Pol-taking: Robert Strauss as president? Says "Mr. Democrat" of that kind of party talk: "I'm vain enough to enjoy hearing it and sensible enough not to do anything about it" . . . And Caspar Weinberger as the one guy in the Reagan administration Richard Nixon doesn't understand? The word is that's what Nixon told Israeli Ambassador Ephraim Evron. Says Weinberger, whom Nixon has known for 30 years: "I think I'm honored."
Who says there's a depressed real estate market?
The ambassadors Annenberg -- Chief of Protocol Lee and former envoy to Britain Walt -- sold their nine-bedroom, seven-bath Sun Valley chalet, "The Views," within 24 hours after it was put on the market. At their price -- $1.35 million.
R. Earl Holding, known around the slopes as "Mr. Sun Valley Co.," bought it, and with his kind of money, he didn't have to fool around with financing. But Holding, who also owns Sinclair Oil, was only one of a half dozen well-heeled prospective buyers on a list drawn up by Ralph Harding, sales rep. Harding is the former Democratic congressman from Idaho who was derailed politically back in the mid-'60s by the John Birch Society.
Annenberg says he and Lee decided to sell out and move to Colorado (in August -- the rest of the year they'll still split among Washington, Philadelphia and their Palm Springs oasis, "Sunnylands") because he was squeamish about flying his $11.5-million Gulfstream III jet in and out of nearby Hailey. Nestled in a valley (5,300 feet elevation) surrounded by 3,000-foot-high Sawtooth Mountain peaks, the airport has a 6,500-foot-long runway (500 feet longer than what the G-III's maker says it needs), but there is no radar, only radio to help pilots.
Annenberg's real reason to quit Idaho, however, may have more to do with golfstreams than Gulfstreams. The Sun Valley Fairways, the Robert Trent Jones-designed public course that "The Views" overlooks and where the local golfing aristocracy tees off, is okay but nothing like what's going up 25 miles south of Denver.
For there is Castle Pines Golf Club, which Annenberg predicts will become the "Augusta National of the West" under the guidance of Jack Nicklaus, the new club's board chairman, and Denver oilman J.A. "Jack" Vickers, Castle Pines president and developer.
It's already one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the country, with its by-invitation-only membership limited to 300, and no more than one-third allowed to be Coloradoans. Besides Annenberg, U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Charles Price is a member, and former president Gerald R. Ford is an honorary member (meaning the $25,000 membership fee is waived).
Annenberg talks about building a "cottage," which has a kind of back-to-the-simple-life ring to it until you hear how the club defines "cottage": a residence containing 7,000 square feet with a staff of up to four. A men-only preview of the course and club facilities is in the works the weekend of Oct. 1 for members who don't mind roughing it, a kind of Bohemian Grove of golf . . . Wives will get a chance to make a pilgrimage next spring -- when the club can offer more than tents.
And if you want to move out there and build something presumably more heroic than a tent on part of the 1,000 acres set aside for home sites, be advised that living next to the links doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to set foot on them as one of the chosen 300.
Never one to stifle a wail for women's rights in this country, former ERA America co-chair Liz Carpenter let out one at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem last month that even the male chauvinist Middle East couldn't ignore.
At an all-male tea with the Sheik of Gaza, Liz wanted to know where their wives were (out of sight behind their veils, of course). Of Jihan Sadat, she inquired why the government her husband heads hasn't pushed planned parenthood in view of Egypt's high birth rate.
At a meeting with Menachem Begin, Liz and the 20 other Americans traveling courtesy of the Jerusalem Women's Seminar got right down to business: a 1977 study on the status of Israeli women. What, Liz asked Begin, had he done about the study's 220 recommendations?
"Let me assure you," Begin replied as those listening, including some top names in the Reagan administration, sat on the edge of their seats, "I'm a born feminist."
"Mr. Prime Minister," countered Liz, even less impressed with Begin's position on women's rights than with Ronald Reagan's, "I think you should have been born again."
Which three out of four U.S. presidents have accepted USO invitations to the Oct. 17 fund-raiser -- at $25,000 for corporate tables, the priciest bash in the history of Washington fund-raisers? Clue: For which three U.S. presidents does Hope spring eternal? Bob Hope is also springing with memorabilia he collected at all the best wars by turning it over to the $6-million Bob Hope USO Center and World Headquarters being built here, part of it from money collected at the dinner. GIs who missed Hope's act can catch it at the center.
Next to the secretary of state, who is asking for $3.57 million in representational funds (a euphemism for entertainment allowance) in fiscal 1982, the U.S. government's host with the most is the secretary of the treasury. He gets $95,000, of which $80,000 is a special fund to wine and dine foreign officials here and abroad.
That's more than the vice president (at $60,000) and president ($50,000) receive a year. Hold the sympathy, however. Both can put the bite on the State Department if they're entertaining foreign officials. But George and Barbara Bush decided against asking the State Department to help out with the party they will toss at Veep House on Sept. 24 for heads of diplomatic missions.
Like the Mondales before them, the Bushes aren't proud when it comes to letting groups they entertain pick up the tab. The Foreign Affairs Council will climb the driveway soon and be so honored.
"We don't ask groups to pay all of the time, but it stretches our budget that way and if these groups have set aside the money, then they're happy to do it and we're pleased to let them," said Susan Porter Rose, staff director to Barbara Bush, adding that promising to pay your way, however, is "not a criterion for being invited."
Walter Mondale returned expense money he didn't use. Jimmy Carter pocketed his, declaring it as income until Congress passed a law that any leftovers had to go back into Uncle Sam's pocket.