ROLL OVER, TIM RUSSERT, AND TELL JOHN MCLAUGHLIN THE NEWS: Political analyst Amy Holmes is coming up fast, throwing in her two cents, tossing around her wild tresses and putting the image of dull policy wonk to pasture. At just 26, the self-described "former unexamined liberal" and adviser to the conservative Independent Women's Forum, a Washington, D.C., think tank, regularly argues issues on the Fox News Channel, PBS's To the Contrary
and ABC's Politically Incorrect
. Pro free market and pro-choice, the 1994 Princeton grad is "articulate, witty and informed—a beautiful woman without the beautiful-woman attitude," lauds P.I. host Bill Maher, who reports that a recent panelist admitted finding the unmarried Holmes so "bewitching and brilliant" that he couldn't concentrate. For those watching at home, "she pops through the screen," says FOX News chief Roger Ailes. "She's opinionated but not as predictable as most, and when she expresses strong opinions, you don't dislike her. She's got a softly defiant quality." Everywhere, that is, except at the cosmetics counter. When it comes to the lotions and potions crowding the bathroom of her one-bedroom Washington apartment, the avowed Kiehl's junkie says, "I spare no expense. I'm a complete sucker for great packaging and great smells." Except for "obsessively" brushing her teeth for 10 minutes at a stretch, the 5'6" Holmes says she's "usually lazy about this kind of stuff," and she means it: Her hair gets tamed once a year, and "I haven't done a leg lift since 1995!" Holmes, who was born in Zambia to a white mother and black father and raised in Seattle, makes no apologies for not exercising. "The fact is, I'm watching TV," she says, "and I'm just not sporty." But she points out that she's sporting a new Spice Girls watch as part of her effort to be "more stylish and trendy." She knows where to draw the hemline, though. "You will never see me in a miniskirt," says Holmes. She'd only reconsider for an international post involving a very distinguished fellow. What would that be? Declares Holmes: "Bond Girl."