Good Wednesday morning.
WE HEAR — THE HILL IS IN “PUNT FORMATION” … Congress is likely to pass a one-week stopgap government funding bill next week. It effectively would push off the shutdown scare one week, giving lawmakers more time to hash out a compromise. THE REALITY: That likely pushes off action on other priorities, like health care.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT — THE GEORGIA SPECIAL — Two interesting points: @jmartNYT: “Republicans had to spend nearly $5M on air to keep a 30-year-old first-time candidate below 50% in Tom Price’s CD. Ds will now demand MORE” … From a Republican: “Everyone is in ‘disbelief!’ that Trump has made GA-06, otherwise a safe R district, competitive. Well, it cuts both ways – he also won PA, MI, and WI in the presidential – first R since Reagan. It’s time to finally realize the old rules don’t apply. Trump is an unorthodox candidate and president and he’s going to make previously safe seats (both R and D) competitive in the mid-terms because he changes the old dynamic.”
— WAPO’s BOB COSTA in ATLANTA: “Unofficial returns showed that Ossoff had earned less than 50 percent of the vote, the threshold needed to declare an outright victory. Instead, with 48.3 percent, Ossoff was headed to a runoff against Republican Karen Handel, the top GOP vote-getter in a special election to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. In a statement early Wednesday, Ossoff acknowledged that he had fallen short. ‘This is already a remarkable victory,’ he said. ‘We defied the odds, shattered expectations, and now are ready to fight on and win in June.’ …
“Ossoff could find it difficult to sustain the momentum he witnessed this past week in a traditionally Republican district that has been in GOP hands since 1979. Although Handel had earned 19.7 percent of the vote with 88 percent of precincts reporting, in a runoff she is widely expected to rally Republican voters who had divided their votes among 11 GOP candidates in Tuesday’s race. …
“Ossoff’s candidacy gave Democrats an exhilarating if brief taste of what it will be like to compete in a ruby-red district next year, when they have to win 24 seats to take back the House.” http://wapo.st/2oUl1jY
**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/2lQswbh
— THE NEW NARRATIVE — “Democrats begin to wonder: When do we win?,” by Gabe Debenedetti: “[Jon] Ossoff’s moral victory –capturing 48 percent of the vote in a conservative-oriented district — was welcome, but after two successive close-but-no-cigar finishes in House special elections in Georgia and Kansas, a new worry is beginning to set in. For all the anger, energy, and money swirling at the grassroots level, Democrats didn’t manage to pick off the first two Republican-held congressional seats they contended for in the Trump era, and the prospects aren’t markedly better in the next few House races coming up: the Montana race at the end of May, and the South Carolina contest on June 20.” http://politi.co/2oN5X5s
— TRUMP SAYS HIS TWEET SWAYED THE ELECTION: @realDonaldTrump at 12:09 a.m.: “Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidates, BIG ‘R’ win with runoff in Georgia. Glad to be of help!” He sent six tweets about the race.
— TWO WAYS TO LOOK AT IT: Republicans are rolling, notching two wins in two special elections this year … Democrats came close in two red districts and should pour money into a special election in Montana May 25.
KEEPING TRACK — Tulsa World’s Randy Krehbiel: “In Claremore, [Sen. James] Lankford [R-Okla.] surprised a questioner by saying he believes that President Donald Trump should release his income tax returns. ‘He promised he would,’ Lankford said. ‘He should keep his promise.’” http://bit.ly/2pfFHUn
ON THE WORLD STAGE — “US VP Pence warns North Korea: ‘The sword stands ready’,” by AP’s Ken Thomas in Yokosuka, Japan and Robert Burns in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: “From the wind-swept deck of a massive aircraft carrier, Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday warned North Korea not to test the resolve of the U.S. military, promising it would make an ‘overwhelming and effective’ response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons. Pence, dressed in a green military jacket, said aboard the hulking USS Ronald Reagan that President Donald Trump’s administration would continue to ‘work diligently’ with allies like Japan, China and other global powers to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang. But he told the sailors, ‘as all of you know, readiness is the key.’” http://apne.ws/2pfmSAG
— “Aircraft Carrier Wasn’t Sailing to Deter North Korea, as U.S. Suggested,” by NYT’s Mark Landler and Eric Schmitt: “Just over a week ago, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal to North Korea and give President Trump more options in responding to the North’s provocative behavior. ‘We’re sending an armada,’ Mr. Trump said to Fox News last Tuesday afternoon. The problem was that the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the three other warships in its strike force were that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.
