THIS JUST IN . . .
* The latest contestant in our exciting Celebrity Tip Challenge? Newt Gingrich, who treated girlfriend Callista Bisek and an unidentified man to lunch at Bis yesterday. Conversation touched on Newt's divorce from Marianne and the 23-year age difference between the tieless former House speaker and his business-suited lady love. "What are we doing for the weekend?" Newt asked her, then table-hopped to greet fellow luncher Julia Child before leaving a 21 percent gratuity.
* NBC White House correspondent Claire Shipman complains to TV Guide that former White House press secretary Mike McCurry was sexist: "It was very much about boy-bonding. He was the kind of guy who would sit back in his office with some of the guys and talk. I was never going to have that conversation with McCurry." Yesterday an amused McCurry responded: "I was an equal-opportunity schmoozer."
* Arnold Schwarzenegger, another bored movie star, tells Talk magazine he's considering running for governor of California.
* Army Gen. Wesley K. Clark, NATO's top commander, will be honored at tonight's White House Fellows dinner at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Former fellow Clark, his term cut short by Pentagon brass, is stepping down in April, but told us he has loved every minute of his 33 years in uniform. He hasn't decided what's next. "I'm really working hard right now in the job I'm in."
* Late baseball great Hank Greenberg is the subject of a new documentary by Washington filmmaker Aviva Kempner, to be screened next Thursday at the D.C. Jewish Community Center. "He was our hero," said Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), who'll be there with his brother, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.). "He represented the kind of diverse America that my grandparents came here for," Carl added.
* Reporters at the Capitol yesterday asked the visiting Muhammad Ali what advice he'd give daughter Laila for her upcoming professional boxing debut. "Run," said the champ.
Love in the Autumn
* There's a lot going on in Harriet Elam's life these days. The U.S. Information Agency's acting deputy director-- who introduces Secretary of State Madeleine Albright today at the dedication of new offices at the former USIA headquarters-- hopes to be confirmed by the Senate soon as the next U.S. ambassador to Senegal. But more important, at age 58, she's getting married Sunday for the very first time, with a dinner for 200 to follow at the Park Hyatt. The groom is 65-year-old Wilfred Thomas, a father of four grown children from a previous marriage and a travel agent active in Caribbean causes.
"I was engaged to someone back in 1975, someone I dated for six years, and I introduced him to his current wife," Elam told us. "After he broke my heart, for 19 or 20 years I did not care to engage in many relation- ships."
Then on New Year's Eve in 1997, the Roxbury, Mass., native met the Trinidad- born Thomas at a charity event in New York and Cupid's arrow hit its mark. "I think it was God's providence that this man should come into my life," Elam told us. Thomas, meanwhile, said: "I did not know right away, but our relationship gradually grew into very strong love."
Keith Sims's Movie Guide
Pumping himself up to the proper level of aggression before Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, The Source's 309-pound, 6-foot-3-inch movie critic--Redskins offensive guard Keith Sims--screened three violent, scary and gut-wrenching films. Here are No. 63's ratings and remarks:
"The Sixth Sense": "Outstanding. I took my wife, Cammy, and she was jumping out of her seat for the first three-quarters of the movie and by the end she was in tears. I knew there was a plot twist coming but I couldn't figure out what it was. That was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Four footballs."
"Stir of Echoes": "After seeing 'The Sixth Sense,' I thought it was similar--there was a child and a ghost and a character who died wrongfully--but the characters were not as smart. I thought the movie was just average. One and a half footballs."
"Double Jeopardy": "It's about a woman who's convicted of murdering her husband and goes to jail, and finds out later that actually her husband's alive and he's faked his own murder and has taken their son away. She tracks the husband down but she's focused on getting her son back, and it ended abruptly. For what he did, I wanted to see real revenge. But I loved the acting by Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones. Two and a half footballs."