John McCaslin

"Look at Hillary, she looks just like Miss America."

Or at least that's what Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund said when she glanced down at the program cover for the Washington Press Club Foundation's 64th annual Congressional Dinner on Wednesday night, which featured colorful caricatures of the 2008 presidential candidates, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton sporting a sparkling crown.


Everybody at the annual Congressional Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Washington was in hysterics when Bill Clinton's former White House aide-turned-Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Democrat, spoke about the differences between then and now: "Back then, the words 'stimulus' and 'package' had a whole different meaning."

Crass and cruel

Reacted former President Bill Clinton: "It was representative of the kind of blatant, careless, crass, cruel remarks that are altogether too common."

He was not referring to Rep. Rahm Emanuel's comments Wednesday night, rather he was addressing MSNBC correspondent David Shuster's earlier televised remark that his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, was being "pimped out" by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign.

Mr. Clinton told WMAL-630 AM talk-show host Chris Plante this week that if Mr. Shuster, who was handed a suspension by the network, had "made a racial slur against [Senator Barack Obama], he would have been fired."

Pass the gun

You'll recall Benjamin Franklin's familiar saying that nothing in this world is certain except death and taxes.

Well, one medical doctor-turned-congressman is now saying that "sometimes death even seems a little less complicated than our tax system."

Republican Rep. Michael C. Burgess, who is calling for a simple flat tax, worked as a doctor in Denton County, Texas, for more than 25 years — following in the footsteps of his physician father, Dr. Tim Burgess — and apart from all of the mending he accomplished he delivered more than 3,000 babies before heading to Congress in 2003.

Good old days

Recalling what first brought her to Washington, we reached Republican national political strategist Cheri Jacobus and asked her about Maryland Rep. Wayne Gilchrest's lopsided defeat by conservative state Sen. Andrew Harris in this week's Republican primary.

"Naturally, I've been reminiscing," Miss Jacobus told us. "After graduating from the American Campaign Academy [Newsweek dubbed it the West Point of politics] in 1988 and packing up all my worldly belongings in the back of my old Mustang hatchback — I had been a campaign manager for a congressional primary in Iowa — I made my way back across the country to Maryland's Eastern Shore to be Wayne Gilchrest's campaign manager."

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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