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Sex and Experience

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

OK, let's get this straight.

Former vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro maintains that if you go back to 1984 and "if my name was Gerard Ferraro instead of Geraldine Ferraro, I would have never been chosen as a vice-presidential candidate."

So why isn't Mrs. Ferraro saying the same thing about Hillary Rodham Clinton?

In other words, would Mrs. Clinton, based on Mrs. Ferraro's own argument, be one of the two finalists for the Democratic presidential nomination were she not a woman?

Highly unlikely, if you agree with Mrs. Ferraro. Were Mrs. Clinton a man and not a woman, she would not have married Bill Clinton, become first lady and ridden her husband's coattails into the U.S. Senate and now the race for the White House.

Mrs. Ferraro, who supports Mrs. Clinton for the nomination, might be better to argue that Barack Obama doesn't have the experience that is required to answer the White House hot line at 3 in the morning.

Frozen fish

"Another entry in the 'couldn't make this stuff up but they do anyway' files," says Christopher C. Horner, the best-selling author on global warming (or lack thereof) and counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. "Global warming will cause fish to go deaf."

He wasn't kidding, showing us the article in the New Scientist Environment.

"As one wag e-mailed me, in an ice age, fish will have excellent hearing, though of course they'll all be dead. A play on the regulators' insistence that we all die perfectly healthy," Mr. Horner notes.

Media darlings

It's been an amazing journey for former Capitol Hill staffer Kevin Long, for 10 years press secretary to Rep. Dan Burton, Indiana Republican, who later became senior staff member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which was responsible for oversight of the federal counternarcotics effort.

Mr. Long was among those who made recommendations on aid packages for the Colombian national police, including drug-fighting Black Hawk helicopters. Soon, he was an independent contractor working at the Pentagon, in Afghanistan and Colombia.

It was while in Colombia, Mr. Long tells Inside the Beltway, that he heard comments made by then-Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett about having guns and ammunition at home and being ready to go to war — the basketball player's attempt to describe being ready for the second game of the NBA playoffs.

"That's how it began — watching 'SportsCenter' in a bar in Bogota," says Mr. Long, who no sooner returned from his latest covert operation and started up MVP Sports Media Training, a niche public relations firm that helps athletes improve their interview skills with the press.

Two years ago, George Mason men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga brought in Mr. Long to work with his team, and Mr. Long was just as surprised as everybody else when they made their magical run to the NCAA Final Four.

"They were noted for their play on the court and their wit and charm in the media room, which led some national sports reporters to dub them 'media darlings,' " Mr. Long notes. "When we did the training, most of the team had never even spoken to a reporter. Credit goes to Coach Larranaga for realizing he wanted to prepare his team for the glare of the national media. They exceeded all expectations on the court and in the press."

Recently, Mr. Larranaga brought back Mr. Long to preach to his new players. This week — wouldn't you know? — the Patriots qualified for the upcoming NCAA tournament by beating William & Mary. Since opening four years ago, MVP has trained dozens of professional, collegiate and Olympic sports teams, as well as Indy Car and NASCAR drivers.

"This year two dozen of our clients will have played in either the men's or women's NCAA or NIT basketball tournaments, played in a bowl game, won the College Baseball World Series, competed in the Beijing Olympics, or made it to the MLS soccer playoffs," he says. "While we can't take credit for their performance on the field, we give them one less thing to worry about off the field by getting them ready for the media spotlight."

And how does this job compare to working on Capitol Hill?

"I have the best job in the world. I have to watch 'SportsCenter' every night," Mr. Long answers. "Can it get any better than that?"

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