Correction to This Article
The Reliable Source column in the Nov. 17 Style section incorrectly referred to Kerry Kennedy as Robert F. Kennedy's youngest daughter. She is the third born of his four daughters and the seventh of his 11 children.

Kennedy-Less 'Bobby' Parties

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Friday, November 17, 2006

Political films get a sweet promotional splash in Washington -- "premiere" parties with free drinks and canapes for local tastemakers. The buzziest in a while seems to be "Bobby," a star-studded account of the night of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, which scored not one but two D.C. parties -- on consecutive nights. Last night, a screener reception thrown by Clinton White House social secretary Capricia Marshall; tonight, one hosted by GOP consultant Juleanna Glover Weiss-- both at the downtown Goethe Institut.

Still, don't expect to bump into many Kennedys. Written and directed by Emilio Estevez (son of loyal liberal Martin Sheen, who played RFK and JFK in long-ago flicks), the movie focuses on 22 regular folks at L.A.'s Ambassador Hotel the night of the shooting. It intercuts actual news footage of the senator celebrating his California primary victory, and the moment he was shot.

His widow, Ethel, and youngest daughter, Kerry, last month declared the family's support for "Bobby," saying they were "grateful" for its showcase of RFK's ideals. Still, many relatives have no plans to see the movie. An aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy said "he prefers to focus on his brother's life and remarkable achievements." Robert Kennedy Jr. told Reuters he hears it's "wonderful" but "too painful to watch." RFK's eldest, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, says, simply, "It's nice that people remember my father."

The back-to-back parties apparently stem from a pre-holiday scheduling crunch (the movie opens next week) and are not, a rep for producer Harvey Weinstein assures us, a Democrats-here, Republicans-there thing. Weiss promises a bipartisan audience: "Lots of reporters, some Dems and quite a number of GOP staff" -- all "very motivated to do more networking than usual."

The Crowd Pleaser

Up close and darn cute! John Edwards yesterday.
Up close and darn cute! John Edwards yesterday.(Roxanne Roberts - The Washington Post)
The people have spoken: John Edwards is still hunky enough to give that presidential thing another try. "Oh my God, he's even cuter in person!" gushed one woman at Borders on Wednesday night. The former senator was at the Borders on L Street NW to sign copies of his new coffee-table book, "Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives," a collection of essays and photographs about the childhood homes of the famous and not-so; all proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity and the International Rescue Committee.

Edwards, sporting a blazer, open shirt and green "Save Darfur" wristband, fielded questions from the overflow crowd of 500 and then signed books for two hours. For the record, he's still officially mulling that 2008 bid-- but yes, the book tour takes him to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

When Worlds (Nearly) Collide!

All kinds of close calls these days!

· John Kerry came thisclose to bumping into Rush Limbaugh when both made unannounced visits to troops at Walter Reed yesterday morning. The conservative radio host was in town for a WMAL fundraising appearance at the Warner Theatre for Fisher Houses, which accommodate families of wounded vets; a radio exec accompanying him said the hospital staff seemed to do "some fancy footwork" to keep him from intersecting with the Senate Democrat. A Kerry aide said the senator (who's made several quiet visits there in recent years) had no idea Limbaugh was in the building.

· Capitol police showed up Wednesday night at the Hart Senate Office building, where Wyclef Jean was loudly rocking the house. The hip-hop star teamed up with outgoing Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) to lobby for a trade bill with Haiti (Jean's uncle is the Haitian ambassador), then launched into an impromptu 40-minute set. When an officer approached Jean, staffers feared the ex-Fugee was in trouble -- but the cop just wanted an autograph for his daughter.

THIS JUST IN . . .

· Tim Russert broke his right ankle Tuesday night while playing with his mutt, Buster the Wonder Dog. Buster and his owner were chasing each other on a stairwell inside the house when the "Meet the Press" host -- carrying research papers and dry cleaning -- tripped and fell. "There's a message here: Slow down," said Russert, who will be in a cast for six weeks. Buster has invented a new game: weaving in and out of the new crutches.

· Good news, fellows! Soon-to-be-single Reese Witherspoon will make a red-carpet appearance here at the Kennedy Center Honors next month. The $15-million-a-movie actress, who'll be shooting the thriller "Rendition" in the nation's capital, will present the award to honoree Dolly Parton.


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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