By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, May 29, 2008
One of the worst-kept secrets in Washington -- the romance between Rep. Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin-- is finally out.
After months of ducking the question (despite persistent sightings of the two in N.Y. tabs), the New York Democrat finally spilled the beans last weekend during a visit to Puerto Rico with Hillary Clinton's camp. The main reason for the trip? "It's largely because I'm dating Huma," he told the Associated Press.
Abedin, 32, is Clinton's "body woman" -- a modern lady-in-waiting always at the candidate's side. She started working as an intern for Clinton (then first lady) in 1996; now she's one of her closest advisers. But it was Abedin's exotic looks (her mom's Pakistani, dad's Indian) and elegant designer wardrobe that caught the eye of Vogue, which convinced the press-shy aide to model in the magazine last year.
Model? Vogue? That sounds familiar . . . ah, yes! Weiner's the one who introduced what we call the "hot supermodel bill" -- HR 4354, legislation that would change the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish a separate classification for fashion models and make it easier for those gorgeous creatures to work in the U.S.A. -- in, say, Weiner's district. The bill is still languishing in committee.
The lifelong bachelor, 43, commutes between his district and Washington and is gearing up for next year's N.Y.C. mayoral race -- so dating Abedin means stealing a few hours here or there on the campaign trail. "It's not a great environment to forge a relationship," he said.McClellan, Not in the Book-Partying Mood
Is there any finer tradition than the Washington book party? Sooner or later everyone here writes a book, so there are at least three or four throw-downs a week. At the worst you still get a free glass of chardonnay; the best are so big no one notices you haven't bought the book, and you fill up on enough canapes to skip dinner.
And, of course, you get to hang with all the Very Important Friends who turn out to support the big-deal author. Which is why everyone was stoked to hear about the new book from former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception," in which he claims the White House used a variety of slick campaign tricks and false pretenses to sell the Iraq war.
This one's gonna rock! Come on, everybody, who's in -- Dick? Ari? Karl? Condi?
So, there is a McClellan book party, right? "Uh," said Lisa Kaufman, marketing director for his publisher, PublicAffairs. She sighed patiently before stating that no, there probably will not be a Washington party for this book. "If there is a party," she said, it would come at the end of his promotional tour. "It would more be a celebration of his integrity and courage, by his family and friends, in Austin."Jenna, Getting Her Lesson Plans Ready?
So how will Jenna Bush Hager occupy herself in Baltimore, where she and new husband Henry bought a house? The Sun yesterday reported that the first daughter -- who spent a couple years teaching at a bilingual charter school in Washington -- applied to work at the SEED School of Maryland, a soon-to-open cousin of D.C.'s SEED School, a public boarding facility for low-income students. Unclear if she's got the job; the school's director did not return our calls, and the White House is no-commenting, as it does with Twin news. Mr. Hager, a newly minted MBA, has taken a job with Baltimore's Constellation Energy.LOVE, ETC.
· Split: George Clooney and girlfriend Sarah Larson. The hunky movie star, 47, and Las Vegas cocktail waitress, 29, called it quits after a year of dating, reports People -- news that triggered uncharitable glee and champagne toasts from Clooney's female fans. Larson's appearance with Clooney at the Oscars fueled rumors of an engagement, but he's back on the market. The actor's rep declined to comment.