A Whole New Man

The K Street Diet? Democratic lobbyist and Washington personality Michael Berman has a new lobbying cause: his memoir, "Living Large."

A self-proclaimed "fat man" whose weight has reached the high 300s but is now in the low 200s, Berman tells us he has been tinkering with the book since 1998. "Recalling some of the stuff was pretty painful, actually," the 65-year-old says, "but I do feel better now." It's not a diet book per se but does provide a plan to lose pounds.

And no book deal can happen in this town (Rodale acquired the rights) without attorney Robert Barnett's fingerprints. He told us: "This is a book about big men by a big man with a big heart that could have a big impact." (Be sure to route that quote to the marketing department, Bob.)

Ripken's a Hit With Langley

The CIA tells us that baseball great Cal Ripken, wife Kelly and Caps owner Ted Leonsis stopped by Wednesday afternoon to "kick off" the Combined Federal Campaign rally to raise money for charity. (Hey -- isn't that the wrong sports analogy?)

"Before the CFC rally," the release states, "Kelly and Cal toured the CIA, marveling at espionage exhibits through the decades. Afterward, they hung around to greet employees and sign baseballs, CFC programs, articles and books, and an assortment of top-secret documents." Wha?? "(Just kidding on the last one.)"

Redefining Fitness

We are flummoxed by Bally Fitness's nationwide survey posing the question: Which commander in chief rates as "the Fittest President of All Time?" According to Bally, it isn't President Bush, even though he watches what he eats and is a disciplined -- and fast -- runner (he did win the most physically fit candidate award). No, no, the Fittest Prez nod goes to . . . John F. Kennedy, in spite of a bad back and ailments galore. But we really had to wonder when we saw that second place went to none other than the cheeseburger-gobbling, bypass-surviving Bill Clinton. At this rate, don't even tell us who came in third.

Noted . . .

If you want to meet antiwar activist Daniel Ellsberg or the director of the famous, and some would say trailblazing, 1974 Vietnam War doc "Hearts and Minds," Saturday's your chance. The AFI Silver Theatre is screening it with a panel afterward featuring Ellsberg, director Peter Davis and Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation prez Bobby Mullen as the cherries on top. . . . Newlywed pop tart Britney "I'm Not That Innocent" Spears not only plans to change her name to Britney Federline but also wants little Britneys and Kevins running around, she tells Germany's Bunte magazine. "I want to become a mother. I'm crazy about children," she says. When? you ask. "Next year, when I'm 23, I'll be ready." And she's not the only mama-wannabe. Though long past 23, another newlywed diva, according to this week's Us Weekly, is ready for motherhood: J.Lo. . . . Ronald Isley -- yes, of Isley Brothers fame -- has been indicted on tax evasion charges, accused of failing to report various income he received as part of the group. . . . And Eric Clapton is going to have to say goodbye to his Porsche (and all other cars) for a while. In France, anyway. The legendary musician's license was snatched by the French police after he was clocked going 134 mph in his Porsche 911 Turbo -- that'd be 53 mph over the posted limit. Sticklers! But he was nothing but smiles while posing for pics with the bluecoats, apparent fans.

. . . and Quoted

"I think we're divided into Michael Moore states and Bill O'Reilly states -- the undecided states are [Don] Imuses. We like to see things in black and white, good and evil. We're a Lord of the Rings country."

-- Comic and VH1 contributor Jessi Klein, bringing a new perspective to the electoral divide in November's Maxim.

-- Compiled by Anne Schroeder

from staff and wire reports

Cal Ripken and wife Kelly, left, dropped by the CIA with Caps owner Ted Leonsis, below, on Wednesday as the agency's annual CFC fundraising drive got underway.