Whig, anyone?

John McCaslin
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Posted: Oct 21, 2005 12:05 AM

"The corruption in Washington has gotten so bad that even Republicans can't stomach Republicans any longer." - Tom McMahon, executive director of the Democratic National Committee

WHO NEEDS FRIENDS?

"Wow, just in time for the movie 'Good Night, and Good Luck.'"

Or so The Beltway Beat is told by Mary Hewitt, a former White House appointee who worked alongside Bruce Bartlett when he was deputy assistant treasury secretary under President George Bush. (He was previously a domestic policy aide for President Reagan).

She was responding to word about Bartlett, who, like other conservatives, has been increasingly critical of President Bush, being ousted this week as a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis after the center read the manuscript of his book, due out in April: "Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy."

FREEH AT LAST

Judging from the "will-attend" list for Thursday night's reception for Louis J. Freeh, not every feather in town has been ruffled by the former FBI director and author of the controversial new book, "My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton and Fighting the War on Terror."

This isn't to say Bill Clinton, who once called Freeh a "law-enforcement legend," and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, will be raising their wine glasses to toast the FBI's top G-man from 1993 to 2001 at the Tilden Street home of former Ambassador Dick Carlson and his hostess wife, Patricia.

It's a good thing the Carlsons have a big house. About 250 guests will be on hand, including brothers Bill Bennett and Bob Bennett, the latter a Washington lawyer taking a much-needed breather from the increasingly confusing "CIA leak" probe involving his New York Times client Judith Miller.

Other Washington VIPs on the will-call list include CIA Director Porter J. Goss, former FBI Director William Sessions, assistant FBI Director Cassandra M. Chandler, U.S. National Reconnaissance Office Director Don Kerr, former CIA and State Department counterterrorism coordinator Ambassador Cofer Black, former U.N. Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, retired Marine Corps Commandant Gen. P.X. Kelly, 13-term Republican Rep. Michael G. Oxley of Ohio, former Reagan White House Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein and White House protocol veteran Selwa "Lucky" Roosevelt.

REAGAN ROUNDUP

President Bush and wife Laura were to join former first lady Nancy Reagan at Friday's invitation-only grand opening of the Air Force One Pavilion at the Reagan library in California, which, along with the company of former Air Force One pilots, will feature a flyover by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

The pavilion, which houses the entire Air Force One jet that served as the "Flying White House" for President Reagan and six other U.S. presidents through 2001, will open to the public Monday.

Former Reagan Chief of Staff Fred Ryan tells The Beltway Beat that a virtual "who's who" of Reagan alumni will be on hand for the ribbon cutting and reunion activities lasting through the weekend.

"We're calling it the 'Reagan Roundup,' and it's our way of saying 'thank you,'" Mrs. Reagan writes in her invitation to the events.

LEAHY'S 'LIGHT'

The Rev. Claude Pomerleau, this week's guest chaplain for the U.S. Senate, is no ordinary Catholic priest.

"He is probably not used to hearing me call him Father Pomerleau; it has always been Claude," noted Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat. "Allow me . . . to introduce my brother-in-law, Father Claude Pomerleau."

Leahy says Father Pomerleau, his wife Marcelle's brother - whom he considers to be his "spiritual light" - was on the altar as a young seminarian when the senator and his wife were married more than 43 years ago.

A FEW GOOD CHEFS

Marines at Quantico are excited to be participating this weekend in "Command the Grill," a grilling competition being held at 12 Marine bases across the country between now and mid-December.

These grilling Marines create original recipes for the competition, with the top recipes winning a place in a cookbook to be published in 2006 that directly benefits U.S. Marines, their families and those of us who like to eat barbecue.