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Leader of the Band

New Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley rocks his own party with the help of Jim Eagan  during his inaugural gala at the Baltimore Convention Center.
New Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley rocks his own party with the help of Jim Eagan during his inaugural gala at the Baltimore Convention Center. (By Kevin Clark -- The Washington Post)

In the sea of Free State humanity, we finally found a familiar face - Laura Leedy Gansler, lawyer and author (of "Class Action," which was turned into that Charlize Theron movie "North Country") - and wife of new attorney general and former Montgomery County state's attorney Doug Gansler.

Would your husband kill us if we asked him whether he's looking at this party and thinking of the party he might have himself, say, eight years from now?

She laughed: "I think he'll probably say, 'I'm focusing on the job ahead.' " Okay, let's try. So, Mr. Gansler - any thoughts whether you might be having a party like this yourself in eight years?

"No!" he exclaimed. "People have this propensity, as soon as an election is done, to start thinking about the next one. It's so absurd. I don't even know where the bathroom is yet!"

Laura laughed and shrugged, acknowledging that if this were "The Newlywed Game," she'd just have lost that washer-dryer.

* * *

Onstage, the O'Malley family made for a photogenic group - wife Katie in a blue gown with matching wrap, teen daughters sensibly dressed, the younger of the two boys hanging adorably off the podium.

When former Baltimore mayor Thomas D'Alesandro III (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's brother) beckoned O'Malley over to join O'Malley's March, he smiled. "I don't know if I want to hurt my gravitas," O'Malley deadpanned. "Give me two minutes."

Their rendition of the Green Day song started out earnest and acoustic-y - dedicated to "the hopeful people of Baltimore." But as it revved up into a toe-tapping jig, the guitarist governor leaned into the side of his fiddle player, the two of them shimmying to the ground together, then back up again. One last rock-star move for the night.


*Battling: Exes Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz, who announced their split last week, got into a very public spat at a Golden Globes after-party early Tuesday, reports People. The two managed to be civil during the awards show, but got into it after Diaz saw her ex flirting with Jessica Biel. Biel made a hasty retreat while the former couple stepped into a side room and argued for 40 minutes. So much for their "continued love and respect" press release.

*New digs: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have moved into are living in a $3.5 million mansion in New Orleans, where Pitt is shooting his latest movie, confirms Us Weekly. The couple moved to the French Quarter last week. Jolie has been meeting local moms and plans to enroll the kids in school; Pitt will oversee construction on 20 environment-friendly homes he's building in hurricane-ravaged neighborhoods.

*Shilling: Kevin Federline will star in a Super Bowl ad for Nationwide Insurance's "Life Comes at You Fast" campaign. The 30-second spot begins with Britney Spears's soon-to-be-ex in a rap video surrounded by babes and ends with him working at a fast-food joint. Art imitating life?

What, They Expected Him To Fly on an Empty Stomach?

Busted! Two weeks ago, we reported that Shimon Peres attended Gerald Ford's funeral, then headed for Teatro Goldoni restaurant, where he spent more than two hours over grilled shrimp, steamed vegetables and white wine. We figured a sighting of him wouldn't raise too many eyebrows.

But the lunch turned into a public embarrassment for Israel's vice premier, who was in Washington representing his country at the funeral. Peres was scheduled to meet with a dozen Washington-based Israeli reporters, but begged off at the last minute by claiming he had to rush back home for the funeral of Jerusalem's beloved former mayor Teddy Kollek, who died earlier that day. Peres, as it turned out, had plenty of time to meet the reporters and make it home in time for Kollek's service -- instead, he opted for the long lunch.

That didn't sit well with Nahum Barnea, an influential columnist with Yediot Aharonot, Israel's leading Hebrew newspaper, who chided the former prime minister for using the funeral to dodge reporters. "If Kollek could speak," wrote Barnea, "he'd probably say, 'Very well, Shimon, I'd do exactly the same thing to you.' "

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