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Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

• Randy Edsall. The new University of Maryland football coach was always going to have to meet high expectations as the first major athletic hire under new president Wallace Loh—especially after the university bought out his predecessor’s contract rather than keeping him on. But after a Baltimore Sun investigation found that the university had spent $40,000 on travel during the candidate search and there were three candidates in contention the day before Edsall was offered the job, the pressure to live up to the hype is higher than ever.

• The Saturday-night waitstaff at the Country Club of Virginia. Virginia governor Bob McDonnell dined with former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, a presumptive Republican presidential candidate, at the club Saturday night. We can’t imagine that the other 14 guests are talking about what the two Republican rising stars discussed, but we bet the servers got some interesting snippets that might hint at whether McDonnell is ready for the national stage.

• Eleanor Holmes Norton. Actually, we don’t want to have dinner with the delegate from the District—we want to go on the tour of Washington that she’s giving freshman Republican representative Trey Gowdy today. Gowdy, a South Carolina conservative who unseated long-term incumbent Bob Inglis in a primary last year, is chairing the House subcommittee on District affairs, but his views on DC are largely unknown. We want to know what Norton tells him about the city and how he reacts to his first field trip through it.

• Malcolm Woolf. The director of the Maryland Energy Administration is leading the O’Malley administration’s push to make good use of the Maryland coast—by requiring state-run utilities to buy wind energy from turbines that could be built there. If Governor O’Malley gets his wish, wind turbines could power half of Baltimore residences and create up to 2,000 jobs. But consumers could see electric rates go up by an average of $1.44 a month.

• Natasha Dasher. Michael Landrum got buzz for opening a branch of Ray’s the Steaks east of the Anacostia River last year, bringing reasonably priced sit-down dining to Ward 7. Now Dasher has planted a flag with the Uniontown Bar and Grill in Ward 8, setting a standard that says outlets east of the river don’t just have to be functional and affordable—they can be just as hip as restaurants and bars in DC’s Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle. Washington is always looking toward the next hot neighborhood. We’d love to know how Dasher, a native Washingtonian who moved back to the city to send her daughter to high school here, sees the revitalization of the neighborhood.

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