“White House officials said Tuesday that they had been relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from an ill-timed announcement of the deployment by the military’s Pacific Command to a partially erroneous explanation by the defense secretary, Jim Mattis — all of which perpetuated the false narrative that a flotilla was racing toward the waters off North Korea.” http://nyti.ms/2pfz98d
— “Trump Mulls Military Options for North Korea. They’re All Grim,” by Bloomberg’s Nick Wadhams: “[P]lanners are contemplating what a U.S. strike to prevent that development might look like, and the options are grim. Analysts estimate North Korea may now possess between 10 and 25 nuclear weapons, with launch vehicles, air force jets, troops and artillery scattered across the country, hidden in caves and massed along the border with South Korea. That’s on top of what the U.S. estimates to be one of the world’s largest chemical weapons stockpiles, a biological weapons research program and an active cyberwarfare capability. And with Seoul and its 10 million residents just 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of the border — well within North Korea’s artillery range — any eruption of hostilities could have devastating human and economic costs.” https://bloom.bg/2o2L0WW
FOR YOUR RADAR — “U.S. says Iran complies with nuke deal but orders review on lifting sanctions,” by Reuters’ Lesley Wroughton: “The Trump administration said on Tuesday it was launching an inter-agency review of whether the lifting of sanctions against Iran was in the United States’ national security interests, while acknowledging that Tehran was complying with a deal to rein in its nuclear program. In a letter to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, on Tuesday U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iran remained compliant with the 2015 deal, but said there were concerns about its role as a state sponsor of terrorism. Under the deal, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days on Iran’s compliance under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It is the first such notification under U.S. President Donald Trump.” http://reut.rs/2pQHQlQ
TRUMP’S WASHINGTON — “Trump’s reliance on billionaire adviser blurs ethics lines,” by Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey: “Billionaire investor Steve Schwarzman’s newfound status as a trusted outside adviser for President Donald Trump has created blurred lines in which the Blackstone CEO is offering guidance on policies that could boost the fortunes of his company and his personal wealth. The starkest example was Trump’s reversal last week on labeling China a currency manipulator — a central campaign pledge that could have dealt a major blow to U.S.-China relations.
“While many factors likely played into Trump’s decision, including the president’s desire to encourage China to get tough on North Korea, it also followed extensive advice Schwarzman had given the president on the topic, warning Trump against such a move. Even if Schwarzman was acting in the capacity of an economic expert, those policy changes directly help Schwarzman’s bottom line as CEO of Blackstone, the private equity giant. And Blackstone has gone so far as to warn its investors about the stakes of Trump’s China policy. In a recent regulatory filing, Blackstone explicitly warned its investors that Trump’s tough talk on China threatened to hurt Blackstone’s portfolio.” http://politi.co/2o2qqG4
JOHNNY DESTEFANO PROFILE — “This Beltway insider is in charge of hiring for the Trump administration. It’s taking a while,” by WaPo’s Lisa Rein: “If Johnny DeStefano applied for a job in the Trump administration, chances are pretty good that Johnny DeStefano wouldn’t hire him. DeStefano is the president’s official headhunter, responsible for filling up to 4,000 political jobs — about 500 of which are really important jobs — in a government that his boss promised to clear of the permanent class of capital insiders to drain the Washington swamp. …
“In an interview at his corner office next to the White House, the director of presidential personnel brushes off suggestions that his mainstream political pedigree is a liability … ‘What I’m interested in now is, ‘Why do you want the job, and more specifically, why do you want to work for this administration?’ DeStefano says he asks candidates he interviews for jobs ranging from undersecretary of transportation to ambassador to the European Union. ‘What’s your vision? I want to know that myself,’ he says. ‘I’m the person who’s vouching for them to the president of the United States.’ … ‘Literally, this came out of the blue,’ Boehner says [of the job]. ‘You don’t have to wonder what you’re getting with Johnny. He brings stability.’” With cameos by Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, John Boehner, Bret Loper and Guy Harrison http://wapo.st/2o2uvKK
MEDIAWATCH — “Bill O’Reilly’s Future at Fox Grows Dim as the Murdochs’ Support Erodes,” by NYT’s Emily Steel, Michael Schmidt and Jim Rutenberg: “Bill O’Reilly’s position at Fox News grew increasingly tenuous on Tuesday as support from the Murdoch family showed signs of eroding, according to three people briefed on discussions about his future. Mr. O’Reilly’s fate at the network is expected to be discussed on Thursday at a board meeting for Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox.
