POLITICS, “CLINTON ADVISER PAUL Begala is fond of saying, “is show business for ugly people.” Recently, though, the capital has been flush with the beautiful, superrich, tanned and smartly tailored. President Clinton’s first 100 days played like the Circus of the Stars, with Warren, Jack and Aretha taking turns in the center ring. Meanwhile, Harry and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason—the powerful, sitcom-producing husband-and- wife team—worked high in the rigging, and (off in a side tent) White House Director of Communications George Stephanopoulos and Jennifer Grey were dating.
Shutterbug Kenny Rogers took Hillary’s portrait. Billy Crystal and Christopher Reeve, members of the Environmental Media Association, elicited gawks from workers when they dined in the White House mess.
Liberal, cause-conscious celebrities are thrilled to have a Democrat in the Oval Office; for the first time in 12 years. But what does the Administration get in the bargain? “You can have them do public-service announcements for, like, the environment,” says one senior official. “It’s utilizing the stars and their access to the media.”
Of course, some celebs are more fun to utilize than others. Below, a random capital all-star squad.
Best Friends of Bill: the Bloodworth-Thomasons. Linda, 45, wrote and produced The Man from Hope, the heart-tugging Clinton bio-video that was shown at the Democratic Convention. She also worked plugs for pal Hillary into her CBS sitcoms Hearts Afire and Designing Women. Arkansas-born harry, 52, has a temporary office in the East Wing (he’s still dealing with the residue of the inaugural activities, which he produced), and he and Linda advise Clinton on his public image. Yet White House underlings have nothing but respect for a couple they regard as old pros. “The Bloodworth-Thomasons are pretty cool,” says a staffer.
Good Soldier: Richard Dreyfuss. The 45-year-old star of Lost in Yonkers is “the best kind of Hollywood person,” says a Clinton staffer. “He does rallies, fund-raisers and doesn’t try to parlay it into his own influence and lobby senators.”
Queen of the Photo Op: Markie Post. One Clinton aide snipes that Post, 42, a costar of Hearts Afire and longtime Clinton friend, is the “ultimate clutch”—meaning that she’ll grab on to any chance to be photographed with Bill. “During the campaign,” the source says, “wherever the President went, she would be at his side.”
Hot Cha-Cha: Jennifer Grey. The Dirty Dancing star, 33, has been dating Stephanopoulos, 32, for several months. She initiated things during the campaign, when she sent him a fan note. Last month they caught the movie Dave and attended the taping of Clinton’s Saturday-morning radio broadcast.
Dangerous Woman: Sharon Stone. The Sliver star, 35, and Richard Gere got to dine with Clinton at the Vancouver economic summit in April. But the Clinton team canceled a photo op with her last week in New York City. According to one insider, the snub reflects a growing awareness in the White House that maybe the President is being overexposed to glitter. Or, as Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen observed, “The new President’s guest log is becoming hard to distinguish from a Valley Girl’s autograph book.”
Washington and Los Angeles bureau reports