Where Donkeys Go to Put On the Feed Bag

Presidential candidates John Edwards, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton contended for space at Busboys and Poets.
Presidential candidates John Edwards, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton contended for space at Busboys and Poets. (Susan Biddle - The Washington Post)
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Is Busboys and Poets the Cafe Milano for Democratic activists? Case in point: Last month, the John Edwards campaign called the restaurant/coffeehouse at 14th and V to organize a pre-party for tonight's candidate debate at Howard University.

Then, owner Andy Shallal told us, the Hillary Clinton folks called last week asking for the same thing.

Told that Edwards had already booked that time slot, they decided instead on a post-debate party . . . then called a couple of days ago to cancel.

Because they were worried about bumping into stragglers from the Edwards camp? "That was the impression I got," Shallal said.

Oh, and Joe Biden's people called about doing a debate- watching party -- but called it off when they heard who else might be around.

Could Shallal really have accommodated all three camps?

"If they don't mind it, we don't." Getting the impression that Busboys and Poets caters to kind of a left-leaning crowd? "We haven't had any of the Republican candidates call," Shallal laughed, "so I don't know."

The Smithsonian Gets In on Some 'Die Hard' Action

Hey, kids! Wanna go to the Smithsonian and see . . . a grubby undershirt Bruce Willis wore, and a police badge he carried in a movie? Well, soon you can. The A-lister, who (have you heard?) has a new "Die Hard" movie, came to D.C. yesterday to donate artifacts from the film franchise to the National Museum of American History.

Bruce Willis with the
Bruce Willis with the "Die Hard" T-shirt he gave to the Smithsonian Institution.(Win Mcnamee - Getty Images)
In tow for the news conference: daughters Tallulah, 13, and Rumer, 18, both in knee-length black frocks, reports our colleague Rachel Beckman; their sister Scout, 15, was said to be in school in Paris.

The 52-year-old actor (light gray suit, gleaming pate, apologetic for his flight-delay tardiness) received warm thanks from curator Dwight Blocker Bowers: "We have a lot of treasures, but none greater than those we have on the table right here," he said. Really? ("We don't ever give value judgments to our objects," Bowers added later. "We think everything is a piece of the fabric of American history.") Said Willis: "I think the ["Wizard of Oz"] ruby slippers are far cooler than this shirt and badge here . . . but it's an honor to be included."

Will Coulter's Nastiness Pay Off for Edwards?

Beginning to get the idea that maybe Ann Coulter doesn't like John Edwards? And that maybe the feeling's sorta mutual? A new round of name-calling and apology-demanding occupied at least one full TV news cycle, with the potential to continue today.

The conservative shock-pundit, who sniped on "Good Morning America" Monday that she hoped the Democratic candidate would be "killed in a terrorist assassination plot," was a guest on MSNBC's "Hardball" Tuesday night, prompting a live call-in by Elizabeth, who demanded that Coulter "stop the personal attacks." The exchange went downhill from there. Coulter countercharged that John Edwards had used her prior controversial remarks (remember the gay slur?) to raise money. Yesterday he cited Coulter's latest controversial remarks in, yes, a fundraising letter. And he appeared on last night's "Hardball," likening Coulter's attacks to "the Swift-boating of Senator Kerry," and calling on supporters to stand up to her "hate-mongering."

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

ยท NoVa software tycoon Michael Saylor checking out the fine china at the Pentagon City Macy's with the help of a wedding registry consultant (!); was looking to buy a couple dozen pieces of the Lenox Hancock Platinum, but they didn't have it in stock. OMG! Wedding bells for D.C.'s most eligible (by which we mean: richest) bachelor? No, alas; apparently just looking to furnish that new $3 million luxury yacht we've told you about, and the wedding expert just happened to be the one who assisted him.


"I want to buy an island [in Tahiti]. Because Diana Ross has an island. Marvin Brando had an island . . . Marvin Brando? Wasn't he the actor?"

-- Gilbert Arenas, upon returning from that family vacation in the South Pacific, in an interview with our sports blogging colleague Dan Steinberg. What would he do on his island? "Vacate . . . Just chill."

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