By Betsy Rothstein - 01/17/08 06:06 PM EST
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) has actor Chuck Norris, and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) scored actor James Denton of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” but they have nothing on Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who has his own star power in Las Vegas this week.
Tatyana Ali, who played daughter Ashley on the TV sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” arrived at Obama’s phone bank Tuesday. “She is adorable and everyone is like, ‘Oh, it’s Ashley from “Fresh Prince.” Oh my god. Oh my god.’ She looks great,” reports a campaign volunteer.
Also spotted at Obama’s Vegas phone bank for the past several days was Kal Penn, an Indian-American actor who starred in the 2007 film “The Namesake.”
Desperate housewife to visit Capitol Hill
Marcia Cross, the long-tressed redhead who stars on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” plans to visit Capitol Hill next Wednesday morning in H-137 for Lifetime Television’s ongoing campaign to support the end of “drive-through” mastectomies. Lifetime hosts a reception at the National Press Club that afternoon.
“She is passionate about this issue and has had friends affected [by breast cancer],” explained Geralyn Lucas, a Lifetime Television spokeswoman.
Sponsors of the legislation Cross supports include Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). Meredith Wagner, executive vice president of Lifetime Networks, will also attend.
Stephenville, Texas: A place to see Jewel and UFOs
Stephenville, Texas, a farming community of 17,000 in the Bible Belt, is reporting UFO sightings.
A recent AP story reports that several Stephenville residents have seen a “large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast.” “Stephenville, TX” is also the 11th song on Jewel’s 2006 album “Goodbye Alice in Wonderland.” Jewel lives in the town with her boyfriend, Ty Murray.
What does Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who was born in Stephenville, think of the sightings?
“Call it clairvoyance, but Congressman Hensarling and his family left Stephenville before his third birthday,” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the Republican Study Committee, which Hensarling chairs. “Some might think that is coincidence and others might believe that he knew the UFOs were going to visit, but one thing is for certain — the truth is out there.”
Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), who represents Stephenville, said the news wasn’t a shocker. “I am not surprised…we have illegal aliens coming into Texas all the time.”
Pelosi advance man gets engaged to former Bush aide
If there is a way to have your wedding perfectly blessed, Tom Manatos and Dana Edwards may have found it. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will officiate their July 19 wedding in Pittsburgh. A bipartisan couple, both come from large Greek families.
“We figure we will start off [with] a very blessed marriage,” said Manatos, 28, who is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) director of advance.
Manatos proposed to Edwards, 27, a former associate director in the Office of Public Liaison for President Bush, in the White House library during the administration’s celebration of Greek Independence Day last March. As family members eavesdropped from a nearby men’s room, Edwards accepted.
Manatos pulled off the engagement with the collaboration of his future brother-in-law, who worked in the White House at the time and helped Manatos get permission from senior staff to pop the question in the executive residence.
The unlikely courtship began when Manatos’s brother, who lobbies on behalf of the Greek-American community, set him up with Edwards.
At first, the pairing was startling for Manatos. He had never seriously dated a Greek woman, and “definitely not a Republican [one],” he stressed.
But he eventually relented to their obvious bond.
“We are both very close with our siblings who are our best friends, [and] we hang out with all the time,” he wrote in an e-mail. They also both love athletics. He played football at Cornell University, while Edwards was a two-time All-American soccer player at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
They have had to learn to be empathetic to each other’s political views. But that does not mean either has jumped party lines — especially when discussing the heated presidential races.
“At certain times, we just gotta stop talking about it, because it becomes a fight,” he said, chuckling.
The couple jokes of seating wedding guests either by party affiliation or by preference between the Washington Redskins and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But once the guests are arranged, there is a strong likelihood of a bipartisan chicken dance during the reception at one of the city’s Carnegie museums.
For their honeymoon, they will go — where else? — to Greece.