Who was the biggest celebrity at Saturday’s Taste of the South Gala? Anyone? Anyone?
Ben Stein of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” fame might be best known for his nerdy monotone, but the political-speechwriter-turned-actor knows how to turn on the charm when he’s back in the District.
“He was extremely nice, talking to and taking pictures with everyone who came up to him,” a tipster tells HOH.
The event, which CQ Roll Call helped sponsor, featured an array of Southern delicacies such as barbecue, grits and bourbon. Stein, who especially enjoyed the braised pork and Arkansas rice cakes in the VIP section, seemed right at home among the many staffers in attendance at an event sometimes called the “Southern Prom.”
Stein, who grew up in Silver Spring, Md., always wanted to go to the event and was lucky enough to be in town at the right time this year, the tipster tells HOH. Unfortunately for the suit-and-tennis-shoes-clad star, his Arkansan wife couldn’t join him at the black-tie gala. He didn’t seem to have any need for Clear Eyes, however, as the party animal had a steady string of admirers to entertain with his dry wit.
Stein’s not new to politics, of course — he used to write speeches for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and he often pens pieces for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. For the Hill staffers attending the event, though, it was his Hollywood career rather than his D.C. credentials that sparked a frenzy as he walked through the room — and what he overheard won’t surprise anyone.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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