John McCaslin

Delivering the commencement address to the 2005 class of Auburn University in Alabama, Vice President Dick Cheney revealed he wasn't the sharpest tool in the college shed.

Cheney earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming.

"My college experience, though, began at a place called Yale," the vice president informed graduates. "Actually, instead, I dropped out after a few semesters. Actually, dropped out isn't quite accurate - was 'asked to leave' would be more like it. Twice. And the second time around, they said, 'Don't come back.'"


Friday wasn't the most comfortable of days for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, who picked the wrong street to park his sport utility vehicle and the wrong store to buy his shoes - just below the offices of Americans United to Protect Social Security.

Brad Woodhouse, the group's communications director, says that while the Republican leader was sizing up his shoes at Allen-Edmonds (he purchased two pairs for $530), as many as 50 protesters opposing President Bush's plan to partially privatize Social Security quickly organized outside.

"Senator Frist, don't privatize," they chanted on the sidewalk for 40 minutes while Frist tried on various shoes.

To make matters worse, the District of Columbia's most efficient government agency - its parking-enforcement bureau - soon arrived and slapped a pink ticket on Frist's windshield for parking his SUV illegally and blocking traffic.

"I hope his shoes fit comfortably," Woodhouse told The Beltway Beat.


Frist will wave the green flag to start the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race May 29 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.

Coca-Cola Consolidated spokesman Lauren Steele tells us the Memorial Day weekend classic - NASCAR's longest race, and one of the largest sporting events in the world with a crowd of nearly 200,000 - will pay special tribute to America's military "who are serving to protect our freedoms in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world."


The Watergate was the venue the other night for a book party in honor of nationally syndicated radio host Herman Cain, author of "They Think You're Stupid: Why Democrats Lost Your Vote and What Republicans Must Do to Keep It."

Among the more notable names on the RSVP list: Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, vice chairman of the House Republican Conference.

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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