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YEAS&NAYS People, power and politics



Scott Brown once bared it all While we’ve seen photographic evidence of the Capitol Hill six-packs of Republican Reps. Aaron Schock and Jeff Flake, if Scott Brown gets lucky in Tuesday’s Massachusetts special election, he may automatically be known as the barest of them all. The reason? Back in his law school days, the current Massachusetts state senator, vying for the U.S. Senate seat formerly occupied by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, posed nude in Cosmopolitan magazine. He won the “America’s Sexiest Man” contest and appeared in the June 1982 issue. Now, the magazine’s editors are touting the pick and have even suggested a few last-minute campaign slogans. Our pick: “Vote for Brown. He Has One Hell of a Stimulus Package.”

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Top designer: First lady’s love for J. Crew not good for high fashion

Roland Martin in with Obama Roland Martin claims to have the ear of the president. The CNN contributor and TV One “Washington Watch” host said last week at a reception for his third book, “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House,” that he and President Obama have discussed everything from politics Martin to fashion. And the president might have helped Martin get a few scoops, too. Martin said he was told in June 2008, even before the likes of Carl Bernstein, that Hillary Clinton would not become the vice presidential nominee. This seemed to annoy Bernstein, the best-selling insider, famous for breaking the Watergate story, Martin said. “I talked to Bernstein everybody in the Obama campaign except for Barack Obama, and I still don’t have that information,” Bernstein said at the time, Martin told Yeas & Nays. “Carl, you and I do not talk to the same people,” Martin shot back with a laugh. The CNN regular said he also has tried pushing Obama into a more colorful and fashionable direction, though the president’s armada of white shirts and blue ties leaves this, too, up for speculation. Buster Brown contributed to this page.


aybe it’s because she dressed the Bush twins, but high-fashion designer Lela Rose doesn’t get why Michelle Obama won’t pick up her threads. “Maybe we’re tainted from that,” Rose told Yeas & Nays at the MODUS Union 2010 fashion event last week hosted by (legitimate) “Real Housewives of D.C.” hopeful Mary Amons Amons. Rose said her line, known for its bright hues and mixed textures on top of conservative cuts (and an abundance of

sleeveless options), would be a perfect fit for the first lady, but Obama sticks to J. Crew. “I definitely want to turn her away from J. Crew,” Rose said. The designer, whose frocks hover around $1,000, lamented that J. Crew’s designs are priced too low to compete. “I think she has looked fantastic, but J. Crew? For designers, to have the first lady in J. Crew?” Rose said. “You can buy that for $180 you can’t buy designer products for that price. She’s looked great, but it doesn’t help the high-end design industry.” Rose brought her spring 2010


Michelle Obama chose J.Crew for a White House event Nov. 13. Designer Lela Rose laments the first lady’s non-high fashion decisions. GETTY IMAGES

collection to D.C. for the Labels for Love runway show at the Mayflower Hotel. She said she hopes to expand her reach in the D.C. market. Adding to the fashion frenzy in the hotel lobby — which was heightened by the production crew filming the “Real Housewives of D.C.” — were guests who hoped to see Michaele Salahi alongside housewife hopefuls Lynda Erkiletian, Amons and Cat Ommanney. But no such luck — the Salahis took a trip to Vegas this weekend for an appearance at Pure nightclub in Caesars Palace. Among the fashion mavens spotted at the event: stylist Ted Gibson, Kate Michael, Lolly Amons, WUSA’s Brett Haber, Fox 5’s Will Thomas, designer Ebong Eka, Stephanie Green, Paul Wharton and Jason Backe of Ted Gibson Salon.



Lady Gaga digs Washington dish

BET stars out of their element The BET Honors brought an all-star lineup to D.C. this weekend, including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Queen Latifah, Stevie Wonder, Taraji Henson, Mary J. Blige, Gabrielle Union and India.Arie.. And with all the glitz and glam in town, Yeas & Nays fielded tips on these out-of-towners out of their element. Spotted barreling into the Warner Theatre on Saturday afternoon: a disheveled Jennifer Hudson, more than an hour late for her dress rehearsal. On the chill side: Chris Tucker was seen lunching on the W Hotel rooftop with two friends Saturday, rocking the shades. And missing in action? 2010 honoree Whitney Houston skipped out on the red carpet, leaving reporters and fans without a taste of the diva. Sean “Diddy” Combs was honored for being a “respected business mogul” in the entrepreneur category at the BET Honors in Washington. GETTY IMAGES

Lady Gaga may have skipped over D.C. on her tour, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t appreciate its culinary creations. The pop star gushed about sampling Chef Art Smith’s fried chicken and waffles when she appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” Friday, according to Mix 107.3’s Tommy McFly. Smith, who once was Oprah’s personal chef, is the man behind the Capitol Hill eatery Art & Soul, where the chicken is served.

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Roland Martin  

Piece for Washington Examiner