Fetch my hanky! I am unspeakably saddened by news that naughty Newt Gingrich and his latest ditchee, Marianne, agreed Monday to keep the details of their untidy divorce confidential -- at least for the time being. I was so looking forward to the mud bath, hoping more revelations like the couple's loooong separation from 1987 to 1993 would leak out as the dastardly duo divvied up their assets. Sigh.
Thank goodness the Reform Party is still keeping things interesting. Why, it's stirring up the wacky world o' politics like a veritable Hurricane Floyd, what with Pat Buchanan telling Larry King Monday night that while "George W. Bush is a nice fellow" -- and "personable," too -- we're "not dealing with Marcus Aurelius here."
"By what claim of accomplishment or achievement or capacity does he have the unique claim to be in the presidential election and have no one -- quite frankly -- of a populist-conservative bent challenge him?" asked the tact-challenged likely GOP bolter.
Buchanan's own widely predicted play for the Reform Party nomination may be challenged, if not by a populist conservative, then at least by a popular one. At Jesse Ventura's urging, Donald Trump appears to be wrestling more than ever -- or at least grunting more strenuously into the microphone -- about his presidential aspirations. "Everybody wants me to run for president," Trump told the Associated Press this week, in typically modest fashion.
Then again, apart from candidates' contemplating their own clay feet, there may also be a little matter of cement shoes to consider: Buchanan is rumored to be sizing up Teamsters prez James Hoffa as a running mate. Although Jimmy's spokes-folks say no conversations have yet taken place between the two men, they've also told the press that "any kind of vice presidential offer would be considered in terms of what is in the best interest of the Teamsters." (Back that truck right up to the White House, boys.)
Meanwhile, aspiring actor-slash-president Warren Beatty is scraping together all the third-party politics info he can lay his manicured hands on. Sources say he's grilled a variety of experts on questions from how Ross Perot put together his campaign to the best time to score a toll-free campaign number. Rumor also has it that scads of liberal Democrats -- including the ubiquitous Jesse Jackson -- are insinuating they'd support a Beatty run. Just dial 1-800-Bulworth?
But wait. Hold the phone.
Perennial candidate Ralph Nader says he's considering "running hard" for the presidency this time, which he maintains he's never done before. But although he is, as ever, concerned for the public interest, Nader may be even more concerned with the bottom line. He's worried that a hard run on his part might only succeed in hurting the Democrats, which could alienate his funders for years to come.
And if a recent PetSmart poll is to be believed, the third-party whirlwind may have many more surprising gusts in store. In a recent survey of Americans sponsored by the pet-store chain, only 9 percent of all pet owners said they'd want George W. Bush to be their owner if they were a pet -- and only 5 percent would want to call Al Gore master. (Now, now, it's not nice to rub Tipper's nose in it.) Thirty-two percent, however, say they'd like to belong to Oprah Winfrey.
Run, Oprah, run!
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"He trusts me enough to know that I would never do a nude scene if it wasn't for an absolutely good reason."
-- "Titanic" actress Kate Winslet on her husband's commendable reaction to the steamy nekked sex scene in her latest flick, "Holy Smoke," which she did, of course, for a perfectly good reason.
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Brazilian model Luciana Morad has high hopes for her son, Lucas. She told London's Evening Standard Tuesday that she and Lucas' pops, Rolling Stoner Mick Jagger, plan to send their itty-bitty boy to Britain's most exclusive and expensive schools, particularly "to Eton -- if he is good enough to get in." But the wee baby has already disappointed his mom. "I want him to look like me but he looks just like his dad -- it's scary," Morad lamented. "He does this funny thing with his lip." Maybe Jerry Hall could be persuaded to adopt?
Next up for Ted Nugent: hunting for a muzzle? The outspoken crossbow-lovin' rocker has just released a new video game, "Ted Nugent: Wild Hunting Adventures," which, according to E! Online, allows players to stalk a "shitload" of exotic game (bears, boars, deer and buffalo) on Nugent's own Sunrize Hunting Ranch. "It's probably the only game where when wildlife shows up, my ponytail goes erect," says the guitar-playin' gunslinger, who provides a few choice licks and huntin' tips in the game. Here's hoping a severe case of Cat Scratch Fever stops him before he kills again.