Rumsfeld Wins a Noble Prize

By Al Kamen
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Save the date! Feb. 23. It's the black-tie gala Founders' Day Celebration and 104th birthday of the University Club. The club is giving the highly coveted William Howard Taft Public Service Award -- named in honor of the club founder, former president and Supreme Court justice -- to former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

And there'll be "special entertainment by member Dan McDermott, Tony Snow and their band, Beats Workin'," all for only $70 per person for members and $80 for nonmembers.

This appears to be a general service award, encompassing more than just Rumsfeld's deeds in Iraq. (Those may be hailed at the Presidential Medal of Freedom award presentation later this year.) Rumsfeld, a new member himself -- we had thought he was looking more at the Metropolitan Club -- may not be the most popular guy among some folk, but he's big with club members. We hear the dinner sold out within 48 hours of the first announcement. (Check if there's a waiting list.) Of course, that might have been because of Snow's band. Maybe Rumsfeld's close friend, Vice President/Sen. Dick Cheney (R-Wyo.), will show?

Covet Thy Neighbor's T-Shirt?

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee might as well start using the old Lucinda Williams tune "Can't Let Go" ( It's over, I know it, but I can't let go) as a theme song. He notes that he might as well keep going, since "I have nothing else to do."

Such an admission means it's clearly time for . . . the In the Loop Name the Veep contest!

Simply guess who Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will pick for his running mate. First 10 entrants who guess correctly will win a stunning navy-blue In the Loop T-shirt. Winners will be announced shortly after McCain decides. One entry per person, please.

Send your pick to Deadline is midnight Friday. So don't delay. (McCain, his aides and other GOP officials may, of course, enter on background.) To be eligible, you must include a cell, work or home telephone number.

Yes, we plan a Clintonveep or Obamaveep contest, surely by Sept. 1.

George W. 'Shecky' Bush

Speaking of vice presidents, some observers have been noticing that President Bush seems to be making more and more use of Cheney as a punch line.

For example, on Monday, at a White House meeting on heart disease, Bush started off: "Thank you all. Welcome to the White House. Laura and I are glad you're here, and thanks for coming. I welcome members of my Cabinet. I particularly want to thank all the healers and compassionate folks who help with heart disease. The vice president sends his best." (Laughter.) Last week, greeting the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks at the White House, Bush said: "Welcome to the White House. We're glad you're here. Like, have you noticed a lot of security around here? It's because the vice president heard there were some ducks around." (Laughter and applause.)

Tobias Lands in Indianapolis

Keeping up with . . . Our old pal, former deputy secretary of state Randall Tobias, last seen leaving town in the spring after his phone number popped up on the alleged D.C. Madam's call logs.

Tobias told ABC News he used the service only for massages, "no sex," and that he'd recently used another service, "with Central American gals," for massages.

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