John McCaslin

Have our eyes deceived us - has Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) been named one of the Top 25 "Toughest Guys" in America by Men's Journal?

"Is there anyone who doubts that the toughest penalty Bill paid for the Monica scandal was at home?" ask editors of the men's magazine.

And yes, Sen. Clinton - who tied for 25th - is the only woman on the list, appearing with some of the strongest, toughest, bravest men in business, sports, politics and journalism.

Ranked No. 1 is Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, followed by Michael Weisskopf, the Time magazine correspondent who two months ago lost his right hand while covering the war in Iraq. An insurgent had lobbed a hissing grenade into the back of the army patrol Humvee he was riding in with a photographer and four soldiers, the magazine notes. But instead of diving for cover, Weisskopf "grabbed it and volleyed it away just as it exploded - taking his right hand with it but saving the lives of everyone in the vehicle."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a former Vietnam prisoner of war, is the only other politician to make the annual tough guy list. As for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, he tied with Sen. Clinton for 25th.


What could birth order have to do with this year's presidential campaign? Perhaps more than you think.

Dr. Kevin Leman, a medical psychologist and best-selling author, reveals that 23 out of 41 U.S. presidents (56 percent) were firstborns (natural leaders, highly motivated to achieve, reliable, conscientious, perfectionists and don't like surprises).

President George W. Bush is the firstborn of three brothers. Sen. John Kerry is the second of four children.


Teresa Heinz Kerry has said, "Men with opinions are well informed and smart. But women with opinions are opinionated. If I didn't have opinions ... I couldn't have ... done what I have. I refuse to be categorized."

Once was the time the general public was largely ignorant of political wives. Not anymore. In fact, the political widow and heroine of a new Regency-era novel, "The Ideal Bride," is said to reflect the influence Mrs. Kerry, widow of Sen. John Heinz of Pennsylvania, has on husband John's political aspirations.

"(T) here is a potent correlation that can be made between the novel's heroine and Teresa Heinz Kerry," publisher William Morrow says of best-selling author Stephanie Laurens' soon-to-be-released book. The book's heroine is the widow of a legendary diplomat who finds herself facing the question of whether she wants to return to the political sphere by marrying another rising politician.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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