Democratic Ticket Is All in the Neighborhood
They share a first name, an occupation, a party affiliation and a lofty income bracket. But only in Washington, where everyone claims to represent the common man, would a presidential candidate need to look no farther than his own neighborhood to pick a running mate. As Georgetowners were quick to note yesterday with some pride, John Kerry and John Edwards reside practically within hollering distance of each other: The presumptive prez nominee lives in the 3300 block of O Street NW and the veep candidate in the 3300 block of P.
"I saw all my neighbors out today. We're absolutely thrilled. It's a big day for us," Beverly Jost, who lives on 34th Street between O and P, told us yesterday. Both Kerry and Edwards dwell in multimillion-dollar abodes, sure, but Jost describes the neighborhood as "small-town America. . . . We're all just down-to-earth and friendly. We're real nice people. That's important for people to know."
Some residents we talked to yesterday seemed willing (for now) to tolerate media stakeouts and the loss of precious parking spots to the Secret Service. The most divisive issue in the neighborhood currently is the fate of old trolley tracks that run on the charming, stone-paved streets where Kerry and Edwards live. District and federal officials will hold a public meeting tonight on whether the tracks on O and P should be ripped up as a safety hazard. Though many residents support that option -- cars do tend to slip on the rails -- others urge road repairs that would keep them intact and make them safer. Georgetown activists made pitches yesterday for Kerry and Edwards to take sides.
"I would tell the presidential nominee and the vice presidential nominee that these tracks represent the last visible remnants of an earlier transportation era, and we encourage the federal government to save these tracks," said Ray Kulkulski, head of the Committee to Save O & P Streets.
Lance Friedsam, who lives near the Edwardses on P, told us: "I somehow think they have bigger fish to fry, but I would hope they support the removal of the tracks."
See: All politics truly is local.
The RNC, Ready for Anything
* Those clever oppo-research people at the Republican National Committee had a Web site ready and waiting as soon as Sen. John Kerry picked Sen. John Edwards to be his running mate. No surprise there: "WHO IS JOHN EDWARDS? A Disingenuous, Unaccomplished Liberal And Friend To Personal Injury Trial Lawyers," blared the headlines at KerryPicksEdwards.com, where Republicans also posted the presumptive presidential nominee's past statements about his running mate's lack of experience.
But that got us to thinking: What other domains did the RNC purchase, just in case? How about KerryPicksGephardt.com? Yep, it's there, and now links to the Edwards page. KerryPicksVilsack. com? They bought that one, too. A random search also finds KerryPicksBayh.com, KerryPicksClark.com, KerryPicksBiden.com. Not on the list of purchased domains: KerryPicksGraham.com, KerryPicksDean.com and definitely not KerryPicksMcCain.com or KerryPicksClinton.com.
* Having earned his directing stripes with "Antwone Fisher," actor Denzel Washington now plans to film the life story of Sammy Davis Jr. The deal, announced yesterday in Variety, came after Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment optioned rights to last year's biography "In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr." by Washington Post staff writer Wil Haygood. The two-time Oscar-winner pushed the project as his next directing challenge. "In my discussions with Mr. Washington, it was easy to see and feel his passion for the book and project," said Haygood, who gets first crack at writing the script. "I'm quite touched." No one has yet been cast, an Imagine spokesman told us, and Washington does not intend to act in the film.
* We can finally put all those Hillary Rodham Clinton-for-veep rumors to rest, but that doesn't mean we must stop talking about the senator's many charms. In the August Glamour magazine, on newsstands next week, "School of Rock" star Jack Black discloses that if he had to pick one woman to be stranded on a desert island with, "I'd have to go with Hillary Clinton. Forever could be, like, 50 years, so if I'm stranded with one person she better be kick-ass both upstairs and downstairs. If a woman is just beautiful, well that will fade with age and I'd be bored."
* Sadly, James M. Doohan, known as Scotty -- as in "Beam me up, Scotty" in "Star Trek" -- has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, his agent confirmed yesterday. Doohan, 84, has a 4-year-old daughter and two sons with his wife, Wende, and four older children from a previous marriage.
With Anne Schroeder