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So, Financial Problems Drove Him To The Edge

Sun., Dec. 28, 1997

Mikhail Gorbachev says his days as a pizza pitchman are over.

The former Soviet leader, who stars in a new commercial for Pizza Hut, says he took the job to raise money for the Gorbachev Foundation, which oversees his library and archives.

“I will not do it again,” Gorbachev vowed. “I found myself in a difficult situation, so I decided to accept on a one-time basis this offer of doing this commercial.”

Besides, he added: “Pizza is a popular food after all, so I thought I did not sin that much.”

The ad won’t air in Russia, where Gorbachev is blamed for the Soviet Union’s downfall, although it was shown on the evening news there Tuesday.

Americans will get a chance to watch a 60-second version of the spot during television coverage of the Rose Bowl on Jan 1.

Loose talk

President Clinton, on First Cat Socks’ reaction to new First Dog Buddy (in People magazine): “Here I am working on peace in Ireland and the Middle East. Now I have to make it in my own household. We’ll just see if I can work it out. I think I can.”

And now we move along from red to white

Edgar Winter turns 51 today.

What made Newton such a heavyweight? Gravity

Gorbachev, by the way, is the only living person cited in an updated version of the book “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History,” coming in at No. 95 for helping to end the Cold War. The top three: Mohammed, Isaac Newton and Jesus Christ.

He just sits back and tunes everything else out

Speaking of political pitchmen, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, appeared live last week on the Home Shopping Network to promote two albums of songs for which he wrote the words, “Freedom’s Light” and “My God Is Love.” Said Hatch, whose recent works include a love song for fellow Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and his wife and a tribute to Princess Diana and Mother Teresa (which Gladys Knight plans to record): “Some of the songs I wrote during boring committee hearings.”

Objects in mirror may be larger than they appear

And speaking of the senior Kennedy, he was decked out as the Russian mystic Rasputin and his wife Vicki appeared as a white-gowned Anastasia Romanov at their annual Christmas party. Referring to the notion that old married couples replace sex with a passion for food, she said the senator had “moved the ceiling mirrors into the kitchen.”

Now, is that what you would call a veiled threat?

Joan Stapleton, publisher of the political journal The New Republic, is stepping down to marry Billings, Mont., mayor Charles Frederick Tooley. “I will miss a certain amount of the buzz and sizzle of Washington,” she said, “but I also appreciate the serenity and natural environment of Montana, and I intend to embrace that.” The wedding is set for Feb. 21 - in Alexandria. “If I am going to live in Montana,” Stapleton says, “he can get married in Virginia.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 photos

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Compiled by staff writer Rick Bonino

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