Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is in the last stages of editing her new novel, A Time to Run, which will be published by Chronicle Books in November.
Boxer reported receiving a $15,938 advance for the novel on her most recent disclosure report. The book will have an initial printing of 75,000 copies.
The book, co-written with Mary-Rose Hayes, follows the political path of Ellen Fischer, the wife of a Senate candidate who dies during the campaign. Fischer takes over the campaign and overcomes all odds to win the Senate seat. When an old love interest re-enters her life, there are serious political and romantic ramifications.
An advance copy of the first two chapters of A Time to Run obtained by The Hill proved to be less racy than some of the summer’s other political tomes, such as Jessica Cutler’s The Washingtonienne.
Boxer has been working on the book for years but wrote a large chunk of it last year on the campaign trail, as she successfully defended her seat against Bill Jones.
As Andrea Burnett, a spokeswoman for Chronicle, explained of Boxer’s efforts, “She actually wrote this.”
Vin Weber: Is he or isn’t he?
That’s what political junkies from K Street to Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis are asking about former Rep. Vin Weber (R), the high-powered lobbyist and former Minnesota congressman who is being urged to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Mark Dayton.
Speculation that Weber might jump into the race and oppose Rep. Mark Kennedy, who is considered the likely GOP nominee, has cranked up in recent days after the state GOP chairman, Ron Eibensteiner, who backed Kennedy, was defeated for reelection last weekend.
At the same time, Weber-watchers noted that the registration for the Internet domain name “weberforsenate” was renewed June 11 and that Weber’s former chief of staff, Jack Meeks, recently resigned from a job at the Republican National Committee, making him available if Weber decides to run.
Weber didn’t respond to a request for comment yesterday, but a source close to him said three people have already pledged $25,000 each for his campaign if he runs.
Cashing in on Deep Throat
More on books by and about Washington figures: Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book about the high-ranking FBI agent who helped The Washington Post uncover the Watergate scandal is scheduled for publication early next month.
The book, titled The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat, will have a press run of 800,000 copies and sell for about $23, according to a spokesperson for Woodward’s publisher, Simon & Schuster.
Woodward, who had promised that he wouldn’t reveal the identity of his source until the source died or revealed it himself, had written much of the book before Mark Felt told Vanity Fair magazine that he was Deep Throat. Woodward is rushing to finalize the book, which will run about 275 pages.
Robert Barnett, the Washington literary lawyer who represents Woodward and many other prominent politicians and journalists, told The New York Observer that Woodward “has written an amazing narrative that takes you through his personal journey that we all know from the outside, but have never before known from the inside.”
Meanwhile, Simon & Schuster is planning to capitalize on the mega-publicity about Felt by rushing out 350,000 paperback copies of All the President’s Men, the book Woodward and Carl Bernstein wrote about the Watergate scandal. It will sell for $7.99.
Thurmond’s daughter speaks
Speaking of books, there’s another one involving a U.S. senator that should spark quite a turnout at a book-signing Saturday at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
That’s where Essie Mae Washington-Williams will be signing copies of her autobiography, Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond (Regan Books, $24.95).
The 69-year-old retired Los Angeles schoolteacher became the central figure in one of the most sensational sagas in the Palmetto State’s history last year when the family of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) acknowledged that she was his biracial daughter.
Thurmond, who died in 2003 at the age of 100 after retiring from the Senate, where he served longer than any other senator — more than 47 years — was a 23-year-old lawyer when he began a relationship with Washington-Williams’s 15-year-old mother, a servant in his family’s household.
Washington-Williams writes in her book that she was “speechless” when she learned at age 16 that Thurmond was her father. And even though she saw him at least 60 times over six decades and said that “he was very good” to her and her mother, he never shared a meal with her or told her “I love you.”
Washington-Williams received a six-figure advance for her book and sold the movie rights for a similar amount. A TV movie is in the works, but no actress has been chosen to play her.
St. Pauli Girl to entertain troops, beer lobbyists
Stacy Fuson, the 2005 St. Pauli Girl beer “spokesmodel,” is in town today for a beer-tasting and poster-signing at Bolling Air Force Base and a reception in the Rayburn Building for the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
Bill Ligas of Barton Beers, which imports the brand, said this is the second year the company has brought the model to Washington to “help us say thanks to the people on Capitol Hill.” He said she’ll be signing posters, answering questions and tasting beer with the attendees. Which may explain why the 2004 event was an “overflow crowd.”
“When you bring beer together with the St. Pauli girl, you get a lot of attention,” said Ligas.
Fuson’s bio on the St. Pauli Girl website reveals that she is 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 120 pounds and, oh yes, she was Playboy ’s Miss February 1999.
A ‘porn branch’ of the GOP?Taking a cue from the Log Cabin Republicans, another “nontraditional” GOP constituency, adult-entertainment entrepreneur Mark Kulkis told The Hill yesterday that he is “considering a pornography branch of the Republican Party,”.
“The biggest threat facing us is coming from the Republicans,” Kulkis said, referring to the religious right. “If we can work inside that party to effect some changes, it would benefit us.”
In a widely publicized trip, Kulkis and one of his starlets, Mary Carey, came to Washington this week to write a check to the party and, not coincidentally, to gin up some free publicity for his company, Kick Ass Pictures, which he says is currently churning out about six pornographic film titles per month. No stranger to publicity stunts herself, Carey ran for governor of California last year and plans to run for lieutenant governor in 2006.
The pair paid $2,500 each to attend the President’s Dinner and, uh, press the flesh with 5,500 of Washington’s rich and powerful people at the event, which raised some $23 million for the two Republican congressional campaign committees.
“Everyone we met was very friendly toward us,” Kulkis said, “and it went way better than I thought it would.”
“Everyone was posing for pictures with Mary,” who was sedately dressed, he said, noting that such fundraisers tend to draw the business segment of the GOP rather than the religious element.
“Democrats are beholden to the unions,” he said. “If the Republican Party would get away from the religious right, it would be a great party.”