Federal City Digest

Federal City Digest

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Real Consequences

As the departures of Thomas A. Daschle and Nancy Killefer spell trouble for the new president, they also take away a little more of the luster of Northwest Washington's Wesley Heights neighborhood, where both former Obama administration nominees live and where real estate values are already down from their peak, our colleagues Alice Crites and Ed O'Keefe report.

"We're a little off, 10, 15 percent," says Charlie Hein, an agent with Long & Foster Realtors, who operates a neighborhood Web site.

Houses in the upscale area, bordered by Massachusetts and Nebraska avenues, can run as much as $8 million.

Killefer and husband Robert E. Cumby own a two-story, five-bedroom, five-bath stucco structure built in 1925 and currently assessed at approximately $1.7 million. Daschle and wife Linda Daschle live in a 2 1/2 -story, seven-bedroom, six-bath house built in 1950 and valued at almost $2.8 million.

"Spring will really tell where we're at," says Hein.

Hagel to GU

Georgetown University students will get to take informal lessons in bipartisan governance along with their formal coursework on U.S. foreign policy this fall when former senator Chuck Hagel comes to class. The Nebraska Republican has signed on to be a distinguished professor in the practice of national governance at Georgetown's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, our colleague Philip Rucker reports.

Hagel will begin working at the university immediately, planning conferences and other events on campus this spring, and will teach undergraduate and graduate courses this fall.

FAA TBA

The outlook for the top job at the Federal Aviation Administration remains muddy, our colleague Sholnn Freeman reports, with talk that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is demanding a wider list of candidates. Last week, Robert T. Herbert, a longtime aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), was viewed as making headway for the administrator post. But now, says a source familiar with the search process, new names are getting attention for the job, including Randy Babbitt, a former president of the pilots union.

WHAT TO WATCH

· Hillary Rodham Clinton plays host today to a traditional State Department event with a format reminiscent of her years of campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire and Upstate New York: a town hall meeting with employees. In the evening, she honors a second State tradition -- a reception for the diplomatic corps.

· President Obama will be attending the Senate Democrats' retreat at the Newseum, recent scene of much partying in his honor during the inauguration. Separately, he will host a White House signing ceremony for the state children's health insurance legislation passed by Congress. Meanwhile, first lady Michelle Obama will pay a visit to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to greet the staff.

· Pirates! If it's happening on the high seas, it's happening in the halls of Congress. The Coast Guard and maritime transportation subcommittee holds a hearing on "International Piracy on the High Seas," as part of keeping the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee up to date. James Caponiti, acting administrator of the Maritime Administration, which is part of the Transportation Department, will testify, along with reps from the Coast Guard, the Navy and private maritime companies.

And also: the continuing saga of the "Madoff Ponzi Scheme and Regulatory Failures" will be assessed by a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee at 9:30 a.m.

-- Garance Franke-Ruta federalcity@washpost.com


© 2009 The Washington Post Company

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