by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & Mating Calls, Part Three & r & & r & It's safe to say that Hillary Clinton won't be picking Bill as her running mate if she advances as the Democratic candidate for president. But another name that seems to come up often is Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who may be the secret to her success in the Hoosier State for Tuesday's primary. Payback, some pundits predict, could be a spot for Bayh as Hillary's No. 2, and he could help secure a key part of the Midwest for her in November. Hey, wasn't there another pretty-boy from Indiana who got put on a national ticket? (Hint: "I knew Jack Kennedy. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.")

No, Seriously

This just in from the AP: "Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean said Monday that either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama must drop out of the Democratic presidential race after the June primaries in order to unify the party by the convention and win the election in November."

That Howard Dean -- so deadpan. Hilarious!

Wrong Turn

Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's former pastor, just won't take a hint. Last week he spoke with PBS's Bill Moyers, and now he's on a tour to, apparently, keep reminding people about the flap over his harsh criticisms of America following 9/11. "It's a free country," is all Obama spokesman David Axelrod could muster when asked to comment on Wright's appearance at the National Press Club on Monday. The national press loved this story the first time around, so you can count on a sequel. John McCain and Hillary Clinton are already buying popcorn.

Cup o' Joe-mentum

Scuttlebutt (aka, boredom-induced wild speculation) has it that Hillary will take a page from the Joe Lieberman playbook and mount a run as an Independent in the fall. Even though the three-way split of votes could make for crazy fun times, most political watchers say it's pure fantasy -- that Hillary Clinton is too thoroughly a Dem to make a run to Naderland. But if that's her only plausible path to the White House -- man, those were some great parties... entertaining heads of state, having friends over to the Lincoln Bedroom -- don't you think she might just ponder it -- and the personal chef... don't forget the personal chef -- you know, just a teeny bit?

Mardi Bras

Through March 3
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