How She Found the Way to San Jose

* The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers believes in the "big-tent theory" of music, if not politics. Spotlighting musical copyright protection in Washington, ASCAP enlisted psychic friend Dionne Warwick to croon a couple of Hal David-Burt Bacharach tunes last night in the Senate Caucus Room. And tonight in the House Judiciary Committee Room, Rayburn 2138, the group presents Dave Obey and the Capitol Offenses, a bluegrass band led by the powerful Wisconsin Democrat/harmonica virtuoso.

Does the occasionally ornery Rep. Obey hope to blow his way into the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee? "No, I just hope to continue playing to keep my sanity," he told us. "I don't know if music soothes the savage Republican. It certainly soothes me."

Warwick said she no longer hosts those Psychic Friends Network infomercials touting phone bank soothsayers who foretell the future for a fee. "I've been gone from that for almost five years now," the diva told us from her home in Bergen County, N.J. "Now you've seen 97,000 other ones, but we were the first and truly the most successful."

Never mind that the Psychic Friends filed for bankruptcy in early 1998. "Some psychics have told me things that were unbelievable and, as a matter of fact, shocking--things that only I could know," Warwick said. "I'll give you a for-instance. They basically told me about my recording career--that I'd be leaving the record company I was with and going to a new company, and within two years I'd be with another one." It turns out that, just as prophesied, she left Arista for River North and now is having discussions with a third label. "I haven't told River North, and I guess they don't know," she said, laughing, "because I don't think they have a psychic."

To hear a free Sound Bite from Dave Obey and the Capitol Offenses, call Post-Haste at 202-334-9000 and press 4646.

Karenna Gore Schiff, Talking Up Dad

New mom Karenna Gore Schiff had her political coming-out of sorts yesterday when she keynoted a huge luncheon at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel hosted by New Woman magazine. "Yeah, I had butterflies. I was nervous," Vice President Gore's eldest daughter, 26, told us afterward. "I thought I might trip on the way up to the stage, lose my voice or maybe get the hiccups."

But everything went fine, and Schiff, a third-year law student at Columbia University and the wife of physician Drew Schiff, charmed the crowd with her homespun talk on the importance of so-called women's issues in the upcoming election. After being introduced by Tipper Gore, Karenna joked: "It's a great honor to be here on Take Your Mother to Work Day."

While 2-month-old son Wyatt could be heard gurgling in the background, Karenna said: "Originally I thought I wanted to support my dad's presidential candidacy in a more private way. But this summer I started thinking how passionately I care, and how deeply, about the issues that are at stake in this election. And I felt I didn't want to be on the sidelines."

So she'll be doing more public speaking, even as she says her father has improved his own oratorical style. "I think he's really hit his stride."


* The Beverly Hills cop who collared George Michael for paying too much attention to himself in a public restroom is now suing the pop star for mocking him in music videos. Marcelo Rodriguez wants $10 million, the Associated Press reports.

* Hobbled by a back injury, the latest twist in her melodramatic medical history, 67-year-old Elizabeth Taylor is walking again, the AP reports.

* Slumming? That was William H. Rehnquist, chief justice of the United States, awarding driver's licenses to 95 teenagers in an Arlington courtroom yesterday, reports The Post's Patricia Davis. "I have an interest in seeing qualified drivers on the street," the berobed Northern Virginian said.

* Slumming? That was James Carville and Mary Matalin picking up a $10,000 fee Saturday for the grand opening of Hearth USA, a Rockville store that sells spas, grills and fireplaces, the night before one of their regular appearances on NBC's "Meet the Press," where they debated the merits of George W. Bush and presidential clemency for Puerto Rican terrorists. "I've done everything else in my life. Why not a store opening?" Carville said, adding that he and Matalin bought so many high-end cooking accessories, "we blew our fee in the store."

* A week after pleading guilty to misdemeanor lying to the FBI--the conclusion of a four-year federal investigation--Henry Cisneros, President Clinton's former housing secretary, is sighing with relief. "Now I know the meaning of the expression 'waiting to exhale,' " Cisneros, now the head of Univision, the Spanish-language television network, told us at Monday night's National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts dinner. Tipper Gore (but not her husband) publicly acknowledged Cisneros from the podium.