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Rudy Giuliani at the Chambers Hotel in downtown Minneapolis Wednesday afternoon was tight-lipped and accompanied by a lot of security.

Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

He wasn't rude, just Rudy

  • Article by: KRISTIN TILLOTSON
  • Star Tribune
  • September 3, 2008 - 11:24 PM

Rudy Giuliani has a fabulous, nearly blinding set of teeth, even up close. I know this because Wednesday night's keynote speaker wouldn't answer my questions when I followed him to an alfresco nook at the Chambers Hotel about 4 p.m. Wednesday. But he did it with a wide, engaging smile, because his picture was being taken, despite a security detail's gently effective dissuading tactics. Could be his interpretation of Teddy Roosevelt's most famous line: Say nothing and carry a big bodyguard.

But he's not getting a Christmas card

Apparently, the Hilton clan is no longer steamed about John McCain "approving the message" for that ad depicting Paris Hilton as a shallow celebrity and tying her to Barack Obama. They're allowing him to stay at their downtown Minneapolis hotel.

Because nobody would pay her?

Where in the name of Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich has meanie mouthpiece of the right Ann Coulter been all week, and why doesn't anyone seem to care? We haven't heard her mentioned once this RNC season.

That influential Pantene lobby

The rule used to be that as women aged, the hair got shorter and the skirts got longer. Not for these three prominent women of the RNC -- Cindy McCain, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann -- who range in age from 44 to 54. All have healthy, attractive manes past their shoulders. Bring it, ladies -- 50 is the new 30.

Making hay with Hookers & Blow

While he was trying to make a strong impression at Tuesday's ProVention concert, Honeydogs frontman Adam Levy and his beloved '70s covers band Hookers & Blow unintentionally raised a ruckus when they were hired for a party Monday affiliated with the National Rifle Association and Lockheed Martin. The group's name attracts attention on any day, but Monday was the day the RNC was supposed to temper the festivities because of Hurricane Gustav. Levy heard Hookers & Blow mentioned everywhere from ABC's "Good Morning America" to "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart." "They had a field day with the 'fiddling while Rome burned' symbolism," said Levy, who was especially fond of Stewart's joke about the booking: "What, they couldn't get Joe & the Drowning Black People?"

The happy pariah

Few people visit more convention parties than Brian Ross. He just can't get through the front door. As ABC's chief investigative reporter, he has long targeted lobbyist bashes during his regular segment "The Money Trail," browbeating politicians who try to slip inside and smuggling in associates with hidden cameras. Ross said the wildest fete he'd seen this week (from the sidewalk, of course) was "The Pink Party" at Cafe Lurçat, where servers wore pink wigs and attendees pink boas (which some used to hide their faces when the camera came their way). Because of his reputation, Ross doesn't get on many invite lists. "I'm the loneliest guy in town," he said Wednesday in ABC's work tent, with Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson sitting in nearby folding chairs. "But no one has more fun not going to parties than me."

Pajama party

While many Stribbers were out covering parties, one of our own was hosting one. Pajamas TV, a new Internet network, held an event Tuesday night to celebrate the 50th birthday of columnist and blogger James Lileks. A tent in Lileks' back yard held about 150 guests, including humorist Dave Barry, radio host Hugh Hewitt and former U.S. Rep. Dick Armey. Music was provided by singer/songwriters Jude and Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik. Despite the sponsor, no guests actually came in pajamas, which was a relief to even the most diehard Armey fan.

Neal Justin, Jon Bream and Chris Riemenschneider contributed to this column.

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