A Pelosi Without Political Aspirations
Congratulations poured forth from a friendly, wonkish crowd after a Tuesday night screening of director Alexandra Pelosi's new HBO documentary on the 2004 Democratic primary, "Diary of a Political Tourist." Some well-wishers at the Mayflower Hotel reception went so far as to urge Pelosi, 33, to follow in the footsteps of her mom, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and seek office.
"I will never run," the younger Pelosi declared. "I've seen what it's like, and I will not subject myself to the indignities of political life." Not only that, but she's weary of politics, noting, "I've been on the campaign trail since 1999." That's when she started her first home-movie-style project, "Journeys With George," which followed Dubya on his way to the White House.
California Rep. Pelosi was among the members of Congress (including Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.) who turned out to preview "Diary," which premieres on HBO Oct. 11. "I love it. I thought it was very funny," she unsurprisingly told us. We laughed, too, but the sight of Joe Lieberman eating a fried Twinkie at the Iowa State Fair or Wesley Clark bagging groceries in New Hampshire might warrant a PGM rating: Pandering Gone Mad.
The documentary also found a fan in Scottish '60s minstrel Donovan, who's playing at the Birchmere and came with friends from the Govinda Gallery. "Extraordinary!" he raved. "This is what Andy Warhol was doing in 1966 at the Factory -- sending teams of filmmakers out to ask real questions." Then he presented a copy of his new CD to Rep. Pelosi. In return, she crooned a verse from "Mellow Yellow," assuring him, "I'm your big fan!"
Meanwhile, conservatives sang the praises of another political docu that premiered Tuesday night, at Loews Georgetown Cinema: "Celsius 41.11 -- The Temperature at Which the Brain Begins to Die." Get it? Yes, "Celsius" takes aim at presidential candidate John Kerry over the shoulder of "Fahrenheit 9/11" provocateur Michael Moore.
"I was very impressed with the film. It didn't seem vicious or ad hominem, it was just setting the record straight," said Regnery Publishing president Marji Ross, who mingled at a reception with the movie's stars, among them columnist Charles Krauthammer, Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute and former Justice Department spokeswoman Barbara Comstock. Executive producer is David Bossie, whose conservative advocacy group Citizens United financed the quickie project.
Who's Got the Power? A Mag's Surprising Answer
* God is in the Details: We've just received Details magazine's long-awaited Power Issue, listing the 50 most powerful men under 38. But wait: Why age 38? Senior editor Brian Sarnham, who's 33, told us the non-round number was chosen "just to put an exclamation point on youth -- these people are really doing something before it's expected."
Almost halfway down the rankings we find a man so influential he only needs a one-word name. No, not Nelly or Usher, who are way up at the top of the list. We're talking about Jesus. That's right: He is the 21st most influential man under 38.
Which raises the question: Who's bigger than Jesus this year? The No. 1 spot goes to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal soldiers, who are clearly meaner than Jesus. The Google guys, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, claim No. 2 for being richer than Jesus. No. 3 is MoveOn.org visionary Eli Pariser, who helped raise the Dems from the dead, which frankly might have been a tall order even for God. Clocking in at No. 4 most powerful is White House communications director Dan Bartlett, who probably could have offered advice on keeping all four Gospel writers on message.
"The reason Jesus is on the list is partly tongue in cheek, but obviously there's Mel Gibson's film and his implications in politics as well as the 40 million evangelicals who vote," Sarnham explained. And take comfort: At least Christ beat out rapper Eminem, No. 22.
* Ice Cube, the rapper whose former group N.W.A. came to notoriety with the song "[Expletive] Tha Police," was caught impersonating a federal agent yesterday near the Lincoln Memorial. No charges were filed. The rapper-turned-leading man was shooting scenes for "XXX: State of the Union," an action flick slated for springtime release. In it, Mr. Cube succeeds Vin Diesel as the latest outsider recruit to Samuel L. Jackson's unconventional team of bad-guy fighters. In the sequel, a military splinter group, led by Willem Dafoe, seeks to overthrow a wimpy, left-leaning U.S. president. Dafoe, Ice Cube told us, is "good on the villain side of things." Meaning, he's a bad bad guy.
* Legendary director Robert Altman tells us he's making a feature film version of "A Prairie Home Companion," with Garrison Keillor writing the script. "We're doing his show," said Altman, in town yesterday to promote his "Tanner on Tanner" political mockumentary, which begins airing on the Sundance Channel next week. "I've got Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep as the two remaining sisters of the Johnson sisters." George Clooney is the director's choice for Guy Noir: "If he's free, he'll do it." Other scheduled Lake Wobegoners include musicians Lyle Lovett and Tom Waits, and sassy "SNL"-er Maya Rudolph. Filming location: St. Paul, of course. When? January. Brrr, why? "I want to go then," the 79-year-old told The Post's Leslie Yazel. "To see it when it's different."
* Meanwhile, above-average news from Duluth, Minn.: During a town hall meeting yesterday, Lynne Cheney asked her husband what the yellow shirts on the volunteers reminded him of? The vice prez shook his head. She said: "I'll say it. John Kerry's suntan." Laughter ensued from the crowd, reports The Post's Ovetta Wiggins.
With Bob Massey