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D.C. to become a bit "more Tex-ified'

Will yellow roses be the preferred flowers when the Bushes move into the White House?

There's plenty of speculation about the style George W. and Laura Bush will bring to Washington with them. "You'll see a very different White House and social style," says Georgette Mosbacher, a New York businesswoman and socialite friend of the Bushes. The first lady-to-be, Laura Bush, is "very traditional," she says.

The city may become "a bit noisier and more Tex-ified, a bit more y'all come," predicts Washington social columnist Diana McLellan. But "I'm betting," she said in a recent interview in the Wall Street Journal, "that beneath that Texas veneer beats an old-money, New England, tasteful heart _ just like his father's."

The president-elect will probably continue the casual living style he practices in the governor's mansion in Texas. The first in the family to get up in the morning, he goes downstairs and makes the coffee and then feeds the family dog, Spot, and two cats, India and Ernie. Then he carries the coffee and newspapers upstairs to share with his wife.

He's partial to official government seal windbreakers (so was his father), but is sure to wear a suit to the Oval Office. He works throughout the morning, takes a lunch and workout break, and then goes back to the office.

Laura Bush is expected to continue her work in promoting reading and books. Their 18-year-old twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, who are college freshmen at the University of Texas and Yale, respectively, also will call the White House home.

When time permits, the Bushes will probably visit some old family favorite restaurants in the Washington area. When in Washington last week, the president-elect and his wife went to the Peking Gourmet Inn to have dinner. When he was president, Bush's father was a loyal patron of the restaurant, located in a Falls Church, Va., strip mall. With the Bush party were his brother Marvin, Marvin's wife Margaret, sister Dorothy "Doro" Koch and husband Robert Koch, and national security adviser-to-be Condoleezza Rice.

Count on seeing plenty of Bushes in Washington. "You inherit with the Bushes a huge extended family, between cousins and nieces and nephews," says Mosbacher. "It is a very close family. They vacation together, and they holiday together. And there are lots of them."

The arrival of the new Bush people may not be good for the gossip columns. McLellan, the social columnist, remembers the first Bush administration as being "secretive." They concentrated on private entertaining that never made the social columns. "The former president and CIA director," she says "hated gossip and he hated leaks, and that's what Washington is made of."

The word is . . .

. . . that the Sarasota Saks Fifth Avenue store has been phoning dress designers to obtain gowns and dresses for Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris to wear to president-elect Bush's inaugural. Saks publicist Sally Schule told one designer that Harris, a size 2, is in dire need of camera-ready clothes for speeches and other public appearances in Washington. "She's one of our clients," says Schule.

Florida's celebration

While it won't have as many ceremonies as the Washington event, the 2001 Florida Inaugural Celebration Committee is celebrating the victories of Tom Gallagher (treasurer-elect) and Charlie Crist (education commissioner-elect) with three events on Wednesday.

First there will be an Inaugural Prayer Breakfast in the Senate chambers of Florida's historic Old Capitol. At 11 a.m. will be the Inaugural Ceremonies in the Florida Capitol in the House of Representatives.

Capping the day's activities will be the black tie Inaugural Gala Celebration at 8 p.m. in the ballroom of the University Center Club.

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