Laura Bush and the Case of the Celebrity Non-Endorsement
Usually it's the Dems cozying up with Hollywood -- but a new movie got a huge plug yesterday from the nation's best-loved Republican: Laura Bush.
"Good morning, everybody," Bush told students at the Washington Middle School for Girls in Southeast. "Thank you so much for letting me visit and present Emma Roberts, who is the star of the new 'Nancy Drew' movie that I hope you all will be able to see. It's released when? June 15th?"
"June 15th," confirmed the 16-year-old actress (and niece of Julia Roberts), who was in D.C. to promote the film.
How did the studio snag the first lady's thumbs-up? A Warner Bros. rep said it pitched the White House two months ago on a joint appearance to encourage family literacy. "They called us back," said the spokeswoman. "It worked out great." (The movie's producer, Jerry Weintraub, is an old friend of the Bush family and a trustee of George H. W. Bush's presidential library foundation.)
"She wasn't endorsing the movie," said Sally McDonough, the first lady's press secretary. "Mrs. Bush hasn't even seen the movie." McDonough said the former librarian wanted to highlight the importance of summer reading, and brought the actress along to the school because of her work with a group called Drop Everything and Read.
The two spent about 20 minutes reading from "The Secret of the Old Clock," the first book in the famed series. "Nancy Drew was a favorite book of mine when I was your age," said Bush. "So if you like reading about a girl detective, you might this summer go to your library and check out Nancy Drews. And if you're a really, really fast reader, you could read all 57."
Wealth List Adds Sums and Names Names
Who's got big money in D.C.? The editors of Washington Life spent months tallying estimates gleaned from public records and private sources for their June issue. The "Wealth List" is most revelatory when it dips below the upper-upper-upper class -- you already know about the multi-billionaire Mars, Marriott and Rales families from the Forbes 400 -- to chronicle the middle-upper- upper-class folks like Mark Warner, Ron Dozoretz, Fred Malek and Franklin Raines in the mere $200 million to $300 million range. (The September issue will examine the folks in the lowly $50 million to $200 million bracket.) And did you know tech whiz-kid Michael Saylor is down to his last half-billion?
Data concerning private wealth are notoriously hard to pin down, but the mag makes a case for two local multi-billionaires -- Capital One founder Richard Fairbank and developer Robert Kogod -- who by its count were wrongly overlooked by the national Forbes list. Finally: Forget about his many millions -- simply with a name like " J. Rock Tonkel Jr.," the prez of investment banking firm FBR should really be in print more often.
HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?
|Clinton campaign staffers Mo Elleithee and Talya Stein: Hitched to Hillary's star.(Mark Gardner)|