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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"An ambassadorship to the Vatican, as has been speculated in recent British press reports, seems very unlikely. But if (Caroline) Kennedy said the word, her close friend President Barack Obama would no doubt find her a plum assignment. Certainly a high-profile job during a third term of Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who actively touted her for the U.S. Senate, is hers for the asking. Elective office? Even that is a possibility. Despite speculation in the latest Vanity Fair, it’s improbable that Caroline, a lifelong New Yorker, would replace her uncle, Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, if his battle with brain cancer were to shorten his term. Yet, she’s giving every sign that she wants a starring role. The last surviving member of JFK’s nuclear family—and, as such, the torch-bearer in chief for the Kennedy Mystique—has been very visibly making the rounds in recent weeks: First, there was a show-stealing cameo appearance during Bloomberg’s annual skit at New York’s Inner Circle Dinner for political and media heavyweights. Then she spoke at a widely covered city-government event promoting volunteerism, with the mayor at her side. And last Thursday she delivered the keynote address at a fundraising dinner for a senior center in Brooklyn. It was lost on nobody that Kennedy showed up for the dinner—hosted by Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the powerful chairman of the largest local Democratic Party organization in the United States—accompanied by her political consultant." (Lloyd Grove/TheDailyBeast)



"TIME magazine last night turned on the wattage for its sixth annual 100 Most Powerful People ceremony, which drew everyone from First Lady Michelle Obama and talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey to two of the three founders of blogging phenomenon Twitter. It was high tech meets show biz meets politics. On the outs this year: hedge-fund king Stevie Cohen, the head of SAC Capital who was not invited, and Blackstone Group's Steve Schwarzman, who was stationed farther back in the room at table No. 14. In his place: Twitter's co-founders and Obama policy advisers." (NYPost)

"KIEFER Sutherland might be spending too much time playing head-busting counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer. At an after-party for the Met Costume Institute gala at Submercer on Monday, the invulnerable star of '24' got into an argument with fashion label Proenza Schouler co-founder Jack McCollough which ended with the macho actor head-butting the flamboyant designer and breaking his nose. The night-life blog Guest of a Guest reported the argument stemmed from a conversation Sutherland was having with actress Brooke Shields, though no further details were provided. (All three were at the gala earlier in the evening.) McCollough reportedly spent the night in the hospital." (PageSix)



"I'm told that HBO has just ordered 9 episodes of the pilot Treme from The Wire writers David Simon and Eric Overmyer which has been in development for the pay channel. It's a post-Katrina hourlong set in the New Orleans music scene and will be filmed there. The local press have been trumpeting the making of the pilot, and crowing how a full-blown series 'could boost the city's psyche and pump millions into its economy.' Treme is the name of the iconic New Orleans neighborhood where many musicians live, and Simon is a longtime New Orleans music fan." (DeadlineHollywoodDaily)



"Tom Ridge already has an impressive resume: House member, Pennsylvania governor, the nation’s first Homeland Security secretary. Now the question is: will he enter what could be a brutal Senate race? Ridge, who now heads his own consulting firm, is weighing whether to re-enter political life and is expected to decide soon whether he will enter the GOP primary and, if successful, challenge Republican-turned-Democratic incumbent Arlen Specter for the seat. Certainly, Ridge is a seasoned politician with demonstrated strength in statewide and in northwestern Pennsylvania contests. He served a dozen years in the House (1983-95), representing the Erie area, then seven years as governor and three years as President Bush’s first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He is better-known statewide than his prospective primary opponent, former Rep. Pat Toomey, who represented a Lehigh Valley district for six years prior to nearly defeating Specter in the 2004 Republican primary. 'He doesn’t have to spend a lot of money on name recognition. He’s well-known and generally well-liked. I think he also can also raise a lot of money,' said Dan Shea, a political scientist at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., not far from Ridge’s hometown of Erie. Recent surveys show Ridge polling more competitively than Toomey in hypothetical trial heats against Specter. A Quinnipiac University poll on Monday had Specter leading Toomey by 20 percentage points and Ridge by just 3 percentage points. A Susquehanna Polling and Research survey, also released Monday, had Specter ahead of Toomey by 6 percentage points and trailing Ridge by 1 percentage point." (CQPOlitics)



(image via telegraph)

"I had dinner once with John and Elizabeth Edwards, when he first burst onto the national scene. Looking across the booth at her grinning, boyish husband, she told me that it was irritating to be married to someone so comely who looked so much younger. She was smiling, but she was telling the truth. The Edwardses reminded me of the Quayles — smooth, pretty boys married to tough, smart women they’d met at law school. Elizabeth Edwards would have made a wonderful candidate herself. But she poured everything into John. And then John betrayed her. And then John betrayed his staffers, going ahead with the 2008 campaign, letting his disciples work around the clock because they believed in him and what he was running on, even though the Edwardses knew it could implode at any minute because of John’s entanglement with Rielle Hunter. Like Monica and Gennifer before her, Rielle was not a discreet choice. She inspired the literary character of Alison Poole, 'an ostensibly jaded, sexually voracious' New York party girl who had the lead in Jay McInerney’s novel 'Story of My Life' and in a short story in his new book, 'How It Ended,' as well as a couple of walk-ons in novels by Bret Easton Ellis." (MoDowd/NYTimes)



"John L. Loeb Jr. is a fairly new friend. We’ve known each other for a few years. About three or four years ago I was a guest of his at a 75th birthday dinner he threw for himself at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England (see NYSD 6.13.05). That was a spectacular party and a great treat for everyone present including the Duke of Marlborough, his daughter Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill as well as other Churchill relatives. It was the history of the Churchills that drew John to Blenheim ... Last night he held a cocktail reception at the Metropolitan Club to celebrate the pubication of 'An American Experience: Adeline Moses Loeb (1876-1953) and Her Early American Jewish Ancestors' ..Last night at Swifty’s, after the book reception, the Ambassador and Sharon Handler hosted a dinner for forty-two friends and family members to celebrate the pubication of the book." (NYSocialDiary)



"Recent attacks off the Horn of Africa have revived interest in piracy. There is a rich literature on the subject focusing primarily on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Today's piracy problems share enough characteristics with their historical precursors to make an understanding of the earlier experiences useful as well as fun." (Max Boot/Foreign Affairs)

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