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CONVENTION '04 | NAMES

Kennedys see stars; Chelsea finds burgers

KENNEDYS COMPOUNDED As he walked into the room, Alec Baldwin was suddenly buttonholed. Squinting her eyes, Eunice Shriver grabbed the actor's arm. "Where have I seen you? In the movies?" Without missing a beat, Baldwin replied, "Or buying tickets to your family's fund-raisers." In town for the convention with his 8-year-old daughter, Baldwin was one of many newsmakers who stopped by the Boston College Club yesterday to support the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. The Kennedy clan was represented by Ted and Vickie, Caroline, Ethel, Joe, Max, and Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, among others. Minnie Driver, Susan Sarandon, and Anna Deavere Smith didn't show, but Arianna Huffington and the hip Robert Gant of "Queer as Folk" did. The real star was young Conor Kennedy, Ted's great nephew, who, when asked if he feels any kinship with Alexandra and Vanessa Kerry, said, "Who are they?"HEY YA The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum is proving to be a popular spot for politicos this week. But, in addition to Senator Ted Kennedy, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, Andre 3000 (inset) of the group OutKast stopped by yesterday.

CAMPAIGN CORPS Just about every area of the country was covered at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee gathering at Davio's in Park Square last evening, where folks were gathered to hear Senator Tom Daschle speak. Among those on hand were David Letterman's stage manager Biff Henderson, who made a guest appearance along with Bianca Jagger; Richard Kind of "Spin City"; Richard Schiff of "The West Wing"; Wendie Malick of the sitcoms "Just Shoot Me" and "Frazier"; actress Ellen Burstyn; and Tony winner Alan Cumming. The politicos, who were treated to special red, white, and blue martinis, included senators Chuck Schumer of New York, Dan Inouye of Hawaii, Jon Corzine of New Jersey, Patty Murray of Washington, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska. Also spotted were former California governor Jerry Brown and local politico and Kerry fund-raiser Bob Crowe.

MORNING CHAT "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart -- who brought his show to Boston University this week -- recoiled at the idea that he is a kind of Walter Cronkite for Generation X. Meeting with a group of reporters at breakfast yesterday, Stewart protested, "There's no way people can get their news from us. We write jokes about the news." But he wasn't exactly sanguine about the role of the mainstream media, accusing journalists of being "bored" and willing to be "stage-managed" by politicians and spinmasters. "We have wrung every ounce of inspiration out of the political system," he said.

KEEPING IT LEGAL Legal Sea Foods skipper Roger Berkowitz hosted Vermont Senator Pat Leahy and his wife, Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy, and Dick Parsons, CEO of TimeWarner, at his restaurant's Park Square location. It's been busy at that Legals with the Goo Goo Dolls and David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash stopping by the restaurant in the last few days.COMING TO PARTY Rocker John Mellencamp whose wife, former supermodel Elaine Mellencamp, is a delegate from Indiana, played into the wee hours this morning at the Castle at the Park Plaza Hotel hosted by actress Wendie Malick. The corporate shindig also featured performances by the Goo Goo Dolls and appearances by John Kerry's daughters, Alexandra and Vanessa. . . . Congressman Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee waited in line like the rest of the well-heeled crowd at an event honoring him last night at the Roxy. At the door, he told security, "anyone from Tennessee, let them in. I don't want anyone from Tennessee getting left out." The event featured a performance by the Neville Brothers.

STARS GOTTA EAT Dining last night -- at separate tables -- at the Legal Sea Foods at Long Wharf were Senator Barbara Boxer of California, Congressman Dick Gephardt of Missouri, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. . . . After making a few stops with her folks, Chelsea Clinton was spied having late-night burgers with friends at the Noir bar in the Charles Hotel Sunday night. . . . After being spotted late Sunday night at Fenway Park, actor John Cusack stopped by two delegation breakfasts yesterday morning, and Oscar winner Richard Dreyfus, who also was at Fenway late Sunday, was up early talking to the Ohio delegation. . . . Sunday night, Maria Shriver had dinner at Croma on Newbury Street.

LISTEN TO HER Radio host Amy Goodman, who's broadcasting her show "Democracy Now!" this week from Cambridge, was in the audience to hear Ms. magazine founder Gloria Steinem exhort the folks at Planned Parenthood Sunday night. Steinem, 70, sounds as committed as ever to the Democratic party. Speaking about the president's health policies, she said, "Bush causes cancer.". . . Former Iowa congressman Fred Grandy -- Gopher on "The Love Boat" -- gave the breakfast address to the Virginia delegation at the Hotel Commonwealth. No sign of Captain Merrill Stubing.

GARDEN PARTY Emmylou Harris will be onstage at the Boston Harbor Hotel tonight supporting John Kerry and the veterans who are working on his behalf, but last night some 40 people were treated to a private concert in lawyer Mike Thornton's backyard in Wellesley. Harris has been a supporter of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, which supports victims of war, specifically those injuried by landmines in Cambodia. Looking radiant in a red print tunic, Harris quietly made her way through a 10-song set that included "Abraham, Martin and John," whose references to Robert F. Kennedy provided an interesting twist to the RFK tribute across town. Among those at the party were VVAF co-founder Bobby Muller, Kerry supporters Alan and Susan Solomont, and Ken Ansin, son of Boston philanthropist Ron Ansin, who showed a piece of a documentary in Cambodia shot by his son, Ryan.

Mark Jurkowitz of the Globe staff contributed. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.  

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