Heard on the Hill: Up for the Part

Posted April 12, 2010 at 6:33pm

Rumors abound that a feature film might soon be made of “The Politician,” the juicy John Edwards tell-all written by his ex-aide, Andrew Young. And there’s loads of chatter as to who will star as the sex-scandal-plagued former Democratic presidential candidate — with actor Dennis Quaid sitting at the top of many wish lists.

[IMGCAP(1)]But would Quaid even want the role?

During an appearance at the National Press Club on Monday, the actor was asked whether he’d be interested in playing the former North Carolina Senator on the silver screen. Quaid responded with a hearty laugh and then jokingly cut off the Q&A.

“Call my agent,” Quaid added, laughing.

While Quaid was mum on whether he’s interested in the Edwards role, the actor did reflect on portraying other famous politicians. The actor plays former President Bill Clinton in the upcoming HBO film “The Special Relationship,” and he starred as President Joseph Staton — a thinly veiled version of President George W. Bush — in the 2006 movie “American Dreamz.”

But while he can certainly play presidential, don’t expect Quaid to make his own run for the White House. “I learned that I never want to get into politics, I’ll put it that way,” Quaid said of the roles.

Although much of Quaid’s visit to the press club was lighthearted — NPC members even presented the actor, who turned 56 on Friday, with a birthday cake — his opening remarks touched on serious issues.

Quaid shared the much-publicized story of his newborn twins, who nearly died days after their birth after they were twice given 1,000 times the normal dose of the drug Heparin. Since then, Quaid has become an advocate for increased safety measures in hospitals and other medical facilities.

“Through these precious children and their story was the opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade,” Quaid said.

Hanging Tough. The bitter battle over health care reform might have tarnished White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s one-time indestructible image, but the creators of the Chuck Norris-esque Web site RahmFacts.com say Rahm-bo remains the toughest guy in Washington.

HOH chatted on Monday with Simon Vozick-Levinson, one of the founders of the site, which launched in 2008 and features real-life facts about Emanuel written in Chuck Norris facts form. (Examples: “Rahm Emanuel told Tony Blair: ‘Don’t F— This Up'” and “Rahm Emanuel Can Dance Ballet Better Than You.”)

And while Emanuel no longer is considered untouchable post-health care battle — the New York Times ran a story titled “The Limits of Rahmism,” for example — Vozick-Levinson believes the chief of staff is still, well, a total badass.

“There was a period of time when it looked like the health care bill wasn’t going to pass,” Vozick-Levinson said. “The fact that the bill did pass, I think, will restore [his] image.”

Although the site launched nearly two years ago, it continues to get hits, Vozick-Levinson said. And HOH points out that a similar Rahm spoof recently emerged on Twitter under the name “ItsJustRahm,” featuring tweets such as this one from Monday: “I don’t know about today’s security summit, but what I produced in the bathroom just now is nothing short of nuclear.”

Kitty’s Dish Includes Obama. Oprah Winfrey’s got a crush on President Barack Obama, according to a new tell-all biography of the talk show icon.

In her salacious new book, “Oprah: A Biography,” uber-celeb biographer Kitty Kelley reveals that Oprah’s own father thinks she has romantic feelings for Obama. “I’m supporting him for the issues,” says Vernon Winfrey, Oprah’s adoptive father. “Oprah might be supporting him for something else.”

Kelley notes that Vernon Winfrey chuckled about his daughter’s “obvious crush” on the then-Senator and her “flirtatious body language.”

“Her adoring eyes and all … I can tell you Stedman [Graham, Oprah’s longtime partner] isn’t getting any of that.”

Kelley quotes Oprah’s high school best friend saying she thinks Obama is Oprah’s ideal. “Obama is everything she ever wanted,” Luvenia Harrison Butler said. “Light-skinned and Ivy-Leagued.”

Elsewhere in the book, Kelley hints that first lady Michelle Obama shares Oprah’s belief in “The Secret,” a controversial self-help strategy outlined in a book of the same name. It preaches that if you “envision” something, you can make it real. “I want you to leave here and envision Barack Obama taking the oath of office,” the book quotes Michelle Obama telling the crowd at a rally at which Oprah also spoke.

Oprah returned home, Kelley writes, and “created a vision board. … She put Obama’s picture in the middle of the board alongside a picture of a dress she wanted to wear to his inauguration.”

Other Washington dish found in the book, which is released today: Armstrong Williams, a business partner of Graham’s and a political commentator, routinely sold damning information about Oprah to the tabloids. The book quotes a tabloid editor who claimed Williams was on the payroll of major gossip sheets the National Enquirer, the Star and the Globe, “regularly feeding information … for exclusives on Oprah.”

Oprah, Kelley claims, was clueless about the arrangement, although she had hired Williams to feed the tabloids positive stories about her charitable works.

Overheard on the Hill. “Ok I’m confused. Why would an accounting firm pay to put their logo on a pro golfer’s cap? Congrats to Mikelson [sic], but the sponser [sic] thing’s weird.”

— Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), sharing her thoughts on Masters Tournament winner Phil Mickelson via Twitter on Sunday. The golfer wears a baseball cap with sponsor KPMG’s logo when he’s on the links.

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