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Best Man/Woman

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

Still not sure who to support in the 2008 presidential election? Be happy you're not former Defense Secretary William Cohen and his black wife, Janet Langhart.

"We like all three," she tells Inside the Beltway.

"Bill was best man to John McCain in his wedding to Cindy," she points out.

"We love the Clintons," she continues. "Not only is Hillary Clinton capable as a woman of becoming president, which is sentimental to me, President Clinton gave Bill and me an opportunity of a lifetime to represent this country and the U.S. military."

"And I share ancestral roots with Barack Obama," she concludes. "That could be my son; I have almost this maternal feeling for him. Together we share and understand our history and our struggle ... ."

Mickey-D moment

An Alexandria woman named Kim A. writes of "a historic moment under the golden arches."

"I was at the McDonald's on Henry Street at 1:00 p.m. with three little children, and it was exactly the time that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson was making his announcement endorsing Barack Obama for president.

"It was dead quiet. Two African-American men were standing around the televisions mounted on the walls, and two Hispanic families seated around me also watched intently. As soon as Richardson endorsed Obama, an African-American woman next to me called her husband and told him what had happened.

"Then one of the two men watching the TV shouted out loud in a tone of wonder and amazement: 'It's going to happen. Obama is going to be the next president!' It was the only moving moment that I've ever experienced with politics."

Mais oui!

That's likely Republican White House nominee Sen. John McCain depicted wearing a beret and curly mustache and proclaimed a "hero of France" in a new video ad after he supported an Air Force decision to award a huge contract to Europe's Airbus instead of America's Boeing.

"John McCain, hero of France," reads a banner on the Arc de Triomphe in the opening scene. "Thanks for helping the U.S. military choose a French company, Airbus. Tens of thousands of jobs for the French and thousands fewer for Americans, ha, ha, ha!"

The ad, issued by the liberal Campaign for America's Future, concludes: "It's a great day for France. Long live John McCain and long live France."

The McCain campaign told reporters the Arizona senator had merely highlighted procurement corruption between Boeing and the Pentagon, action that had nothing to do with Airbus and which resulted in criminal convictions.

"All he was looking for was a fair and open process," McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers said, to get "the best weapons system at the best price for the taxpayers."

Scrambled eggs

Number of real eggs for today's 2008 White House Easter Egg Roll: 7,500

Number of dyed eggs for the egg hunt: 3,200

Number of plain eggs for children to dye: 4,500

Number of tickets issued for the roll: 22,000

New fin

Spent one of the new $5 bills yet?

If not, it won't be long, as the first of the redesigned "fins" featuring the portrait of Abraham Lincoln are now being circulated by the Federal Reserve. Fitting enough, Michael Lambert, an assistant director at the Federal Reserve Board, spent the first new $5 bill on a book of President Lincoln's speeches that he picked up at the Lincoln Cottage gift shop at the D.C. Soldiers' Home.

He says enhanced security features with the new $5 bill will throw a wrench into the country's counterfeiting presses. The redesigned bill has two watermarks — a large "5" in a blank space to the right of the portrait replaces a previous portrait of Lincoln, while a second consists of three smaller "5"s to the left of the portrait.

The embedded security thread, which glows blue, runs vertically to the right of the portrait, while "USA" and "5" alternate along the thread. Otherwise, the "5" has been enlarged, oval borders around Lincoln's portrait and the Lincoln Memorial have been removed and both engravings enhanced, small yellow "05"s are seen throughout the bill, and the bill is now light purple.

As for some trivia: Lincoln established the U.S. Secret Service on the same evening he was assassinated, making safeguarding the nation's currency from counterfeiters the agency's primary mission. Last year, $61.4 million in counterfeit money was passed in the United States.

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