Cher was about 15 minutes late for tea with Barbara Bush at the White House on Wednesday, but it wasn't because she was being a superstar. The actress-singer was in town for several benefits for the International Craniofacial Foundation, an organization she became involved with after doing the film "Mask."

When Cher got to the White House gate she realized she didn't have any identification with her and asked her driver to take her back to her hotel to get it. Cher was concerned that she wouldn't be able to prove who she was and wouldn't be allowed in. One White House official, laughing about it yesterday, said, "Of course they would have let Cher in." She paused for a moment, then added, "I think they would have let her in."

Out and About

It's been a hard-luck season for the St. Louis Cardinals, but Washington Cardinals fans are a loyal lot, especially the members of the Stan Musial Society, headed by political opposites Vic Gold (former press secretary to Spiro Agnew) and Frank Mankiewicz (former press secretary to Robert Kennedy). With the Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies in a battle for the cellar in the National League East, the society has invited Hall of Famer Stan "The Man" Musial to its meeting Tuesday at the Federal City Club. Before the meeting, the former Cards first baseman will stop by the White House with Gold, Mankiewicz and Fred Kuhlman, the team's chief executive, to present the former Yale first baseman who lives there with a first-baseman's mitt and a Cardinals jersey. The Cards may win the race for the cellar, but Musial's visit should at least soothe the pain ...

Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, 37, and his wife, Sheila, 40, filed for a no-fault divorce Tuesday. The oldest son of Robert F. Kennedy issued a statement saying the couple consider details of the divorce, including custody of their 9-year-old twin boys, "personal and private." The marriage lasted 11 1/2 years. There has been speculation that the Massachusetts Democrat, following in his father's footsteps, will change his residence to New York and run for the Senate there in 1992 ...

Patti Davis has some more negative things to say about her father's administration. In an article in Sunday's Parade magazine, she says that Ronald Reagan's budget-cutting policies caused homelessness throughout the United States ...

Marshall B. Coyne, best known as the host to so many foreign heads of state at his Madison Hotel, is to receive an honorary doctor of humane letters from Georgetown University on Oct. 3. Associate University Provost Marie-Helene Gibney said Coyne is being recognized as "a builder, a proprietor, a private diplomat and one of Washington's greatest philanthropists" ...

Hospital Report: Ezra Taft Benson, secretary of agriculture during the Eisenhower administration and now the prophet-president of the Mormon Church, underwent surgery Wednesday to remove two blood clots on his brain. His surgeon said it is too early to determine if the 91-year-old church leader has suffered brain damage ...

"Representation without taxation" -- Columnist Mark Shields on D.C. delegate candidate Eleanor Holmes Norton ...