“Chief among the considerations is a continuing investigation into Mr. O’Reilly’s behavior conducted by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Pressure on the company increased on Tuesday when another woman reported sexual harassment allegations against Mr. O’Reilly to 21st Century Fox. The company recently renewed Mr. O’Reilly’s contract, and the Murdoch family, which controls the company, has stood by him as allegations piled up. But after a New York Times article this month detailed harassment allegations against him, more than 50 companies have pulled their advertising from his show.” http://nyti.ms/2oUoMFZ
— FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH: It’s not only the Times that’s reporting O’Reilly is all but done. Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal has this headline: “Fox Is Preparing to Cut Ties With Bill O’Reilly”: http://on.wsj.com/2pzI8Rg
BUSH 41 BACK IN THE HOSPITAL — per spokesman Jim McGrath: “President George H. W. Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Friday for observation due to a persistent cough that prevented him from getting proper rest. It was subsequently determined he had a mild case of pneumonia, which was treated and has been resolved. President Bush is in very good spirits and is being held for further observation while he regains his strength.”
THE PRESIDENT’S WEDNESDAY — PRESIDENT TRUMP will meet with VA Secretary David Shulkin and will sign a veterans bill. He has the New England Patriots at the White House at 1:20 p.m., and then meets with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who just returned from Afghanistan.
— NOTE: A G5 jet is scheduled to land at DCA at 10:54 a.m. this morning from Laurence G Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts. We bet that has something to do with today’s Patriots festivities.
— BOSTON GLOBE’s ANNIE LINSKEY on fan-in-chief Trump. http://bit.ly/2o2NOUa
AIR WARS — “Ad by Pro-Trump Group Attacks the Club for Growth,” by NYT’s Maggie Haberman: “A political group backing President Trump is firing a warning shot at the anti-tax Club for Growth, which opposed the initial White House effort on repealing the Affordable Care Act, with a new ad coinciding with a special congressional election in Georgia on Tuesday. The spot, by the 45Committee, which was heavily funded by the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and the wealthy Ricketts family during the presidential campaign, centers on the Club for Growth’s support for Bob Gray, one of the Republican candidates in the 18-person field in the special election in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. …
“The spot, airing nationally on Fox News, describes the conservative Club for Growth — one of the best-funded groups on the right — as having ‘saved’ President Barack Obama’s signature health care law by criticizing the initial deal the White House considered. … The spot coincides with a direct-mail campaign that the 45Committee sent to about 100,000 homes, criticizing Mr. Gray. The ad buy is roughly $300,000.” http://nyti.ms/2pAUMgk … The ad http://bit.ly/2oNhDVK … Their mail piece about the Club for Growth, using President Trump’s tweet against the Club http://politi.co/2pAxaeF
THE SUMMER WHITE HOUSE — “Goodbye, Mar-a-Lago, hello, Bedminster,” by Darren Samuelsohn and Ken Vogel: “President Donald Trump’s repeated weekend jaunts away from Washington have caused nonstop headaches for his South Florida neighbors this winter. But once his exclusive seaside retreat at Mar-a-Lago closes for the season, Trump is expected to shift his weekend plans north, to his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey – and bring with him all the chaos that comes with being a preferred presidential destination.
