Statesman or Showman? Huckabee's Hip Second Act

Mike Huckabee and Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) playing a mini-concert at the Center for American Progress in Washington Wednesday, where they were advocating music and arts education. Video by Amy Argetsinger/The Washington Post
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mike Huckabee -- why doesn't this man have his own TV show yet?

Oh, and not just another news-talk show like the one Fox is considering for him. This man needs a variety show. He plays guitar! He's a monologuist! A stand-up comedian! For years, entertainers have taken politicians' jobs; here's the guy who'll turn that trend around.

The former Arkansas governor rocked D.C. with his multiple talents yesterday. Tomorrow we'll tell you about his much-anticipated routine at last night's Funniest Celebrity in Washington contest. But first: His mini-concert at the liberal Center for American Progress, where the former GOP presidential hopeful took up a guitar to join Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) singing "I Saw Her Standing There." This involved their endorsement of a Music National Service Initiative that gets more music teachers into schools, with Huckabee arguing that arts education is key to our nation's collective brainpower and economic growth.

He also told a long yet riveting story about a young girl who was thought to be mentally disabled -- until a teacher suggested that she take dance lessons, and do you know what? She grew up to be the choreographer of "Cats"! Also, he riffed: "Did anyone think the Rolling Stones would still be playing past the age of 65? Keith Richards has been dead for several years -- he still plays."

Our Home-Grown Supermodel, Zipping Back for Bargains

Local Catholic-school-girl-turned-supermodel Hilary Rhoda, 21, took a mini-break from New York's Fashion Week for a little hometown love, racing down from N.Y.C. on Tuesday and back up that night. The face of Estee Lauder cosmetics dropped by the District Sample Sale downtown, where she schmoozed with young socialites and bought six discounted items from D.C. boutiques. Yes, the blue-eyed brunette really is that gorgeous; no, she's not stick-thin. Score one for field hockey players.

Hey, Isn't That ...

· Robin Wright Penn dining at Bistro Bis on Tuesday (black hoodie, cute Pumas) looking so stunningly gorgeous that she was all the wait staff and fellow diners could talk about. Sat with three others, none of them on-again husband Sean, though apparently he often eats there when he's in town. The actress stood in last night for Javier Bardem, who had a conflict keeping him from an Enough project screening of "Invisibles," his new doc on third-world suffering.

This Just In ...

· Todd Palin's Secret Service code name: Driller. Yes. Really.

· Raffaello Follieri is headed to prison. The suave Italian ex- boyfriend of actress Anne Hathaway pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering in a New York real estate scam. Sentencing is next month; he faces up to five years in the big house.

· Despite objections by the sister act Heart, the McCain campaign is still using the group's song "Barracuda" as a theme for Sarah Palin. Ann and Nancy Wilson sent a cease-and-desist request after they heard the song played at the Republican convention. The campaign says it has obtained rights (by paying a fee to ASCAP) to use it at rallies; the sisters still want it to stop: "Sarah Palin's views and values in no way represent us as American women," they told Entertainment Weekly.

Quote ...

"Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment."

-- Cultural critic/provocateur Camille Paglia, praising GOP veep nominee Sarah Palin for "redefining the persona for female authority." Says she's still voting for Barack Obama, though.

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