John McCaslin

Poor Henry Hager. The young man set to wed first daughter Jenna Bush had better get in shape fast — be ready to retire early at night and rise before the crows, on Saturday and Sunday mornings alike, to pedal his wet bicycle through the mud — just one of the unusual hobbies his future father-in-law enjoys.

As first lady Laura Bush warned in an interview with CBS News yesterday, Mr. Hager is "going to be the son that George never had."

Query for Chelsea

"So Chelsea Clinton makes $200K a year doing whatever it is she does," writes Inside the Beltway reader Steve Smith of Denver, having read one of our items yesterday on the former first daughter. "Has anybody asked her if she thinks she's not paying enough income tax?"

Sing Sing and such

In one of the last columns written by William F. Buckley Jr., he took amusement in debates between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, when "two antagonists are required by a scheduled event to speak to their opponent, and when it is clear that they would much rather tear out the eyes of their opponent."

The conservative writer and leader was reminded of the 1940 presidential election, when "Wendell Willkie characterized his observations about FDR, whom, during the campaign, he had said should be handcuffed, sent to Sing Sing, and deprived of bread and water."

Minding his 'kids'

Don't look now, but Fergal Murray is coming to town — and bless his heart, just before St. Patrick's Day.

Who, might you ask, is Fergal Murray?

Arguably he has the best job in the world — "Guinness Brewmaster." Otherwise, the makers of the legendary Irish stout are behind a new effort to make St. Patrick's Day a nationally recognized holiday in the United States via a petition to Congress known as Proposition 3-17. (That's the annual date of St. Patrick's Day, which — by the way — falls on a Monday this year, so you might as well plan now to make it a three-day weekend.)

We're told Mr. Murray will frequent various pubs while on Capitol Hill, teaching the six steps to pouring a perfect pint, which he equates to minding a child.

As for the petition, the goal is to get at least 1 million signatures by midnight on March 16 so that it can be presented to Congress on St. Patrick's Day. Readers can sign by visiting

Gun access

A pair of complaints filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) were dismissed this week.

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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