“‘We’re kind of apprehensive, I guess you could say,’ said Nick Strakhov, a retired telecommunications professional and longtime resident who serves on the Bedminster land use board. ‘It’s nice to be recognized. But on the other hand, if it gets to be tedious, we might start to complain.’
“White House and Secret Service officials did not respond to requests for comment about what mode of transportation Trump would use to get to New Jersey from Washington when he goes, but local officials said they’re expecting the president to travel either via a smaller 757 version of Air Force One into Morristown, New Jersey, or to fly into Newark and then use Marine One to get to his club.” http://politi.co/2oKMeEV
N.Y. TABLOID VETS TARA PALMERI AND ANNIE KARNI ON THE NEW WASHINGTON — “White House aides grapple with newfound celebrity”: Kellyanne “Conway might be the most overexposed of President Donald Trump’s West Wing aides; in November, the Daily Mail published a 59-photo slideshow of the Republican strategist lounging poolside in her bathing suit while on a family vacation in Key Biscayne, Florida. But she’s not the only White House official who has transformed into a bona fide national celebrity, completing a melding of politics and entertainment that Washington observers say has been years in the making. Photographers stake out Trump staffers’ homes or venues where they are known to be speaking. Hollywood actors have volunteered to play Trump’s aides on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ And their national name recognition is abnormally high for typically inside-the-Beltway famous jobs.
“‘This is nothing I ever sought or expected,” Conway said in a phone interview as she boarded Air Force One on Tuesday to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, with the president. ‘It’s not as if I said to my children, “Mommy is running for governor, or starring in a new film, so attention will intensify and the unhappy people with poison keyboards will get nastier.”’
“Paparazzi photographer Mark Wilkins used to stalk movie stars like Shia LaBeouf, who once famously threw a cup of coffee on him. He’s now taken to following White House aides instead. Last week, he stationed himself outside the Newseum, where Conway was speaking at a conference, to snap pictures of her as she left. ‘When she was walking in front of The Willard, they treated her like a rock star,’ Wilkins told POLITICO. Wilkins also sometimes sits outside of Spicer’s house in his car, waiting for a shot he can sell to the tabloids. ‘I’m going to try to work on him and get him at church,’ said Wilkins. ‘I get tips from airlines and train stations, when they fly in and out. Waiting around the White House is boring — you don’t know what entrance they’re going to use.’ The Daily Mail pays photographers a daily rate to sit outside the Kalorama home of Trump’s older daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, tracking them as they come and go, sometimes in their gym clothes, two industry sources said.” http://politi.co/2oKXrp1
TRUMP INC. — “Hard Rock aims to make Trump Taj Mahal great again: US president’s old Atlantic City casino to receive $375M makeover by new owners,” by FT’s Gary Silverman in New York: “Hard Rock in March reached a deal — terms were not disclosed — to acquire the Taj from its most recent owner, billionaire Carl Icahn. The company plans to renovate the facility and reopen it in 2018 as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City….He says Mr Trump’s past difficulties in Atlantic City mainly reflected their owner’s taste for leverage, rather than his abilities as a promoter or operator. … ‘The Trump Organization’s lack of success was not driven by revenue challenges or by ebitda [earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation] challenges, but from a tremendous debt load,’ Mr Allen says. ‘I certainly think that Mr Trump’s marketing of his brand is something that is pretty amazing.’” http://on.ft.com/2oNey8k
2018 WATCH — “Senate Democratic outside group launches radio ads defending McCaskill,” by Kevin Robillard: “A nonprofit controlled by allies of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is spending $500,000 on radio ads backing Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, an early cash injection bucking up one of the most vulnerable Democrats facing reelection in 2018. Majority Forward is paying for the ads, which will air statewide over the next four weeks. Majority Forward is affiliated with Senate Majority PAC, the main super PAC that supports Senate Democrats. The ads are the first from either group aimed at the 2018 elections, when 10 Senate Democrats are up for reelection in states President Donald Trump carried last fall.” http://politi.co/2org1PJ
CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN interviews TINA TCHEN: “Giving Ivanka Trump ‘the benefit of the doubt’: “Tina Tchen, a former assistant to President Barack Obama and former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, says she welcomes Ivanka Trump’s focus on women’s issues — but don’t look for the pair to team up anytime soon. ‘Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I guess that’s where I would start,’ Tchen, former executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, tells POLITICO’s Carrie Budoff Brown in the latest episode of the ‘Women Rule’ podcast. ‘It’s good that they’re talking about these issues, but then I think we have to be very vigilant.’” http://politi.co/2o2AQpd
HAPPENING TONIGHT — NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel will be the featured speaker at the Anthony Shadid Journalism Ethics Award Dinner tonight at the National Press Club. The award is presented in memory of Anthony Shadid, the late Pulitzer Prize–winning journalism alumnus and foreign reporter for the Washington Post and New York Times. This year’s winner is Shane Bauer of Mother Jones for his piece “My four months as a private prison guard.” More info http://bit.ly/2oUm4QE … Shane’s piece http://bit.ly/28YN8qr
SPOTTED: Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) Tuesday night sitting behind home plate at the Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers game in LA … Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) yesterday strolling in the West Village … Tim Cook yesterday walking near the White House — pic http://bit.ly/2pAz1Qj … Michelle Obama at The Dabney last night … Jesse Watters filming outside the White House at lunchtime. “Let’s see how D.C. fares in his world,” said our tipster.
SPOTTED at last night’s Hampton Creek’s D.C. rooftop cocktail party at Fathom Gallery on 14th street: Jim Messina, Karen Finney, The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons, CNN’s Hunter Schwarz, 1776’s Peter Cherukuri, The Washington Post’s Michelle Jaconi, MemoryWell CEO Jay Newton Small, PBS’s Nick Massella, former Fox 5 anchor Laura Evans, Jen Nedeau, Ali Breland, David McCabe, Mary Amons and more. On the menu: edible garden, cauliflower clouds, veggie wontons, poke bites, mushroom summer rolls, roasted Brussels sprouts salad and cookie dough truffles, all featuring Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo, Just Dressing, Just Cookies and Just Cookie Dough products.
SPOTTED at Quorum’s Open House celebrating their new offices at 1050 Connecticut last night: Robert Flock of CUNA, Michael Petricone and Michael Hayes of Consumer Technology Association, Susan Brophy of The Glover Park Group, Rob Quartel of NTELX, Andrew Mills of Niskanen Center, Estuardo Rodriguez of The Raben Group, Nick Sinai of Inside Venture Partners, Andrea Hailey of Civic Engagement Fund, and Kevin Matthews of National Strategies.
TRANSITIONS — Daniel Suvor, most recently California Sen. Kamala Harris’ No. 2 in the state attorney general’s office and Obama White House senior director of cabinet affairs, is joining O’Melveny & Myers’ Los Angeles office.
— “Rubio’s longest serving staff adviser leaves for TechNet,” by Marc Caputo: “Sen. Marco’s Rubio’s longest-serving paid adviser, Alex Burgos, is leaving the Republican’s Capitol Hill office to lobby and plot strategy for the technology industry. Burgos will officially begin work at TechNet — which bills itself as the ‘national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives’ — on April 25 as its vice president of federal policy, government relations, and communications.” http://politi.co/2pfCrbM
–ARJUN MODY to S-3 Public Affairs as principal: “From serving President Bush to Elizabeth Dole to Bono to Kay Bailey Hutchison to Carly Fiorina to John Barrasso, this has been the ride of a lifetime. April 21 will be my last day in the Senate.” …
… Sara Sorcher started yesterday at USA Today as a White House editor. She was previously deputy cybersecurity/passcode editor at The Christian Science Monitor. … Seth Stein is now working as a deputy press secretary for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio; he previously was national press secretary at the League of Conservation Voters.
