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What Do They Do After the Curtain Comes Down?

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Monday, January 14, 2008

Okay, we didn't really expect anyone to say, "I'm going to Disney World!" after dropping out of the presidential race. (Great line for a concession speech, though.) But we wondered what happens after months of campaigning: Sleep for a week? Drink for a week? Catch up on your TiVoed "Dancing With the Stars"?

The three Democratic candidates who recently left the trail were a little vague about their post-campaign schedules, but all -- wait for it! -- spent "time with family."

Bill Richardson, who gave up the ghost after the New Hampshire primary, "took one day off, then got right back to work being the governor or New Mexico," said campaign spokesman Tom Reynolds. "He's a glutton for punishment." Richardson left the Granite State late Tuesday after finishing fourth and arrived in Santa Fe at 2 a.m.; Wednesday he slept in and spent quality time with his wife. By Thursday -- the day he dropped out -- he was back in the state capital. That's it? "There's a standing invitation for him to accompany me snowboarding in Tahoe or surfing in Costa Rica," said his now unemployed spokesman -- but so far, no go.

After spending a year in Iowa, Chris Dodd and his wife and kids hightailed back to Connecticut the day after his drubbing in the caucuses. The Dodds flew out the morning of Jan. 4 (no sleeping in with two preschoolers) and received a hero's welcome in their home town of East Haddam -- relatives, friends and staffers hung out in his back yard the next day as he formally left the race, then partied at a nearby restaurant. No word if the rented house in Iowa is already back on the market.

And not a peep from the loquacious Joe Biden until Saturday, when he surfaced in Dover, Del., to give a foreign policy speech. Biden, so exhausted that he napped while waiting for caucus results, and his family (wife, mom, sis, grandkids) jumped on a plane later that night and flew to Wilmington, where he "spent the next couple days decompressing."

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

* R. Kelly creating a sensation at the Cheesecake Factory in Columbia on Saturday night. The R&B singer (sweat pants, white do-rag, black sunglasses), who had dinner with three women, arrived at the suburban eatery with a large group and was mobbed by photo-snapping fans. Kelly finished his "Double-Up Tour" Friday in Richmond (he canceled gigs in Atlantic City Saturday and Hampton, Va., last night) and is due in Chicago this morning for a court date in his sex-tape trial.

* Alex Ovechkin, who signed a $124 million contract with the Caps on Thursday, at the Wizards-Celtics game Saturday. D.C.'s highest-paid athlete, wearing Dolce & Gabbana, snagged eight third-row tickets for the sold-out game; brought along his mom, dad, brother, teammate Alexander Semin and friends.

LOVE, ETC.

* Born: A son to Christina Aguilera and husband Jordan Bratman in L.A. Saturday night. The pop singer quaintly married and then had a baby: Max Liron Bratman, who made his appearance just two months after his mom finally confirmed her pregnancy. Aguilera's Web site sported blue balloons to celebrate the "very joyful and special day," the proud mom wrote. This is the first child for the singer, 27, and her music exec spouse, 30.

READERS TELL US

Ridley Scott won't say whom he has in mind to play Ronald Reagan in his planned movie about the 1986 Reykjavik Summit -- but he urged us to pick your brains for suggestions. Among your ideas: Brendan Fraser (well, maybe in 30 years), Tom Selleck (hmmm . . . ) and Clint Eastwood (we won't rule it out).

Perhaps the most provocative suggestion? Alec Baldwin. "He has the gravitas, talent and physical characteristics to play President Reagan well," wrote Mike Blevins of Great Falls. "Of course, Mr. Baldwin couldn't be more different from Mr. Reagan in terms of political philosophy, but that's why they call it 'acting.' "

Our readers also cast Bob Hoskins or Paul Giamatti as former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

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