Not all four women are new to Washington, but in 1976 they caught the camera eye of both hard news and society news photographers:

Helga Orfila, the German-born model who used to advertise bicycles in Los Angeles, began taking Spanish lessons to go with her new role as wife of the secretary general of the Organization of American States, Alejandro Orfila.

She separated from her husband, Representative Barry Goldwater, Jr., and in the spring of 1977 Susan Goldwater quit the big ticket real estate business with hopes for a career in television. For now, radio will have to do: she has her own talk show in Columbus, Ohio.

Nationwide publicity followed word that Rita Carpenter, wife of the Representative John Jenrette, intended to break the mold of the political wife who stays in the background; she pinned her hopes on a singing career, and 1978 is a make-it-or-break-it year.

"I don't think John had ever taken out anyone over 26," Mary Ellen Brademas told a Women's Wear Daily reporter. John Brademas, the Democratic whip in Congress, not only dated Mary Ellen, who is nearly 40, but he also married her. Like Rita Carpenter Jenrette, politics is not the whole world to the new Mrs. Brademas. She is a third-year medical student.