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Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

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

• Michael Steele. By the end of the day, Steele will have retained or lost his job as chairman of the Republican National Committee. If he loses it, we’d love an unvarnished take on the former chairman’s turbulent tenure, and if not—the far more likely outcome—we can only imagine what the celebration will sound like. And if Steele is ousted, he could come back to shake up Maryland politics.

• Dorothy Kosinski. The director of the Phillips Collection begins celebrating the museum’s 90th birthday this weekend after a fall season that included a frightening fire that damaged the building’s roof (though it didn’t harm any pieces). In a city chock-full of museums, many of them free, we’d ask Kosinski how the Phillips hopes to stand out as it heads into the next decade.

• Cody Keenan. The 30-year-old former intern to Jon Favreau stepped in to help President Obama write his moving speech at the memorial service for victims of Saturday’s shooting in Tucson—and may have eclipsed his former supervisor, who’s said to be tied up with the State of the Union address. This isn’t the first time Keenan has tackled tragedy: He worked with Obama on the President’s eulogy for Keenan’s previous boss, Senator Ted Kennedy.

• Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander’s miraculous summer was cut short by injury last year, sending him to Tommy John surgery, a procedure that can be a career-ender. But he reappeared late last night to declare himself in the “best shape of my life” during an interview. We’d love to know more about how surgery may change his pitching style—and what it’s like to carry the heart of nascent Nationals Nation on a patched-up elbow.

• Virginia governor Bob McDonnell. For a governor who started his term off with some substanceless gaffes, McDonnell is teeing up on policy and seems prepared to swat a string of victories. His plan to privatize retail liquor sales appears to be gaining support after a larger overhaul went nowhere, and transportation, business, and technology groups are lining up behind a $3.3-billion proposal to overhaul state roads.

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