Is This a Great Country or What?

Hollywood Democrat Richard Dreyfuss and neoconservative Republican Jeane Kirkpatrick disagree on nearly everything, but now they find themselves yoked together in the National Constitution Center's "We The People" campaign to raise public appreciation for our democracy's guiding document.

Their idea is to promote the center's grand opening in Philadelphia next Fourth of July, so we asked Dreyfuss and Kirkpatrick what they really think of each other.

"He's just a very skillful actor," Ronald Reagan's United Nations ambassador told us. "I have obviously enjoyed his performances in movies. There was 'Jaws,' which was a very scary movie, and 'Mister Holland's Opus,' and then 'The Goodbye Girl.' These are just very good, very entertaining, high quality films."

Dreyfuss told us: "Jeane Kirkpatrick has extraordinarily good taste. But seriously, we come at politics from different positions, but we come together on the Bill of Rights. She has always sounded to me like a remarkably common-sensical person. She has a very reasonable manner. And she used to be a Democrat."

Speaking of which, we asked California resident Dreyfuss -- now performing off Broadway in a concert reading concerning capital punishment -- if he was excited about yesterday's election. "I didn't vote," he said. "I got my absentee ballot and I tore it up. That was my vote."

And his constitutional right.

For This Democrat, It's No Zero-Sum Game

During a midterm balloting prediction melee on Sunday's "Meet the Press," moderator Tim Russert called on the two major-party chairmen to give $1,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Washington, D.C., for each of their wrong answers. Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot deftly slid away from Russert's challenge -- "If you'll loan me the money, I'd be delighted," he said -- but DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe couldn't help himself.

Here, for the record, are McAuliffe's predictions, a couple of which were looking pretty expensive as the early waves of exit poll results washed into the newsroom yesterday afternoon:

* Minnesota senator: "Walter Mondale is going to win the race. Norm Coleman was the Clinton-Gore reelection chairman in Minnesota, so you know we're going to win."

* South Dakota senator: "Tim Johnson."

* Missouri senator: "[Jean] Carnahan is up in the poll. Carnahan's going to win."

* Florida hovernor: "I'm very excited about what's going on in Florida. . . . We are going to win Florida -- which is going to set up, Tim, very nicely for 2004."

Whatever the outcome, McAuliffe told us: "Clearly I will honor the commitment I made on network television and make a donation to the Boys and Girls Club. Even if I win, I'll still send them a little something for my friend Tim Russert."


* Fun Couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were spotted Sunday morning in, of all places, the nation's capital. The lovebirds -- who our fellow gossip Cindy Adams reported yesterday are getting married (apparently J. Lo told Diane Sawyer for broadcast on next Wednesday's "PrimeTime") -- were "walking briskly in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial," Takoma Park resident Sabrina Eaton e-mailed. "About 20 minutes later . . . I saw the gooey pair again, sitting on one of the top memorial steps, gazing at the view. They held hands as they walked. . . . They had their arms around each other." The two have been making a movie together in New York and Philadelphia. No comment from their respective publicists.

* Casting call: Today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at RFK Stadium, Hollywood's Crusader Entertainment will be looking over male soccer players ages 18 to 30 for possible roles in "Game of Their Lives," to be directed by "Hoosiers" auteur David Anspaugh. To arrange a tryout, budding movie stars -- future Ben Afflecks? -- must call 1-888-507-GAME.

* More Musical Chairs in the White House Briefing Room: After last week's grim bulletin that Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has banished the newsweeklies to sixth-row Siberia, we're delighted to report that the Houston Chronicle's Bennett Roth can finally take his rightful place in the same row, No. 5, as the Dallas Morning News, and that Cox Newspapers ace Bob Deans -- who happens to be president of the White House Correspondents Association -- has leapfrogged over his colleagues from Row 7 to Row 4. "Cox did not ask for the change," Deans told us. "We've been in the seventh row for 20 years."

* Dennis the Menace? " 'Dennis Becker' was a character on the James Garner TV series 'The Rockford Files,' " trainer Dennis Beckman e-mailed us about yesterday's report on the cult of SuperSlow, which included a misspelling of his surname. "Furthermore, I strongly object to the term 'cult.' It has been many years since we have used the pentagram as a business logo." Please don't crush us, Mr. Beckman!