CAMPAIGN STOP: John Kerry is reputed to be something of a stiff, but at Redbook’s Mothers & Shakers Awards luncheon Monday the Democratic presidential candidate and junior senator from Massachusetts was a veritable firecracker compared with his wife. The normally feisty Teresa Heinz Kerry sounded as if she might nod off any moment as she recited a 15-minute speech about the importance of family and diversity in promoting philanthropy. Or was it the importance of diversity and philanthropy in promoting family? Hard to say — as the candidate himself put it in his keynote address, “Our attention span is not very large.” He was referring not to his wife’s speech, however, but to “the plethora of media outlets [which] kind of crushes the consciousness.” Kerry, who made headlines Monday with his four-point plan to stabilize Iraq, also touched on the usual topics in his address: the war, the economy, health care, education and, of course, his mane. “My staff told me, ‘Don’t worry, you’re having a good hair day,’” he joked.
The Kerrys’ uninspiring performance did not seem to hurt the candidate’s support among the handful of celebrities in attendance. (Sarah Michelle Gellar failed to show, as did Jamie-Lynn DiScala, who had stayed up late Sunday night celebrating the Emmy wins of “The Sopranos.”) Uma Thurman, who was honored for her work with the charity Room to Grow, led a standing ovation when fellow honoree Gloria Wilderbrathwaite criticized President Bush’s record on childhood poverty. Also on hand was Dylan McDermott, looking like a chic Grizzly Adams in a Gucci suit and a thick beard, which he grew for his role in the upcoming film “The Tennants,” co-starring Snoop Dogg. Asked who had his vote in November, McDermott didn’t hesitate: “Kerry all the way.” — Jeff Bercovici
PUBLISHER SHUFFLE: Susan Plagemann, publisher of the recently shuttered Lifetime magazine, has found a new job at Hearst — someone else’s. Plagemann has been named vice president and publisher of Marie Claire, replacing Katherine Rizzuto, who is departing the company. Ad pages in Marie Claire were down 6.3 percent through September, totaling 1,019.9, according to Media Industry Newsletter. Before Lifetime, Plagemann was publisher of Cosmopolitan, and she has also held positions at Esquire and Mademoiselle. Lifetime editor in chief Susan Wyland is also staying on with a job in Hearst’s magazine development unit. — J.B.
POOL PARTY: It’s, like, prom week on the Sunset Strip, where Teen Vogue is hosting its second annual Young Hollywood party. (Teen Vogue, like WWD, is a unit of Advance Publications Inc.) The place is the Chateau Marmont, poolside. The time is Thursday night. And the talent is the Distillers, who will play a rare acoustic set. (Relax moms and dads, distilled spirits will only be served by bartenders checking IDs.) “I definitely walked away from last year’s party wowed by all the kids,” said senior editor and gatekeeper of the guest list, Nicole Vecchiarelli, who helped organize the first “Young Hollywood” party at a private home in Beverly Hills. “This year we wanted to take it up a notch, make it more about Hollywood,” said Vecchiarelli. “We thought the Chateau would be a better venue for that.” Expected guests include Adam Brody, Rachel Bilson, Kate Bosworth, Gael García Bernal, Mandy Moore, October covergirl Kirsten Dunst and the man who shot her, Mario Testino. “I think it’s going to be a good turnout this year [thanks to Testino],” said Vecchiarelli. “A lot of young actresses are trying to start their own relationship with him.” Working relationship, that is. Two notables who won’t be in attendance: the Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara. They regretted through their press secretary, which means no Jenna in the pool à la Alice Roosevelt. — Sara James
PEACE TALKS: Are New York’s warring gossips going soft on each other? Not quite, although that was the impression some took away from last week’s gossip summit at the 92nd Street Y. At several points during the panel discussion, Lloyd Grove, who writes the “Lowdown” column for the New York Daily News, made what seemed like friendly overtures toward New York Post Page Six editor Richard Johnson. Grove, who relishes pointing out the Post’s peccadilloes in his column, marveled at Johnson’s “amazing” productivity and praised him for shaming lying publicists in print. “I’m too scared to do that,” Grove said. Afterward, however, Grove denied he was trying to butter up his foe. “I was merely stating my beliefs, not holding out an olive branch,” he said via e-mail Thursday. “I will continue to write about Page Six in ways that Richard might not appreciate when I think it’s appropriate to my column.” Johnson, for his part, professed to be unmoved by Grove’s flattering words, whatever their intent. “Lloyd’s always been very cordial and amiable in person,” he said. “It’s just in print where he’s been bothersome.” — J.B.