Boies's Birthday Surprise: Pretty Memorable, You Bet

Birthday boy David Boies thought he was going fishing. (Larry Downing -- Reuters)
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, March 7, 2006

You think a big-name lawyer like David Boies celebrates his 65th birthday with a low-key dinner and tasteful little cake? Ha!

Boies, best known for leading the Gore team in the 2000 election Supreme Court recount case, thought he was going fly-fishing in Montana last weekend but arrived at the airport Friday for a surprise trip to Vegas with 50 of his closest friends. His wife, Mary , arranged for two chartered flights -- one from New York, one from Washington -- to whisk the birthday boy and entourage to the lavish new Wynn tower on the Strip. "He was unbelievably stunned," reports one lucky guest.

Friday's dinner was held in the Wynn's Ferrari dealership, with Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose leading the toasts in front of former solicitor generals Ted Olson (who argued against Boies in the 2000 case) and Walter Dellinger , Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson, and other media types such as Tom Friedman, Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn, Margaret Carlson and Richard Cohen.

The party moved to the casino's main floor, where Boies and Nora Ephron taught the novices at the craps table. (A few die-hards, including Boies, played until dawn.) A formal dinner Saturday was held in one of the hotel's private dining rooms, with yet more toasts and a cake with 65 candles that Boies (whose birthday is actually March 11) blew out in one long puff.

The planes deposited everyone back home Sunday. Boies didn't return our calls yesterday, so we assume what else happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas.

D.C.'s Oscar Representatives

Sharp-eyed political groupies did a double take when they spotted Rep. Ed Markey in the audience at Sunday's Oscars. What's the distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts doing in a place like that? Turns out Markey was offered two tickets by the Academy to the awards ceremony -- for which he paid $350 each -- and hopped a plane with wife Susan Blumenthal. Why? Because he's never been, said an aide, and "it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

That was Southeast Washington native Taraji Henson belting out the night's surprise Best Song winner, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," from "Hustle & Flow," alongside Three 6 Mafia . The 1995 Howard grad will appear next in an episode of "CSI" and in the mobster comedy "Smokin' Aces."


· President Bush will fire up Air Force One for a special trip down to Crawford to vote in today's Republican primary. White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters yesterday that it's sort of on the way to New Orleans, where POTUS is headed anyway to tour hurricane recovery work tomorrow -- but the Dallas Morning News reported that aides forgot to order an absentee ballot in time.

On the local ballot: the bitter primary race between Iraq veteran Van Taylor and former Hill aide Tucker Anderson , vying to challenge Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Waco). Not on the ballot: McClellan's mom, Carole Keeton Strayhorn , who originally planned to challenge Bush pal Gov. Rick Perry in the primary but is instead going after him as an independent. It's also primary day-of-reckoning for Tom DeLay , but he's way outside the president's district.

· Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday, but he'll have to wait a few days for his biggest present: a huge book advance. The auction for his memoirs began last Thursday, and Publishers Weekly reports that the bidding started at $5 million and has risen to $8 million, with three publishing houses still in the race.

This means the Maestro, repped by Washington attorney Robert Barnett , could snag one of the biggest prices ever for a nonfiction book: Bill Clinton reportedly holds the record with an estimated advance of $12 million for "My Life."

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

· Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan and Jenna Bush at the Capital Grille Saturday night. The two turned heads while dining with 10 others at the downtown steakhouse: Jenna (sporting that new bob) was with a tall, dark, handsome fella who looked like boyfriend Henry Hager ; a waiter clambered onto a stool to unscrew a light bulb shining a little too brightly on her at the Secret Service's urging. Shanahan's son, Kyle , was a classmate of Jenna's at the University of Texas.

· Actor Martin Sheen at St. Stephen's Church yesterday afternoon. The "West Wing" star wrapped filming Sunday night, so maybe he was praying for his next part.

· George Stephanopoulos , getting a manicure at Daniel's Salon on M Street on Thursday. Remember: Never let them trim the cuticles!

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