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Posted at 03:25 PM ET, 12/05/2011

Kennedy Center crowning achievement: Callista Gingrich’s hair

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick were there. So, too, were Bill Cosby and Anne Hathaway. They and many more were at the Kennedy Center to help honor Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Yo-Yo Ma, Sonny Rollins and Meryl Streep. But the buzz in the joint — at least among some  of us in Rows Z and AA — was all about the Gingriches.

Taking a break from the campaign trail and basking in the glow of his front-runner status in the GOP presidential field, Newt and Callista seemed rather chummy with the dreaded Washington elite swarming around them. But Hilary Rosen, big-time Democrat, CNN pundit and for whom I served as arm candy last night, tweeted out a noteworthy observation.

@hilaryr #kennedyCenter must not think Newt will get the nomination. He and Calista r many rows behind me in the double letters. #cantseePOTUSbox

Yeah, they were way under that upper deck, which made eyeballing the presidential seal and imagining themselves looking down at the rest of us impossible. There’s still plenty of time for all that. Back to the buzz.

Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and wife Callista arrive at the Kennedy Center honors (BILL O’LEARY/THEWASHINGTON POST)

So, folks were also suitably fascinated by Callista’s necklace. After all, with their love of Tiffany’s how could you not wonder if the diamond sparklers (possibly) set in platinum ringing her neck originally came in that squeal-inducing blue box. I found a picture from the New York Times of Callista wearing the same necklace from last night so you can see it in greater detail. Quite frankly, I was heartened by the modesty of her bijoux and was pleased that she wasn’t paved in precious stones.

As they walked by at the conclusion of the second intermission, I got a gander at the thing that has fascinated me no end about Callista Gingrich: her hair. On television and in photographs, such as the one above from the Nov. 12 Republican debate in South Carolina, it looks as if she is single-handedly keeping Aqua Net in business. But from a few feet away, it is more an awe-inspiring architectural marvel.

Not since I met the stunning Rosa Rai Djalal, wife of the Indonesian ambassador to the United States, had I seen such tresses so expertly done. If the bun on Djala’s ’do that night last year was reminiscent of an inverted version of Phillip Johnson’s supremely elegant Glass House then Gingrich’s “wing” brings to mind Eero Saarinen’s terminal building for Dulles International Airport just outside Washington, D.C.

How fitting for an aspiring first lady of the United States.

By  |  03:25 PM ET, 12/05/2011

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