday [5/4] - just caught a glimpse of Sara Albert from America's Next Top Model walking by in running clothes, checking her ipod. She went past before I realized who she was -- didn't get a chance to determine if she's successfully grown out that awful haircut yet. Can confirm blond, tall, large lips.
* At 12:30 [5/2] saw Karl Rove outside La Coline. I guess no one told him they closed, poor Karl!
* Just [5/4] saw David Gregory eating lunch with someone unknown (to me) outdoors at Equinox near Lafayette Sq. He has quite a presence about him; he was seated and still imposing.
* Saw James Carville on my Sunday [4/30] morning flight from New Orleans to DCA. He was wearing jeans that were three inches too short, an old gray t-shirt, tennis shoes, and a navy blazer with gold buttons that I'm pretty sure I saw Mary Matalin wearing on her last Meet the Press appearance. He read the New York Times and chatted with the people around him once we landed -- seems as folksy as you would think.
* While eating lunch with friends Saturday afternoon (April 30) at Tony & Joe's along the Georgetown Waterfront, our group was seated next to New York Giants running back Tiki Barber. He was with a bald white guy (later discovered to be his agent, Mark Lepselter) and two women who left without the two men. Tiki shared a rather long kiss with one of them when she left (I think it was wife Ginny). Tiki and agent were calmly enjoying Coronas, and not talking a whole lot. I wouldn't have noticed him if not for a waitress who nervously asked for autographs for her father and boyfriend.
* Last night, May 2, I was having dinner at Regent Thai on 18th Street when in walked Matthew Lesko. Who, you may ask? The guy on the commercial that wears the suit with the question marks on it and talks about making money from the government through grants. He came in, looked around, and walked to a seat outside. And yes, he was wearing a suit that had question marks all over it. Hard not to stare, but he's asking for it with that suit. (It was a light cream color with red questions marks, in case you were wondering.)
* I ran in the Capital Challenge this morning [5/3], a three mile race at Anacostia Park for members of the media and each branch of government. About 5 minutes before the race starts, Raj Bhakta from the Apprentice (and now running for Congress) rolls in, looking a little worse for wear, and lines up to run. I don't think he was registered and he was certainly not dressed for the thing. He ran in slacks and matching brown belt and nice dress shoes. He was at least wearing a t-shirt but it was tucked in. I don't know if he finished or really why he was there.
* My girlfriend and I were eating at Komi last night [5/2]. Arlen Specter was sitting at a table a few down from us. He's looking pretty old, but his hair is
black back. He ignored everyone in the place on his way out, even though pretty much everyone was staring and smiling at him.
* Wednesday, May 3, 2006, 2:00 pm, Chris Matthews in front of the Fox/CSPAN offices in the 400 block of North Capitol St. Dark suit and blue shirt, suit jacket draped over one arm, talking on a cell phone. Boy, is his hair really yellow! Overhead him say, "I have a moral issue..." No reaction or response to my comment, "Go get 'em, tiger!"
* Saw former U.S. House member Tom Barrett (pre-realignment 5th district representative) at the cineplex at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa [5/1] which makes sense since he's now mayor of Tosa's bigger neighbour, Milwaukee. He was leaving a mid-afternoon screening of "Akeelah & the Bee" with one of his too-red-headed daughters.
* Saw Michael Chertoff around 5:30pm at the downtown Barnes & Noble yesterday [4/27], browsing the military histories before moving on to the lighter and fluffier "Paperback Favorites". He had a not-very-threatening bodyguard/assistant floating around nearby, but anyone could go up and talk to him. Considered it briefly, but when the best I could come up with was "Hey-Nice try in New Orleans. Better luck next time!" I figured it'd be best if I just moved along.
* Dave Chappelle was at Daily Grill last night [4/27], probably around 10:30. He was eating dinner with, what we could only surmise was his mother. When he realized that he had been recognized, he switched tables and sat in the corner booth with his hooded sweatshirt pulled up, being guarded by a man in a shockingly bright red polo shirt.
* Was waiting outside 4 Seasons on Thursday, 4/27, when a disoriented Dave Chappelle shuffled by me toward a waiting car and a very large bodyguard type. Two little boys tried to tell him how much they loved his show (WTF? Who lets their kids watch the Chappelle Show?) but he was oh-so-NOT interested in making small talk and made a hasty retreat back inside the hotel.