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Former Washington and Ohio governors could wind up in Obama’s Cabinet

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel his wife Amy Rule White House Monday January 21 2013. | Courtesy City Chicago

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his wife, Amy Rule at the White House, Monday, January 21, 2013. | Courtesy, City of Chicago

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Updated: February 24, 2013 6:35AM

Top tip ...

Sneed hears President Barack Obama, who is desperately seeking women to fill Cabinet slots, is eyeing former Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Top tip II...

Sneed also hears former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is on the short list to join the Obama cabinet as replacement for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Lisa lore ...

Is Gov. Pat Quinn trembling? Is Bill Daley quivering? Is Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan again entertaining a run for governor?

◆Here we go again: A top governor poll winner, Madigan’s oblique comments to ABC7 Sunday: “I am among those people ... who are considering what they want to do in the future and if they can be of greater service to the state.” Sure smells like it.

◆But as Madigan’s spokesman Natalie Bauer tells Sneed: “It’s not a yes or a no right now — but we’ve seen that movie before.”

Smoke joke ...

Is it true House Speaker John Boehner, a cigarette smoker, actually asked President Obama if he’d had a smoke before Monday’s inaugural luncheon — thereby causing First Lady Michelle Obama’s eyes to roll when Boehner greeted Obama’s presumed “No” response with: “Somebody won’t let you do it.”

Or are lip-readers smoking posies?

The Hillary file ...

Zzzzzzzzzz: Sneed is told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose to go home early Monday night and not join fun-loving hubby, Bill, to the private power party at the White House to celebrate with the Obamas. “She’s taking it easy and ostensibly keeping up with bed rest,” said a Sneed source. “And she is planning no more trips out of town before she leaves office.”

Red & blue ...

First lady Michelle Obama may have chosen red for her gown to cement her power status at her hubby’s second inaugural, but Chicago’s first lady Amy Rule’s choice of a blue satin gown was anything but quiet. (Check out the pix of Amy in a lovely gown designed by Karolina Zmarlak, who spent her teen years in Chicago.)

Inaugural musings ...

◆U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, who was on the inaugural podium, had no idea singer Beyonce was lip-syncing the “Star Spangled Banner” while standing near President Obama. “That’s a shocker,” said Quigley, “but it was cold and a tough song to sing.” Quigley added his daughters were more impressed he’d shaken hands “with Beyonce on the podium than singers James Taylor,Kelly Clarkson, and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.”

◆Eat ‘em: The $60 ticket for the almost 40,000 members of the hoi polloi attending the main Presidential Inaugural Ball purchased ... pretzels! That’s it. It was a cash bar.

◆Rahm ‘em: Decked out in a tie-less tux, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s food of choice to serve at his hot ticket bash were mini-hot dogs and sliders served on platters at his underground snuggery.

◆Dance ‘em: A private “rock ‘em and sock ‘em” dance party with the Obamas at the White House Monday night gave 300 donors, family and friends a chance to boogie and banter with the first couple. In attendance: Barack’s best buds, Marty Nesbitt and Dr. Eric Whitaker, Bettylu Saltzman, John RogersJr., Bill and Bernie Daley, Susan Sher and husband Judge Neil Cohen, David and Susan Axelrod, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and wife Amy Rule. Notably absent: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who tried to push his gun reform legislation through before the president took action.

A Royal rant...

Give ‘em hell, Harry? Britain’s randy Prince Harry, who is returning from deployment as an Apache helicopter pilot in Afghanistan where he acknowledged killing members of the Taliban, was asked by the Brit press why he and his brother are so keen on helicopters.

◆His response; “Probably the fact that you can only fit a certain amount of people in a helicopter, therefore no one can follow us, like you guys.”

Atta boy.

The Cellini file...

Former Springfield powerbroker Bill Cellini is entering the federal prison system close to the same time former Gov. George Ryan is exiting.

◆Cellini, who had requested a Mongomery, Ala., prison, reported to Terre Haute, Ind. Tuesday to serve a year sentence on corruption charges.

◆Cellini, 78, who was the victim of a heart attack while waiting to be sentenced, was granted an extension before his prison entry date in early January. He was convicted in 2011 of participating in a political contribution shakedown in order to fill former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s coffers.


Wednesday’s birthdays: Mariska Hargitay, 49; Princess Caroline, 56; and Richard Dean Anderson, 63.

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