Ralph Runs Into Trouble

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader wanted to set the record straight regarding his contentious meeting Tuesday with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which he reportedly stormed from after the lawmakers angrily urged him to get out of the race.

"I didn't storm out of the meeting; many of them stormed out. I stayed until the end, talking with the last remaining members of the caucus," Nader told The Post's Hamil R. Harris. "I never raised my voice, but their voices ranged from the calm voice of John Conyers to the obscene shouting of Melvin Watt. It was really bad."

But Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), caucus chairman, told Harris that the meeting "wasn't really abusive. Nader knows that he was with people who have given their blood, sweat and tears to lift up their community."

The Old Naked Anchor Question

Playgirl has decided to sex things up a bit in the realm of news anchors everywhere.

The, uh, Full Monty of the newsstand asks: "Which Anchor Would You Most Like to See in Playgirl?" Now that's a question you don't hear every day.

Those who made the cut: Charlie Gibson, Matt Lauer, Harry Smith, Bill Hemmer, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Brian Williams, Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper, Geraldo Rivera, Sean Hannity, Brit Hume, Shepard Smith, Andy Rooney (yes, you read that correctly), Ed Bradley (that one, too), Wolf Blitzer and last but certainly not least, Keith Olbermann. (What? No Ted Koppel?) Luckily, you can offer your suggestions, just in case your favorite newsman was nixed from the fun.

So, who's in the lead? "Right now Sean Hannity has taken the lead with 2,000 votes," Editor in Chief Michele Zipp told us yesterday. "Very close behind him, though, is Anderson Cooper and Keith Olbermann, but it's changing every hour." We admit, we almost fear the results.

Fox News bulldog Bill O'Reilly has gotten about 300 write-in votes. Rooney, we're told, is "securely in fifth place with around 500 votes." Dead last is none other than Rivera, which is such a shame, Zipp says, because "we thought he'd be the one most likely to do it." As for the winner, Zipp says, "Of course we'll ask him to pose but we'll know he'll say 'no.' "

First Ladies All in a Row

Maryland first lady Kendel Ehrlich was apparently not thrilled with the way her predecessor, Frances Anne Glendening, had redecorated the governor's mansion, telling Baltimore magazine recently that "it was a little duller than I would have liked."

But with yesterday's unveiling of Glendening's portrait at the top of the mansion's main staircase, near other portraits of past first ladies, Glendening's presence, if not taste, becomes a permanent fixture. And the current first lady is apparently okay with that.

Though Parris Glendening married Jennifer Crawford, a staffer, shortly after his divorce from Frances Anne, a spokeswoman for Ehrlich told The Post's Christian Davenport that Glendening was the first lady for most of his term "and was the wife of the governor when he was inaugurated. . . . This is standard procedure."

Noted . . .

Was that NBC's Campbell Brown we saw in deep schmooze with Miramax head honcho Harvey Weinstein on Wednesday night at the "Fahrenheit 9/11" premiere reception at Left Bank? We hear the two dined at Bardeo across the street from the Uptown Theatre beforehand. . . . And President Bush may be the prime-time target in Hollywood and New York, but don't expect his fellow Texans to follow suit. At a book-tour stop on Monday in Austin for TV talking head Bill Press's latest tome, "Bush Must Go," two men grabbed their Stetsons and huffed out of the store once Press started gabbing. Overheard as they left: "Free speech is one thing; but treason's another."

. . . and Quoted

"I just want to say that I wish he were a woman."

-- Mike Bloomberg, after "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's" Carson Kressley said he would date the New York mayor, as reported by the New York Daily News.

-- Compiled by Anne Schroeder

from staff and wire reports

Ralph Nader met with Elijah Cummings and other Congressional Black Caucus members Tuesday. What happened next is not as clear.