What's Politics Between Family?

First niece Lauren Bush spills the beans to Fox News about her cousins Jenna and Barbara: They're not very political, she says. (No way!)

In an interview airing tomorrow, the 20-year-old beauty (and model) tells Rita Cosby: "I'm not very political. I'm not here to make some huge political stance. And neither are they." (This became fairly obvious earlier this week when frisky Jenna was snapped sticking out her tongue to the press while campaigning for her dad.) "They're there [on the campaign trail] to support their family and their dad."

And how does the Manhattan society girl (and daughter of Neil Bush) handle the constant barbs and jabs toward the Bush clan? "My family really doesn't get hung up on that kind of stuff. People are going to say what they're going to say, you just have to do what feels right. . . . My family isn't the type to hold grudges or really pay attention to this kind of negative stuff. . . . My family has always been really great about breezing by that stuff."

Dean for Bush? That's a Scream

Former Vermont governor Howard Dean learned something new yesterday: He's a member of the Republican National Committee's Victory 2004 club. Even has the membership card to prove it. It arrived in the mail with a striking picture of President and Laura Bush, and a typed note: "To: Howard Dean, thank you for your loyal commitment, I'm looking forward to working with you for a great Republican victory in Vermont this year. Warmest regards, George Bush." (And the onetime Democratic presidential contender thought his loss in Iowa was a good reason to shriek.)

When we called the RNC yesterday, spokeswoman Christine Iverson sniffed: "Well, the RNC was pleased to recently receive a fundraising solicitation for Senator Kerry -- with the name 'Republican National Committee' fully typed out on the envelope. Unfortunately for Senator Kerry, we chose not to respond."

(How many more days until the election?)

Kiefer, Seeking More Exposure

Reformed bad boy Kiefer Sutherland maybe isn't so reformed after all. That, or he really loved "The Full Monty." Sutherland got caught up in the moment (and libations) last week in New Zealand when he shocked, er, entertained a group of women by jumping onstage and joining the male revue Men of Steel, giving all eyes a striptease to the tune of Tom Jones's "You Can Leave Your Hat On." (Clearly, he didn't.) Shortly thereafter, he was ushered offstage.

But he shouldn't take that too personally. "He's coming back in August, mate, and as far as we're concerned, we want him back in here," Raetihi Cosmopolitan Club President Danny Mills happily declared to the Associated Press.

Quoted

"I don't agree with that. She hasn't completely recovered. She argues with me regularly."

-- Democratic veep choice John Edwards, on CNN's "Larry King Live," disputing his wife's contention that she's a "recovering attorney."

-- Compiled by Anne Schroeder

from staff and wire reports