Things We Learned at the Scooter Libby Trial

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Sunday, March 11, 2007

1. Agent Jack Eckenrode has a fine future as an investigative journalist if he ever gets tired of working for the FBI. He got Tim Russert to cough up a fast no-lawyers-involved denial with the old schmooze-and-switch: He cold-called Russert, thanked him for the time he welcomed Eckenrode's family and church group on the "Meet the Press" set, blah blah blah, you were so kind, blah blah blah, and by the way I'm working on the CIA leak case and did you tell Scooter Libby about Valerie Plame?

2. When he was working for Dick Cheney, Libby started many of his days at the veep's residence with a 6:30 a.m. CIA briefing, then breakfasted with Cheney before riding with him to the White House. In prison, maybe they'll give him a snooze button?

3. Bob Novak's true friends: Not Dick Armitage, who refused to return his calls seeking a meeting, once explaining that it wasn't that he was too busy, it was that he just didn't want to see Novak. But Karl Rove? A major BFF, who always, always returned Bob's phone calls right away.

Marion Barry: Mayor for Lifelike

Who should receive wax immortality? Last week, we told you which VIPs already had starring roles in Washington's forthcoming Madame Tussauds museum and asked you who should be the last of the 50 figures on display.

On Thursday, museum officials came up with a list of 10 finalists for the spot, compiled from previous research and staff favorites: Marion Barry, Al Gore, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Martin Sheen, Carl Bernstein, Cal Ripken, Marilyn Monroe, Oprah Winfrey and Nancy Reagan.

But what do the locals think? "The luminaries slated for display in the new Madame Tussauds have legacies that already belong to world history," wrote a Woodbridge reader. "The [last] honoree should be someone uniquely 'D.C.' "

Dozens of readers sent nominations: Serious (Thurgood Marshall, Katharine Graham), show-bizzy (Helen Hayes, Willard Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Warren Beatty, Chuck Brown), sporty (John Riggins, Joe Gibbs, Darrell Green), scandal-tinged (J. Edgar Hoover, Jack Abramoff, Marlene Cooke, Jessica Cutler) and sweet (Art Buchwald, Giant Panda). Oh, and Henry Waxman -- get it?

But the runaway favorite? One name came up again and again: Mayor for Life Marion Barry.

The White House Chief of Staff Shows His Plucky Side

In an effort to liven up embassy dinners, Rima al-Sabah, wife of Kuwaiti Ambassador Salem al-Sabah, always throws in a surprise or two: a jazz singer, a concert pianist, sometimes a belly dancer. For Wednesday's Kuwait-America Foundation dinner, attended by Laura Bush, Condi Rice, Karl Rove, Michael Chertoff, Justice Anthony Kennedy, Charlie Rose, Adrian Fenty, members of Congress and corporate big shots (the event raised $1.5 million for a pediatric hospital in Iraq), she flew in Randy Travis.

But that wasn't the real surprise. "Josh, come up here and play something," Travis told Josh Bolten, the president's chief of staff, who plays bass in the amateur group the Compassionates. Egged on by applause, Bolten strapped on a guitar and motioned for his girlfriend, Dede McClure, to sing backup for Travis's "Forever and Ever, Amen."

The first lady and secretary of state led a standing ovation. A mildly embarrassed Bolten said he had "no idea" he'd be tapped: "It's a good thing I didn't know, because I would have been too nervous to enjoy dinner."

You Be the Gossip!

Club kids and music fans are agog about Internet reports that local heroes Thievery Corporation -- the electro-loungey duo with a growing national reputation whose 9:30 club shows routinely sell out -- got hired to play a 40th birthday party in some couple's Northern Virginia living room last weekend. And now they're all dying to know: Who were these mystery hosts? And how do we get into their parties? Do you:

a) Try sweet-talking the local bloggers who got in or know someone who did and then wrote about it? (And hey, since when did bloggers start getting all discreet?)

b) Create an elaborate Venn diagram of top-secret, privacy-invading data to find the intersection of sets A, B and C, where A is "People Who Have That Kind of Money" and B is "People Who Are Cool Enough" and C is "People Who Live in Northern Virginia"? (Hmmm . . . "Hipster AOL Employees"?)

c) Call the band and ask?

Time's up! Via a multitude of strategies we learned the names: McLean money manager Frank Sands Jr. (Happy B-day, Frank! Can't wait for your 41st!) and his wife, Jessica. "It was a favor we did for a friend of the band's," explained TC's label manager Mat Whittington.

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