THE SOURCE'S EXCITING BOOK PARTY CORNER

"This will go down in history as the least coveted invitation in Washington," said an anonymous invitee to next Tuesday's book party for Patrick Buchanan's "A Republic, Not an Empire," in which the perennial presidential candidate argues that Great Britain and the United States really blew it by going to war against Adolf Hitler. Hyperbole? Here's The Source's quick roundup of the usual suspects--those Establishment types whom Buchanan might want to lure to the party at Morton's restaurant:

ABC News anchor Cokie Roberts: "I have a book deadline, so I can't be there. But it's not like I'm boycotting Pat Buchanan. I'm sure we all go to a number of book parties for books we don't agree with." CNBC host Chris Matthews: "I would do anything I can to encourage people to read Buchanan's book, especially the part dealing with 1939. I would like to have a public reading of his chapter on Munich." Christian Pinkston, executive director of former drug czar William Bennett's think tank, Empower America: "I can assure you that Bill Bennett is not going."

Former Reagan White House colleague Mike Deaver: "This book is really not my interest. My genre is serial killers." New York Times columnist William Safire: "I'm planning to be elsewhere." CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer: "If I didn't have a show to do, I'd probably go." ABC anchor Sam Donaldson: "Yes, I'm gonna show up. . . . I'm so old that I don't worry anymore if people don't like what I do." And syndicated columnist Mark Shields: "I seem to remember that I have an appointment at the taxidermist or that my favorite nephew is graduating from driving school."

THIS JUST IN . . .

* We were all ready to enter Jordan's King Abdullah and glam Queen Rania in our exciting Celebrity Tip Challenge after they lunched yesterday at Cafe Milano. But nobody would cooperate. Georgetown's Prospect Street, where the restaurant is located, was closed off while they dined with lots of security guys around. Then everybody took a stroll.

* The Gingrich divorce wars continue. Yesterday Newt Gingrich's attorneys asked a Georgia judge to let them interrogate Marilyn Heddleston, Marianne's sister. The lawyers say they want to show who's really responsible for the marriage's demise. As for settlement talks, "the ox is in the ditch, and it'll take a team of Clydesdales to pull it out," Newt's country lawyer, Thomas Browning, told us.

* It does our heart good to hear from the Associated Press that a public-spirited O.J. Simpson dialed 911 Sunday night to help another human being--an unidentified woman who Simpson claimed needed assistance after a two-day cocaine binge with Los Angeles Dodger Pedro Guerrero. Simpson, 52, placed the call from the Miami town house of his 26-year-old girlfriend, Christie Prody.

* Here's hoping no one gets lost and requires a rescue by the Navy Seals: About 100 Marines from the Washington barracks' Company A will attempt to get through a four-acre cornfield maze this morning at Belvedere Plantation in Fredericksburg.

* Late bloomer? Yesterday The Post's Juliet Eilperin actually heard House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Tex.) remark: "It's taken me 15 years to understand that in this racket you should demagogue without shame."

THE RONALD AND THE DONALD

* We remember our former Washington Post colleague Ronald Kessler as a hard-nosed investigator with an eye for dirt. So we were eager to read his expose of a certain presidential prospect in his new book, "The Season: Inside Palm Beach and America's Richest Society." To wit: "After midnight during the season, some of the most stunning women in the world flock to the private disco at Mar-a-Lago," Donald Trump's Palm beach home. "Or Trump will make a foray to 251, where he dances with spectacular blondes with impossibly tight behinds or schmoozes with the owners in the private bar upstairs. Like most attractive, successful men, Trump knows how to use his eyes with women."

We're astonished to learn that Trump is throwing a book party for Kessler Nov. 6 at the self-same Mar-a-Lago. Trump "sort of appears a mini-hero in the book because of his stance on letting Jews and even blacks into his club--which is a shocking thing in Palm Beach," said the author, who, along with his wife, Pamela, was a weekend guest at Trump's estate after jetting down on his private Boeing 727-100. "But I do write about his quirks, like his tendency to exaggerate." Kessler deftly maneuvered the publicity-mad mogul into hosting the party by telling him how other famous rich people were lining up to do the same.

CAPTION: More than 120 original editorial cartoons--including this one by the Dayton Daily News's Mike Peters--will be auctioned tomorrow night at the National Press Club's "Cartoons and Cocktails." Proceeds will go toward scholarships for student journalists and cartoonists.