Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

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

By: Alyssa Rosenberg

Washington is full of newsmakers. From today’s headlines, here’s who we really want to sit down with over drinks or dinner to get the story behind the stories.

• Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Chairman Neal Insley. We’ll spare you the jokes about downing a few with an ABC special agent. If Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell gets his way and shutters 332 state-owned liquor stores, replacing them by selling licenses to open 1,000 retail stores, it’ll change the ways Virginians drink. Among those changes? The state expects to see $13.1 million in profits and taxes, so it could get more expensive to take a tipple. We’d be curious to hear what Insley has to say about the changes he’d help to oversee.

• Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who’s about to start playing a female vice president—and pumping money into the region’s economy to boot when her new HBO show, VEEP, starts shooting in Baltimore in February. If you come on down the road, Julia, we’ll hook you up with some super-cool power women who can act as your inspiration, including one of our Washingtonians of the Year, Maryland’s own Barbara Mikulski.

• Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. The comprehensive urbanization plan the board adopted in June, emphasizing easy access to transit and environmentally friendly development, just won one of the country’s top awards for urban planning, the Daniel Burnham Award. Now, Fairfax can tell potential developers that not only are they getting great access to Metro and circulators, they can be part of a neighborhood that’s as much an achievement as the Flatiron Building or the National Mall. How’s that for advertising?

• Rex Grossman. The Redskins quarterback was elevated when Donovan McNabb fell out of favor, but now one of the top online bookmakers puts his odds of retaining the position lower than that of a free agent or a 2011 draft pick ending up with the job. Ouch. We’d love to know how he handles the pressure.

• Michael Sirvet. The DC-area sculptor got tapped to make Michael Jordan’s new dinner table and came up with a sleek, modern design. It seems appropriate that a boom in the region’s dining scene would inspire some great dining decorating and furniture, even if the results are too pretty to eat off of. Maybe Sirvet can be a role model for a new generation of Corcoran students?

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