John McCaslin

We're told John McCain, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul — "we're still working on Mike Huckabee," says an organizer — are confirmed for this week's annual conservative powwow CPAC 2008, which kicks off Thursday at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington.

Meanwhile, how's this for one of the featured CPAC book-signings that same day — father-and-son journalists Lou and Carl Cannon, co-authors of the just-released book "Reagan's Disciple: George W. Bush's Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy."

As Ronald Reagan's former White House Chief of Staff Kenneth M. Duberstein put it in his review: "Lou and Carl, as usual, get it right ... why one president soared — and one didn't. They tell it like it was, and like it is."

Soaring or not, Mr. Bush is scheduled to address the right-wingers Friday morning.

Coast is clear

For Republicans, if not yet Democrats, it's that time of the 2008 presidential campaign when one candidate has enough momentum going into Super Tuesday that notable supporters are no longer timid to come out of the closet.

Over the weekend, the John McCain camp fielded so many VIP endorsements that the Arizona senator's press office surely grew weary from making all the announcements — each accomplished by a separate news release.

Here's a tiny sample: Georgia Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson; Reps. Peter King of New York and Deborah Pryce of Ohio; former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and former Oklahoma Sen. Don Nickles.

Meanwhile, in the category of "It's not over until the fat lady sings," we were amused Friday when the McCain campaign issued this statement at 6:38 p.m.: "Montana Leaders Endorse John McCain."

Which was followed shortly thereafter by this bulletin mention from opponent Mitt Romney's camp at 7:06 p.m. referencing the former Massachusetts governor's son: "Josh Romney Travels to Montana."

Political theater

It's "Super Tuesday" in the District for an entirely different reason and audience tomorrow night, as Disney's "High School Musical" has its long-awaited opening at the National Theatre.

As for a political angle, well, how about the fact that the father of Ben Thompson, who plays basketball giant Zeke Baylor in the Broadway-style show, is none other than Robert J. Thompson, the leading Washington lobbyist and political strategist (he's chairman of the Thompson Advisory Group) who once served under President Reagan.

Mr. Thompson was Vice President George H.W. Bush's first executive assistant for congressional relations, and later served as special assistant to the president and deputy director of legislative affairs.

As for Ben, he's getting rave reviews for his national-tour performance.

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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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