President Manuel Lujan? It was a possibility. The interior secretary is eighth in the line of succession to the presidency and on the afternoon of the State of the Union address, he was informed that he would not be attending the president's speech on Capitol Hill. The reasoning is that at least one member of the Cabinet should not be at the State of the Union address -- in case of a disaster, someone has to take over. Accompanied by his security, Secret Service and military security, Lujan was flown to an undisclosed location where he watched the speech on television.

Steven Goldstein, Lujan's spokesman, said yesterday that the secretary "did not go to a pizza parlor." For last year's State of the Union, Veterans Affairs Secretary Edward Derwinski was the Cabinet member selected not to attend. He watched the State of the Union in the basement of a Northern Virginia pizza parlor. Lujan wasn't returned to the city until President Bush was back in the White House. Lujan's absence marked the first State of the Union speech he didn't attend in 23 years. But then, being president-in-waiting for an evening was probably worth it.

Out and About

Washington is a town full of Texans. There's one in the White House now, and not too many years ago another Texan also resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. With the feisty new Texas Gov. Ann Richards coming to town for her first Governors Conference this weekend, some of those transplanted residents of the Lone Star State are going to get her involved in a few other activities. On Saturday she will speak at the swearing-in of Kathryn Kahler as the new National Press Club president. The black tie evening will have Newhouse Newspapers correspondent Kahler of Cameron, Tex., sworn in by FBI Director William Sessions and roasted by Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and playwright Larry L. King. ... And to take advantage of Texas popularity, the Kennedy Center has made Texas the theme of its first state arts festival this summer. Richards has been invited to a "We're Texas Proud" reception in the Washington home of Sylvia de Leon and Lynn Coleman to talk about the upcoming festival. Among the Texas guests expected are Robert Strauss, Tyler and Bess Abell, Rep. Charlie Wilson and Frank and Jayne Ikard ...

Sharon Pratt Dixon celebrated her first birthday as mayor yesterday at a private luncheon at Morton's restaurant in Georgetown. Her daughters, Drew and Aimee, were there to help her observe her 47th birthday with a cake baked in the shape of her trademark shovel. Among her guests celebrating with tenderloin of beef with bearnaise sauce were Cynthia Brock Smith, director, Office of Intergovernmental Relations; Karen Tramantano, director, Office of Labor Relations; Mildred Goodman, secretary, District of Columbia; Lorraine Greene, director, Office of Personnel; David Byrd, general assistant to the mayor; Joe Caldwell, chief of staff; Tony Cooper, counsel, D.C. Board of Trade; and Mimi Mager, congressional and federal affairs liaison ...

When President Bush asked Marilyn Quayle to represent the United States at the funeral of King Olaf V in Norway yesterday, it meant someone had to fill in for some of her scheduled activities. She is honorary chairman of the National Mentor Program and was to host a reception Tuesday at the vice president's mansion for the program, which connects law firms and law schools with high school classes to encourage minorities to choose the legal profession. Vice President Quayle, being in town for the State of the Union address, was selected as the perfect substitute for his wife to host the reception. He also had to substitute for Miss America Marjorie Judith Vincent, who was slightly injured in a car accident on the way to Washington and did not attend ...

It was a harsh lesson in capitalism for Soviet filmmaker Iraqli Kvirikadze when Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles refused to perform emergency heart surgery without a guarantee for the estimated $60,000 cost. Kvirikadze became ill Jan. 23 during the American/Soviet Screenwriters' Festival, where his film "Comrade Stalin Goes to Africa" had its world premiere. The filmmaker did receive his quadruple-bypass surgery after the Writers Guild Foundation came up with the necessary funds. Kvirikadze was listed in fair condition yesterday ...