On the Circuit : Geraldine Ferraro Mulls Campaign for Senate Seat

Times Staff Writer

Another political campaign for Geraldine Ferraro?

"I don't know if I am willing to do it again, and I don't know if I am willing to have my family go through it again," she said in an interview with On the Circuit. The Queens, N.Y., Democrat is looking "carefully" at the 1986 Senate campaign, but "I would have to be silly to think that I wouldn't be personally attacked in the same way . . . a very, very personal campaign."

The campaign for vice president was "considerably" tougher than she expected--"What would I ever have as a precedent so that I could expect that they would attack my husband to the degree that they did and my father and my mother? You tell me. Does anybody know anything about Ronald Reagan's father?"

Ferraro does take blame for some of her campaign problems. "Some of the things I did, I did to myself . . . releasing the press release saying I was going to release my husband's tax returns. Nobody really expected it. It's not required . . . my flip remarks. I did that to myself."

Ferraro's visit--to speak at the MECLA dinner for 1,300-plus last weekend--proved a couple of political points:

She's still considered a draw, as is MECLA--Municipal Elections Committee of Los Angeles, a political organization concerned with promoting gay rights--now important enough to turn out several dozen elected officials, mostly Democrats.

Not everything went smoothly. Ferraro insisted on speaking early in the program, between the salad and the rolled chicken, supposedly so she could fly back to an important appointment in New York. One dinner organizer even said that she had to rush back for the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Whoops. That parade occurred on Saturday afternoon--the same day as the dinner. And where Ferraro headed was upstairs to her 29th-floor Tower suite at the Century Plaza to meet with a fellow diner, state Sen. Art Torres, a principal in the California campaign for Mondale-Ferraro, and his wife, TV personality Yolanda Nava.

Downstairs, the dinner crowd struggled through several hours of programming--awards, entertainment, films. Too bad that only a few elected officials--like state Sens. Gary Hart and Herschel Rosenthal--lasted long enough to see the moving presentation of the Gayle Wilson Memorial awards to the men who started MECLA. Honored were Peter Scott (the organization's first chair), Bill Carey, Rob Eichberg, Peter Frisch, Raymond Hartman, Dana Hopkins, Ron Jacobson, Frank Ker, Judge Stephen Lachs, Chuck Tanner.

TRITE BACK. It's so hard to be trendy. Just when you pick up on a decorating idea, stylish hordes are doing it too. Here's a warning from Paige Rense, editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest--beware "beds on the diagonal. They are on the move. Everybody is putting their beds on the diagonal. I started really noticing it a couple of years ago. It does seem to keep accelerating." It's OK, though, to get in on the major trend to "traditional . . . people who scorned chintz are now soaking it in tea." (That makes it look lived in.) Dhurrie rugs "unfurled themselves a few years ago, then disappeared, have now come through their difficulty, and those little dhurries are here to stay." Now we can all relax. Also, for fans of Zubin and Nancy Mehta, the May Architectural Digest will visit them in NYC.

UPCOMING--An announcement that the Beach Boys' Mike Love is putting together a major international concert tour with a slew of rock stars. The tour will raise money for small farmers in Africa and a friend says that "Mike is passionately behind it."

Also, even though Joan Collins has signed to play Maria Callas in a TV movie, she'll be starring in L.A. Thursday as part of a mother-daughter fashion show for the Young Musicians Foundation. Is it hard to picture Alexis as a mom? "Darling, on 'Dynasty,' I am the mother to four children."

WAITER, THE CHECK. Gosh, if we only had known what Marvin Davis and that man who looked like Rupert Murdoch were talking about last week, when, as we reported, they were sighted at Hillcrest. At $250 million, that's quite a tab for lunch.

