SMART ALEC
Barbra Streisand may not be interested in a career on the Potomac, lint Alee Baldwin's recent trip to Washington may have been a prelude to a candidacy. During inaugural week, the activist actor (with girlfriend Kim Basinger in tow) was spotted soliciting advice from a well-known consultant about "getting more involved" in politics. The Glengarry Glen Ross star is rumored to be considering a bid for the U.S. Senate if New York's Pat Moynihan retires in 1994. Perhaps it's all to fulfill a mother's wish. Alec's mother, Carol Baldwin, is certain either he or brother Bill) will enter polities: "One or the other will be President."

TIPPER, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE
The Secret Service detail guarding the Gore family spends a lot of time shivering on duty—but not because of any threat to the Veep. Al, Tipper and the kids have postponed their move to the vice presidential mansion, which Inch is currently undergoing needed repairs. That residence has a warm and comfortable room set aside for agents. Right now, however, those guarding the Gore's small Tudor-style home in Virginia pass the time in their cars and enter the building only for potty breaks. "This is the worst duty in town to pull," mutters one grumpy agent.

WHIZ KID
With the First Lady appointed to head the health care task force, perhaps Hill Minion can now ask daughter Chelsea, 12, to help deal with the pesky budget deficit. "Turns out the kid's a math genius," reports an educator at Sidwell Friends, her new private school. Chelsea scored so high in her entrance exams that she was placed in an advanced math class with 17-and 18-year-old kids.

HUSH...IS THAT RUSH?
Clinton pals Harry Thompson and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the Hollywood producers (Designing Women) who organized Bill Clinton's inaugural entertainment, are still amazed that the big show went off with nary a hitch. If the ceremonies hadn't been successful, "we'd be forever known as the Ishtar of Inaugurations," says Harry. Linda says she discovered the difference between the nation's entertainment and political capitals: "Los Angeles is like high school kids with money, and Washington is like high school kids with power." The Thomasons were among the first overnight guests in the Clinton White House. But the couple say their visit to the Lincoln bedroom—supposedly haunted by the 16th President's ghost—was unexpectedly frightening. Says Harry: "There was a note on the bed from [right-wing radio pundit] Rush Limbaugh that said, 'I was here first, and I will be back.' "

WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The presidential transition period may have been rocky for Clinton, but it was pure bliss for Democratic strategist James Carville, 48, and former Bush political director Mary Matalin, as they resumed their odd-couple relationship. Nuzzling happily at a recent bash, Matalin, 39, denied rumors of an engagement. "The best way to ruin a good relationship is to get married," she laughed. But as she mused over the name of a pretty college girl at the party, Matalin might have revealed more than she intended. "I love that name." she quipped. "Courtney...Carville."