Another round of juicy romantic news startled us this morning, with the revelation that White House budget boss Peter Orszag, who just a few weeks ago got engaged to a drop-dead gorgeous ABC News correspondent, admitted having a newborn love child
with another woman, his former girlfriend.
What's with this guy, this Washington Lothario? He's nerdy, wimpy looking, bookish, with a peach-fuzz geeky Boy Scout face, the sort of guy one imagines crunching numbers, but hardly putting on the moves.
But here he is, at age 41, he's got one ex-girlfriend who is the the mother of his new baby girl; and one girlfriend waiting front and center, walking around with his diamond ring.
These are not your run-of-the-mill bureaucrat's sweethearts. These are paramours. They are (1) Claire Milonas
, 39, a multimillionaire Greek shipping heiress with Harvard and Yale degrees (he's Princeton) who is a venture capitalist; and (2) Bianna Golodryga, 31, an ABC TV economy and business correspondent with movie star looks.
The plot, as such things go, is straightforward but sketchy: Orszag dated Milonas for several months before she became pregnant. When they broke up last March, she was three months' pregnant and apparently he knew it. Did he agree to marry her? Rumors have it both ways, which is to say we don't know. He then met the lovely Ms. Golodryga at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last May.
"He could say 'Golodryga' and spell it after our first date,'' she has said. "That is a winner in my book." Well, if that's all it takes . . .
The couple went public in December, at the Kennedy Center Honors gala, and announced their engagement on "Good Morning America" on Dec. 29. That was six weeks or so after the birth of Milonas's daughter, Tatiana Zoe. Orszag did not disclose publicly the birth of Tatiana until Wednesday, apparently to forestall an online report. Not to hammer home a point, Orszag already has an ex-wife and two children from that marriage. His bachelor-style life was recently featured on a network program with videos of his apartment (neat) and his maniacal schedule as Obama's in-house economics policy wonk.
Curious minds might inquire why and how such a mild-mannered Clark Kent-type as Peter Orszag, with his cool grandpappy spectacles, plain face and high forehead (did someone say he wears a toupe?) would land extremely attractive women?
Women's attraction to ordinary-looking and even homely men is the stuff of everyday life, and the stuff of legend. Look at Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. Look at Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton, Cher and Sonny Bono, Sofia Loren and Carlo Ponte . . . the list is rather long, and those are just the ones we know about off the top of our heads.
It comes down to this, a cliché but true, women are not stuck on looks. Not so much. Men are.
Look around you: aging men with body-enhanced trophy wives, nebbish-looking guys with Botoxed girls, short and fat guys with model-like tall and slim women. Remember that pornography
is almost entirely a male-supported industry. It's just the way men are wired, or so they say. Women look for the soft stuff, yes, and the physique too, the abs, the butt -- don't discount that. But women like to think it's what's inside the guy that matters most. They say women care about the important things, the things beneath the skin. Fine. They also care about power and money, and the guys who bring that to the table. Goes to show we are more evolved, no?