TURNING THE TABLES. They squeezed in two extra seats at the tables in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel's Grand Ballroom on Wednesday night--turning tables for 10 into tables for 12--so that more than 800 people could be part of the tribute to former Ambassador Walter Annenberg. The $175-a-seat dinner, chaired by his daughter, Wallis, benefited the Beverly Hills Education Foundation, headed by Harriet Hochman. President Reagan sent a videotaped congratulations. Emcee Bob Hope quipped that the President "wanted to be here, but he is home trying to learn how to spell Gorbachev ." Hope described Mr. G. as "the first Russian premier young enough to have been raised on American wheat."

On another Annenberg-education note, Wallis met several days earlier with the president of Mt. Holyoke College, Elizabeth Cannon, on a California wing. Despite the high cost--about $13,000 this year--more than 100 of the 2,000 students at Mt. Holyoke are from California.

ONLY IN L.A.--When Mark and Susan Greenfield celebrate their daughter Melissa's second birthday next weekend they will do it in style. They will take over the plush restaurant, Valentino, for 150 folks, decorating it to look like a circus and bringing in magicians and elephants. Mark, now only a part-time partner at Manatt Phelps, has gotten into the oil and gas business--"drilling 30 wells this year"--and surely seems to be doing well.

GOOD CORPORATESHIP--People won't hear Sue Stamberger on KUSC raising money on the radio anymore. Now she's at Northrop as community-public affairs manager. Northrop's another one of those corporate giants concerned with "raising the visibility for what it has been doing as a corporate citizen while, at the same time, helping nonprofit organizations to gain more visibility themselves," she said, adding that prospective employees want to know about an employer's marks in citizenship.

AND MORE CORPORATESHIP--Herbalife has signed Rogers and Cowan's corporate division to image them. And aren't major stories upcoming in People and other national publications about the Southern California-based products?

FEATHERING. The Eagles, who contribute $10,000 to the GOP annually to get that title, head to Washington's Mayflower Hotel on April 1 and 2 for socializing along with briefings from Cabinet members. The First and Second Couples will join hundreds of Eagles for dinner. The invitation to the 10th anniversary of the special-giving group specifies "active Eagles only" and that each Eagle can be accompanied by only one guest. So pay up--or don't show up. Of course, like all Eagles' gatherings, it's strictly private and closed to the press.

Closer to home, the Senior Former Gov. Brown will be honored at a black-tie dinner April 21, to benefit the Edmund G. (Pat) Brown Institute of Government Affairs. Dr. Armand Hammer is the honorary chair of the event, which will be held at the Beverly Hilton. Another reason to celebrate is the 80th birthday of the beloved Brown. San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein will speak, and the Junior Former Gov. Brown will be on hand.

POLI SIGH. Now the U.S. gets to export the TV-electoral-technological revolution. Bendixen and Law (that's John Law, who formerly ran Sen. Alan Cranston's political action committee) are political consultants doing exit polling. Sound familiar? Sure, but this time it's in El Salvador. Seems the Spanish International Network wants to know the results of the April legislative elections as soon as possible, so they have hired the firm to exit poll.

New Democratic National Chairman Paul Kirk makes a few days swing through the state next month. His L.A. stop April 16 will be a cocktail reception at UC Regent Sheldon Andelson's Bel-Air home, with lots of top-drawer Demos getting to meet the fellow who got his job only after a tough fight.

Scratch the rumor that Sen. John Garamendi has put superagent Mike Ovitz of Creative Artists Agency in charge of lining up stars for Garamendi's gubernatorial try next year. The rumor was hot, since someone like Ovitz could really turn on the celebs. But a spokesman for Ovitz--who doesn't like to talk to the press about himself--denied that such an effort was under way, saying "we're not actively doing anything of the kind."

ADD PATRICK'S DAY--Only one complaint about Frances Lear and her annual St. Patrick's Day dinner party. How could she have it the same night as the last episode of "Jewel in the Crown"? Not to worry, she explained. Most of her guests, like Judge Joan Dempsey Klein, songwriter Marilyn Bergman and Jean Stapleton, have videotape recorders.

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