The Presidency: Affluence in Pursuit of Influence

Diana McLellan, who built quite a career on high-level gossip (she wrote "The Ear" column for the Washington Star and the Washington Post and then "Diana Hears" for the Washington Times), has quit after a decade of nibbling her way to the top. "Gossip is now on the front pages," she says wistfully. An amateur artist as well as a wordsmith, she has gone on to paint and write novels.

Dinners at the White House these days are so tasteful that nobody rushes to a phone later to chortle about the peanut soup and catfish paté. Diana could spin one delicious...

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