Carrie Lemack and Mary Fetchet, who were invited to attend the State of the Union address as guests of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were misidentified in the Jan. 23 Reliable Source column as 9/11 widows. Lemack¿s mother and Fetchet¿s son died in the attacks.
Pelosi Lures Cameras to the Speaker's Box
The party's not over! Newly minted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not only sit behind President Bush at tonight's State of the Union address, but she's filling the normally staid speaker's box with a cluster of political stars.
Many of Pelosi's guests, who will sit in 21 balcony seats, will be past and present celebs of the Democratic Party: former speakers Jim Wright and Tom Foley, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Washington's Adrian Fenty. Pelosi also invited two of the more influential 9/11 widows, Carrie Lemack and Mary Fetchet, and the wives of the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and vice chairman, Lynne Pace and Cindy Giambastiani.
Ronald Reagan began the tradition of inviting special guests, who sat with the first lady and were introduced at key moments in the address. Last year, an injured Iraq war veteran, Air Force Sgt. Jamie Dana (with her dog and former military partner, Rex), sat with Laura Bush. The speaker's box, by contrast, hardly merited a glance -- except in 1997, when conservatives blasted Newt Gingrich for inviting Jesse Jackson to sit in his box.
This is the second time this month Pelosi made the seats a camera magnet: Richard Gere and Tony Bennett sat there for her Jan. 4 swearing-in ceremony. No word who else might pop up, but Lynne Cheney -- who sat in the speaker's box in the past few years -- will move on over to the first lady's this year.
The Million-Dollar Set, With Reason to Celebrate
If you're a young, talented actor-director trolling for a patron who loves the theater -- well, there was only one party to crash Saturday night: the "Happy Ever After Gala" at Signature Theatre's new digs in Arlington. (Signature's Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer was your basic starving artist 17 years ago.) The black-tie bash celebrated the company's new space, new production of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods" and folks who made it all possible, especially the big-three couples who throw serious bucks to the arts in Washington.
|Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and donor Maxine Isaacs at Saturday night's "Happy Ever After Gala" at Signature's new home.(Scott Suchman)|
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