… Erin Donar recently joined Chase as head of communications for mortgage banking after serving as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the Treasury Department. Keosha Burns has also joined Chase as head of external communications for mortgage banking after previously handling public relations for Fannie Mae.
REMEMBERING ALICIA PETERSON CLARK – “Prior to joining APCO in 2008, Alicia was U.S. Senator Richard Burr’s chief of staff, providing daily counsel on politics, policy, legislation and communications, as well as overseeing long-range strategic planning. Alicia also held a range of key positions in the campaigns and administration of President George W. Bush, including surrogate and state media director for 2000 campaign, where she built a nationwide team to manage daily media operations. In the White House, she served as a special assistant to the president and deputy director in the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, where she directed long-range and strategic planning projects to advance presidential priorities. She also served as assistant to the vice president for political affairs.” http://bit.ly/2oKK9sZ
BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Caitlin Hayden, EVP and group director — media at Edelman and an NSC alum, celebrating at one of her favorite restaurants The Dabney with her husband, Erlingur Erlingsson, the Icelandic Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington. Her goal for this year: “Erlingur and I are overjoyed that we’re expecting our first baby in late July. So my highest priority this year is to learn how to be a great mom to our little Icelandic-American daughter.” Read her Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2pAt2eB
BIRTHDAYS: Joanne Ochsman … Ron Kaufman … Julie Mason … CNN’s Emily Kuhn … Jon Dominic Garcia, returning to Denver this summer as a KCNC anchor … Felix Gillette of Bloomberg BusinessWeek … conservative consultant Jim Kelly … Seth Solomonow of Bloomberg Associates … Jonathan Levy, director of policy and strategy at Vision Ridge Partners and a DOE and Rahm alum … Peter Giangreco … Staci Appel (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Sarah Rozier, comms. director for Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) … HHS spokeswoman Alleigh Marré, who celebrated in Nelson county (southwest of Charlottesville) over the weekend and tonight is going to dinner at an Italian restaurant despite her protests to work on the wedding (h/t fiancé Zack Roday) … Jeff Fraser, founder at Sebonac Advisors, a tech-focused investment banking firm, is 29 … Louis Agnello, senior counsel for Sen. Martin Heinrich and a founding member of Harmony, White & Blue (h/t Kurt Bardella) …
… Courtney Sieloff, founder and president of Asana Creative (h/t Brad Bauman) … Stateline.org staff writer Sophie Quinton … Chicago Reader editorial intern Abbey Schubert, a USA Today alum (h/ts Colby Bermel) … Laura Lee Burkett, LA for Rep. Steven Palazzo, is 24 (h/t Grace McKellip) … Tory Brown, partner at The Pastorum Group, political director for Progress Now, taco aficionado, and enthusiast of the Washington-based Expos (h/t Josh Cohen) … VIEW PAC’s Katie Delzell is 26 (h/t fiancé Taylor Haulsee) … Vic Beck, director of comms at Northrop Grumman … Mudar Zahran … Quorum’s Libby Wuller … William Carter … Politico Europe’s Kritasha Gupta … Orde Kittrie, law professor and nonproliferation specialist and State alum … Kara Watt … Tory Brown … Patty Blumer … Nat Grossman … Lori Yates … Russ Ferguson … Luke Swarthout, director of adult education services at the NY Public Library and a Tom Harkin alum … Jamie Bennett, executive director of ArtPlaceAmerica and an NEA alum … Mary Liz Burns, comms. strategies director for financial security at AARP … Suge Knight is 52 … Ashley Judd is 49 … James Franco is 39 … Kate Hudson is 38 … Hayden Christensen is 36 … Maria Sharapova is 3-0 (h/ts AP)