Tuesday, July 25, 2000

The Cyber Scene in DC ~ by Tamar Alexia Fleishman


On July 25th, at precisely Happy Hour o'clock, Capitol Hill's leaders
gathered in the Russel Senate Building's Caucus Room to honor the nine
women Senators: Mikulski, Hutchinson, Feinstein, Boxer, Murray, Snowe,
Collins, Landrieu and Lincoln. Their new book, "Nine and Counting," was
being promoted by women's web giant ivillage.com. Ivillage.com has been at
the forefront in hosting web Presidential debates and other live political

Benefiting from the proceeds of book sales is the Girl Scouts
organization: five of the nine women Senators are former scouts. Their was
a strong scout presence too: there were many girls in uniform, several
scout execs in the "adult" uniform (dark green suit or coat dress,
patterned green and burgundy silk scarf, badges), and many consumed Thin
Mint cookies (who, moi?).

Admirers present included Senators Kennedy and Dodd, along with teenager
Senate pages Jeffrey Kerner and Andrew Jandt.  Jandt winked a "no comment"
when asked if he came to scope out the scene. Kerner piped up with, "I
don't think we're supposed to be here, but women are such valuable . . .
women are so valuable."

For wine and beer, we had Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Michelob and West
Virginia's Quibell water. At the food buffet, besides the aforementioned
Thin Mints, were fried chicken fingers, cold salmon with capers, sliced
tropical fruits, little piped hors d'oeuvres, domestic cheeses and the
Greek spinach pastry "spanikopita" that was sampled several times by
"those in the know."

One of those "in the know" was preppily attired summer intern Christopher
Kramer, who works for Senator Levin on the Investigations Subcommittee.
This pro-women's rights University of Michigan student was wearing a
special tie that his grandfather gave him on his first day on Capitol

The audience of about 250 people applauded the tried-and-true wisdom of
the Senators, who were introduced by Cokie Roberts. One of those
applauding was Admiral Susan Blumenthal, the U.S. Asst. Surgeon General. A
glamorous platinum blonde in her sharp black-and-gold uniform, career
officer Blumenthal is very appreciative of the nine Senators' efforts to
advance the issue of women's health.

Everyone received goody bags containing a copy of "Nine and Counting," the
latest Ladies Home Journal and the Girl Scout's leadership magazine. An
adorable young Girl Scout in many braids, bows and beads ran after Cokie
Roberts to get an autograph. Roberts demurred, "I'm not a Senator!"  Well,
that's why the book's called "Nine and Counting ... only nine women are.