John McCaslin

Coming soon

Just returning from Hollywood is James L. Swanson, Washington author of "Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer," who tells Inside the Beltway an HBO movie is in the works based on his best-selling book.

"It will be a mini-series, probably a minimum of two nights, and two hours a night," says Mr. Swanson, who adds he can't wait now to learn who will play the role of Abraham Lincoln's assassin.

"I'm dying to know who will be cast as John Wilkes Booth," says the author, who previously favored actor Johnny Depp, given the pair's haunting resemblance - "same intensity and look: pale skin, dark hair, dark eyes."

Other possible actors he mentions for the part are Orlando Bloom and Edward Norton. "There is a small group who could play the role," he says.

Meanwhile, Mr. Swanson says he was "thrilled" to be awarded the Edgar Allan Poe Award for "Manhunt," presented in New York on April 26.

"Coincidentally," says the author who happened to be born on Lincoln's birthday, "it was presented on the anniversary of the death of John Wilkes Booth."

Cheap pose

The John Edwards campaign is taking a swipe at how much money it can costvoters to meet 2008 presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"You shouldn't need to fork over $2,300 to meet a presidential candidate,"

Jonathan Prince of the Edwards campaign said prior to his candidate's $15-per-person fundraiser Tuesday night at MCCXXII in Dupont Circle. "All you need tojoin us is ... enough pocket change for a bus ticket."

Yesterday, Inside the Beltway wrote about one cocktail fundraiser for Mrs. Clinton tomorrow evening, where invitees are requested to fork over $2,300 each if they want to have their picture taken with the New York senator.

Show me the money

Speaking of campaign cash, Inside the Beltway called on the Federal Election Commission yesterday for the latest tally of contributions to candidates this far in the 2008 presidential campaign.

As of the last FEC filing period, a total of $157 million-plus has been raised by all candidates combined: $95 million going to Democrats, $62 million to Republicans.

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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