The Washington Monthly's Who's Who
January/February 2003

Cyber-agitator Matt Drudge set off a minor media frenzy when he reported, incorrectly, that presidential aspirant Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) regularly paid Christophe salon stylist Isabelle Goetz $150 to cut his hair. The actual cost was half that figure, but a number of newshounds ran with the item anyway. Since haircut reporting is the latest rage, we decided to call those who reported the story to find out if $75 hairdos were all that uncommon. CNN "Inside Politics" host Judy Woodruff, whose reporting was among the snippiest ("Kerry is already in denial mode"), spends $80 on her golden locks at the Four Seasons Spa Salon on Pennsylvania Ave. Boston-area gossip columnists are also in Kerry's league, though it seems Boston Globe staffers place a higher premium on style than their crosstown rivals at the Boston Herald. The Globe's Carol Beggy regularly spends $86 at Vidal Sassoon on posh Newberry St., while colleague Stephanie Stoughton takes the prize as the only journalist to admit to spending $100-- "going all out" at a downtown salon on one occasion. She normally frequents a shop in her Jamaica Plain neighborhood, where cuts are in the $20 range. The Herald's Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa, spend $45 and $65, respectively.

Most male reporters, it turns out, take a more frugal approach to hair care. The Washington Post's Lloyd Grove spends a mere $12 at a Bethesda, Md., barbershop, where he often sees columnists George Will and William Safire. The Hoover Institution's Bill Whalen, who took potshots at Kerry in National Review Online, spends only $14 in a Stanford, Calif., mall. Of his $15 hairdo, George Rush of the New York Daily News told us, "It's much cheaper than the senator's, but it probably doesn't look as good." The Washington Times' Tony Blankley, though, shares Kerry's appreciation of a good trim--so much so that he uses the same stylist. Writing in his column, Blankley says Goetz is well worth the price: "She is a gifted artist, making even the top of my old, fat head shimmer and glisten like a Hollywood starlet's."

Kerry is only one of the well-known salon's famous customers--Goetz styles Hillary Clinton's stately mane for $150, and Christophe himself was responsible for Bill Clinton's legendary 1993 trim on Air Force One, which gave rise to the urban legend, debunked by Newsday's Jonathan Schell, that the president shut down Los Angeles International Airport to get it. As for the Texas tresses of President George W. Bush, he pays $30 a cut to Washington stylist Zahira Zahir, who also trimmed the locks of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. First Lady Laura Bush, on the other hand, is a fan of Andre Chreky, whose cuts start around $60. All prices are without tip.

Few reporters have noted what is perhaps the most lasting legacy of Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), now retired: The unusually large number of family members, former aides, and even neighbors he's managed to appoint to federal judicial offices during the past two decades. Four members of the South Carolina District Court owe their jobs to Thurmond, including former aides Terry Wooten, Henry Herlong, and Dennis Shedd--recently promoted to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals--as well as Joseph Anderson, who hails from Strom's hometown of Edgefield. Shedd has some company: He joins two other former Thurmond aides now sitting on the Fourth Circuit, William Wilkins and Emory Sneeden, plus one Clyde Hamilton, another Edgefield native and, like Shedd, a former judge on the South Carolina District Court. Robert Carr and Bristow Marchant are both former Thurmond aides; both also serve today as U.S. magistrates for South Carolina. (The state's magistrates are selected by none other than the judges of the South Carolina District Court.) Thurmond's nephew, William Bishop, is chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in South Carolina, the judges for which are selected by--you guessed it--the judges of the Fourth Circuit. Finally there's Thurmond's son, 30-year-old Strom Jr., today the youngest and least experienced U.S. attorney in the country.

Between being investigated for fraud by U.S. attorneys in New York, and being sued by shareholders seeking millions in lost investment dollars, it's been a bad couple of months for U.S. Technologies CEO Gregory Earls. Earls's name hit The New York Times' front page in November, when it was revealed that William Webster, who had been appointed head of the government's new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, had headed U.S. Technologies' audit committee. Webster later followed Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt--who had promoted Webster's appointment to the accounting oversight board--in tendering his resignation. But there's at least one other Washington heavy hitter who's tight with Earls: D.C. mayor Anthony Williams. Back in June 2000, Earls teamed up with CNN talking head Bill Press, Washington tennis pro Kathy Kemper, and Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines on a fundraiser for Williams. Later, Williams used Earls's downtown office to make fundraising calls.

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