Former White House chef Walter Scheib has spilled a state secret: The leader of the free world eats organic.
Not willingly, mind you. But at first lady Laura Bush's direction, the larder at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is stocked with the sort of pesticide-free, non-genetically modified fare you'd expect to find in a lefty grocery, not a righty White House.
"Mrs. Bush told me early in the first term she was adamant about organics," Scheib, a holdover from the Clinton years who was replaced early in Bush's second term, told a crowd at Goucher College yesterday. "If it's organic and it's available, the first lady told him, she wants it.
The very next morning, as the Bushes were served breakfast, a butler pointed out to the first lady that the milk was organic, as she'd requested. The president seemed surprised, according to Scheib, who heard it from the butler.
"Organic in the White House?" George W. Bush asked his wife.
"We had it in the State House, too," she replied.
In both the Clinton and Bush White Houses, the first ladies were more health-conscious and adventuresome diners than their respective Meat-Eaters-In-Chief, said Scheib, who lives in Great Falls, Va., and was in town to promote his new book, White House Chef.
George Bush and Bill Clinton would have been "just as happy if we'd opened a barbecue joint in the basement."
Governor's daughter discovers that dad's Somebody
Martin O'Malley has been Maryland governor for two months, and suddenly one of his kids is impressed. All it took was this week's invitation to Washington, where O'Malley introduced the new chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, Harold Ford Jr.
Political wonks far and wide know Ford for an ad aired against him in last year's Tennessee Senate race. (In it, a scantily clad blonde claimed to have met the bachelor at a Playboy party. "Harold, call me," she cooed.)
Teenage girls far and wide know Ford as a hottie. Which brings us to O'Malley's sudden rise in stock.
As the governor got ready for work, his 16-year-old daughter was looking through his schedule for the day and said, "Dad, YOU know HAROLD FORD?????"
O'Malley told the story as he introduced Ford and said he had been ordered to invite Ford over to Government House for dinner as soon as possible, The Sun's Andrew Green reports.
Ford, who wound up at the center of a national debate over whether the ad played on racist fears about black men and white women, took a cautious approach to the matter of the governor's underage daughter.
"I'm hesitant after all that happened to me in the last year to say anything nice about your daughter other than to say, 'Thank you,'" Ford said. "I look forward to dinner with the ENTIRE family."
Connect the dots
On the air yesterday, WBAL's Rob Douglas noted a seemingly contradictory confluence of events: The owner of Baltimore's Kawasaki restaurants got five months in prison for hiring illegal immigrants to work in his kitchens on the same day that Maryland's House passed a bill allowing some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at public universities. Then again, maybe there's no inconsistency. Illegal immigrants can't make California rolls and can't be treated like Californians. ... Ted Kennedy and about 25 members of the Kennedy clan - including Caroline and Edwin Schlossberg, Sargent and Eunice Shriver, and Ethel (though no KKT) - descended on Obrycki's last weekend after a Fort McHenry outing. I'm told they liked their crab cakes and Maryland crab soup, but weren't big fans of Baltimore-style New England clam chowder. ... Well, now I know I've arrived: I received a lifetime achievement award for, well, fake news. It was awarded in my absence at the Legislative Follies, a night of sketch comedy and singing by state legislators. After presenting a round up of spoof news, Sen. Bobby Zirkin and Del. Eric Bromwell said I deserved a shout-out because they only had to make up news once a year, while I had to do it all the time for 2b. ... Bromwell might still be stinging from some recent columns about his dad, the former senator and current RICO defendant, Tommy Bromwell. For the record, I wish I were clever enough to make that stuff up. ... Speaking of Eric Bromwell, he showed up for Saturday's House session without the required blazer and had to borrow one from the pages, The Sun's Jennifer Skalka reports. When the chamber thanked the pages for their hard work, and especially for pitching in on a Saturday, Bromwell gamely stood with the teens in the gray blazer. Del. Joanne Benson of Prince George's County introduced him as a new page.