June is weddings month, a time when some couples opt for the traditional and others try to do "something different" -- things such as ceremonies on ships, at the beach, on mountaintops, maybe even on safari.
But, Friday being the 33rd anniversary of the Watergate break-in, why not a lovely event at the Nixon library and museum out in Orange County, Calif.?
"The Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace should be the first stop in your search for the perfect ceremony and/or reception location," the Web site says. "Home to the largest public rose garden in Orange County, the Library's over 1,400 rose bushes will make an exquisite backdrop for what will surely be one of the most memorable days of your life."
And while the Carter Center also hosts fine weddings -- the Reagan and Clinton libraries tend more to corporate or nonprofit meetings and receptions -- the Nixon library Web site boasts of more than "nine acres of carefully sculptured gardens."
"Picture yourself being married near the very gazebo that Tricia Nixon Cox was married under in the White House Gardens." Yes, that very same gazebo.
About 450 others have celebrated their weddings there since the museum opened in 1990, so why not you? Just go to www.nixonfoundation.org/PlanYourEvent/Weddings.shtml.
Call Him Mister? Send Contest Entries
Don't forget to enter the In the Loop CIA Title Contest, to help fashion a new title for CIA Director Porter J. Goss. Send your entry -- and rationale -- via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to In the Loop, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Given the nature of this contest, entries on background or even deep background -- as in "government official" -- will be permitted. But all entries must include telephone contact numbers to be eligible.
For $1,000, Abramoff Makes Dinner
Quick Loop quiz! What local venue these days could be considered absolutely radioactive for any politician wanting to hold a fundraiser? Think local restaurant. Think casinos. Bingo! That would be controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff's restaurant, Signatures, on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Abramoff, close buddy of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), under investigation for his dealings with tribal casino interests, is the owner.
Even so, we got this invite the other day for an event at Signatures: "John Meredith with American Nursery & Landscape Association cordially invites you to attend a fundraising dinner for Congresswoman Katherine Harris [R-Fla.]" on June 21.
Only $1,000! And the food's pretty good.
Did you ever wonder how Cabinet members appear so engaged, so smooth, on those mind-numbingly dull school/factory/building tours where they dish out small government grants?
It's all in the preparation. For example, Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao recently visited a plastics lab at Penn State University with Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) to hand out about $750,000 as part of a grant to retrain plastics industry employees.
She spent about 20 minutes touring the lab, meeting students and faculty and picking up a plastic Nittany Lion mask made while she watched.
"She would later describe her tour as exciting," Erie Times-News reporter Jim Martin reported. "What her tour wasn't was impromptu or spur of the moment," he noted. She was "preceded . . . by an advance team that spent hours preparing for her visit. Her every move across the plastics lab was planned, right down to the pieces of tape on the floor that directed her where to stand."
Exactly. And that's why it went flawlessly.
Exceptionally well-connected Marc F. Racicot -- former Montana governor and attorney general, Bush reelection chairman and former head of the Republican National Committee -- is to be the new head of the American Insurance Association, which represents 435 major property and casualty insurance companies.
We're told the job pays $1 million-plus (checking to make sure we never wrote anything bad about him).
Doors Close on Rome, London
Still looking for a cushy ambassadorship? Move quickly. The big ones are finally going. President Bush last week named major contributors Ronald P. Spogli to be ambassador to Italy and Robert Holmes Tuttle to fill the long-vacant ambassadorial post in London.
Closer to home, Henry Crumpton, former head of the counterterrorism center at the CIA and before that a top anti-terrorism official at the FBI, is the pick to be the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism.
Benjamin A. Powell, now in the White House counsel's office, has been tapped to be general counsel in the office of the director of national intelligence.
A major job looks to be opening up at the Department of Justice. R. Alexander Acosta is said to be leaving as head of the Civil Rights Division to serve as interim U.S. attorney for the southern district of Florida, the Miami Herald reported last week.