Wearing White (To A Confirmation Hearing)

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Yesterday, in a room full of assembled dignitaries, President Bush’s controversial nominee for the federal district court in Wyoming stuck out like the trial lawyer that he is. It’s the hair, really. In a fashion fancied by many jet-set plaintiffs’ lawyers, Richard Honaker came to his confirmation hearing coiffed with a thick mane of salt-and-pepper gray hair slicked back into a flip of curls at the nape. It’s not hard to imagine that the man might once have sported a ponytail, and not just because of rumors that he once was a Democrat. But what really set Honaker apart from the crowd, perhaps, was his wife Shannon.

Honaker has been a longtime member of the Home School Legal Defense Association and an anti-abortion crusader. As such, he has earned the enduring scorn of national women’s organizations who have branded him something of a cretin. So I half-expected his wife to resemble Phyllis Schlafly. After all, imagine the woman who would marry such a man? Instead, Shannon Honaker looked a lot more like the Ann Coulter without the Botox and anorexia. She is, you might say, hot.

Not only that, but Mrs. Honaker owns a “home-based fashion consulting and clothing business” called Classic Chic. Yesterday, she was wearing one of her own creations, a stark white pantsuit with cropped jacket over a black shirt. Given that it was February and 26 degrees outside, Mrs. Honaker sailed prominently above a sea of the gray flannel of official Washington, where the white suit really doesn’t properly debut until after Memorial Day. After the hearing, Mrs. Honaker told me that while her designs are not available in regular department stores, they apparently have gotten something of a following in Republican fashion circles: At the State of the Union address last month, none other than education secretary Margaret Spellings appeared wearing something from the Classic Chic line…

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