Nancy Reagan Returning for a New Royal Repast
Abit of history repeats itself tomorrow night when Nancy Reagan returns to the White House for a dinner with Prince Charles. Twenty years ago, President and Mrs. Reagan hosted the glamorous party where the young Princess Diana danced with John Travolta.
Charles came to the United States last summer to attend President Reagan's funeral; now the former first lady heads the guest list of 130 honoring him and the Duchess of Cornwall -- known to all as Camilla.
The White House has been tight-lipped about naming those invited to the party hosted by President and Laura Bush; the list will include "statesmen, writers, historians and athletes," said Susan Whitson, Mrs. Bush's press secretary. Merv Griffin will escort Reagan. Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw will attend, as will Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and OMB Deputy Director Clay Johnson.
This will be the first big dinner for Cristeta Comerford since being officially named White House executive chef. The prince is a serious natural farmer, and the menu will be "autumnal but not necessarily organic," said Whitson.
Invidious comparisons to Diana are inevitable, but Team Camilla is ready. A hairdresser, makeup artist, dresser and secretary are accompanying the duchess on the week-long trip to the States, which begins today in New York. British papers report she's bringing 50 dresses, including designs by Robinson Valentine, the label that created her wedding dress in April. No final choice has been made for the White House dinner, but word is she's leaning toward a pearl-studded ivory evening gown.
The Prosecutor Is Found . . . Dreamy
Readers want to know: Where exactly is Patrick Fitzgerald's Plamegate investigation headed? Will he charge anyone with leaking the CIA agent's identity? And most importantly -- is he single?
"Am I weird? Patrick Fitgerald is cute!" a female journalist wrote to us shortly after the special prosecutor's eye-catching Friday news conference explaining charges against Scooter Libby. "Saturday Night Live's" Tina Fey spelled it out in a monologue the next day: "Trim, soft-spoken, manly Patrick Fitzgerald. His clear, steady voice, piercing blue eyes and unimpeachable integrity restoring my faith in America and making me want to do things I have never done before."
Good news, ladies! The strapping 44-year-old is single! But dirt on his social life is harder to come by than reliable leaks of secret grand jury proceedings.
Look, we tried:
"Beyond telling you he's a confirmed bachelor, I am going to decline to answer questions about his personal life," said his spokesman, Randy Samborn. Dating anyone? "That I'm not going to answer." What's he looking for in a girl? "No comment." Who's he take to Mets games? "No comment."
An old Amherst buddy, Los Angeles lawyer Tony Bouza, described Fitzgerald as "a great catch. . . . He's funny, smart, warm, easy to be around -- you couldn't ask for more." Advice for the interested? "Be yourself. He's a man of relatively simple pleasures."
Hip-Hop Score Sheet
News of the truce between Jay-Z and Nas took us by surprise -- but only because we totally forgot they were feuding (something about who's the best rapper in NYC, we think). How to keep up with all these hip-hop beefs? We offer an update on a few of our favorite:
Benzino vs. Eminem: The Source CEO called the white rapper racist; Em fans call on Benzino to resign from the magazine; ongoing.
50 Cent vs. Fat Joe: Something about Joe recording with 50's nemesis Ja Rule (hey, 50 -- ever wonder if the problem might be you?); ongoing.
Lil' Kim vs. Foxy Brown: Foxy dissed Kim in a song, Kim's people opened fire at a radio station; suspended owing to Kim's current incarceration.
The Reliable Source vs. Ludacris: RS calls out Luda for failing to attend Howard homecoming as promised in hit song; Luda fails to return fire. Guess we win!
But all you sucka MCs can throw it back at us at email@example.com.
A Sandwich That Takes the Cake
Once a guy's won a Nobel Prize, how else can you possibly honor him? Naturally you name a sandwich after him, as the University of Maryland set out to do for its new laureate, economist Thomas Schelling. The wily game theorist threw the dining-hall folks a curve when he announced his favorite food is . . . peanut butter. But they rose to the occasion with a triple-decker PB&J (creamy and crunchy!) on cinnamon-raisin bread. At the naming ceremony, Schelling said it was "the nicest thing that has happened to me since receiving my award."
The man handing out candy last night at the home of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts passed himself off as Groucho Marx. But those eyes behind the fake nose-and-glasses were awfully blue . . .