Moran's Gutsy Challenge

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Friday, May 5, 2006

Jim Moran is cutting congressional fat -- his own. The Virginia rep starts a six-month weight-loss challenge this morning with his entire 8th District. The gimmick? Moran will go belly -to -belly with all takers, donating $1 per pound for everyone who beats him.

"This is my last one," said Moran, 60, who did similar challenges as Alexandria mayor in the '80's. "I'm never doing this again." The 60-year-old runs and works out in the House gym four or five times a week, and says he'd like to about drop 50 pounds from his 6-foot-1 frame. Last time he weighed himself, he was "north of 260 pounds."

How it works: If you lose more pounds than Moran, he'll donate $1 per pound for every extra one you lost to the Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce. "It could be very expensive," he admits, vowing to give up congressional receptions, alcohol, hot dogs and his beloved ice cream. "It's going to be tough."

His official weigh-in is at Vantage Fitness today; everyone else has until June 4 to enroll by jumping on a scale at any of five Falls Church locations listed on the chamber's Web site ( The final reckoning will take place at a Falls Church business expo on Nov. 3 -- just in time for leftover Halloween candy and pumpkin pie, and just in time to look his best on Election Day a few days hence.

What's 'Nuclear' in Spanish?

President Bush with Scott McClellen
Adios amigo: But not before a last-minute disclosure from press secretary McClellan.(Kevin Lamarque - Reuters)
In one of his final briefings yesterday, White House press secretary Scott McClellan disclosed a surprising fact about his boss: Despite that Latin flavor he likes to throw into some of his speeches, the president's foreign-language skills just really aren't that strong. The revelation came as McClellan was asked about reports that during the 2000 campaign, President Bush once sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" in its now-controversial Spanish translation. "He couldn't possibly sing the national anthem in Spanish," McClellan retorted. "He's not that good with his Spanish." Goodness! ¡Qué sorpresa!


"It's wonderful to see so many old friends again. I think it would be appropriate if each of you turn to the person next to you, reach out your hand and say -- 'I thought you were dead.'"

-- Comedian Mark Russell tweaking Washington's Old Guard gathered at the Omni Shoreham Hotel's 75th-anniversary gala Wednesday night. The hotel honored Russell, 73, who performed at the Shoreham from 1961 to 1981, by officially renaming its bar the "Mark Russell Marquee Lounge."

Love, Etc.

Born: A daughter, to White Stripes frontman Jack White and his wife, supermodel Karen Elson, on Tuesday in Tennessee, where the couple just bought a home, his rep told reporters yesterday. Want to try to guess the name? No, come on, think about it: Elson has red hair, and White and his ex-wife/band mate Meg White always perform in red and white, so they named the baby . . . Scarlett White! Duh!

Hey Isn't That...?

Serena Williams, snacking with friends on the rooftop of D.C.'s Beacon Bar & Grill on Wednesday night, a day after announcing that knee problems will likely keep her out of the next big tennis tourneys. The seven-time Grand Slam tournament winner (blue velour skirt-jacket combo, heavy jeweled designer glasses) showed up with friends and called more to meet them there but drank only water while noshing on cheese, proscuitto and smoked duck. Williams, who has family in the area, told fans at the bar she's headed to Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

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