GQ Does DC

Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein may live in his suits because he is always on the road, raising billions for his private equity firm to invest. But he's hardly the natty, buttoned-down fashion type that would fit into Gentleman's Quarterly. Except there he is smack in the middle of GQ's list this month of "The 50 Most Powerful People in D.C.," right behind Fed chairman Ben Bernanke.

"Rubenstein's buddy-buddy with the Bushes, Jim Baker and Jimmy Carter," says GQ in its current issue.

The GQ list is populated mostly with politicians, lobbyists, lawyers, big thinkers and members of the media, including a few Posties. With upwards of $70 billion of its own and investors' money under management, Carlyle is one of the biggest financial players in Washington, the U.S. and probably the world. That alone makes Rubenstein a wheel.

The Carlyle managing director has been getting a lot of press attention, lately. A couple of weeks ago, the off-beat native of Baltimore talked in BusinessWeek about his nonstop travel and his belief that he doesn't stay put long enough for germs to attack him. He also noted that he can get cell phone reception atop Machu Picchu, which are the ruins of an ancient city in Peru.

Carlyle spokesman Chris Ullman had this to say: "We were excited at first because we thought it was CQ, [Congressional Quarterly] calling. Then we heard it was GQ. Not what a typical Washingtonian would expect."

Also listed among GQ's power elite are Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Atlantic Media Co. owner David Bradley, Perseus vice chairman James Johnson and Tommy Jacomo, executive director at The Palm and the man who determines who sits where at the powerhouse steakhouse on 19th Street NW. Jacomo was dishing on some of his best customers in the magazine. Bottom line: Grover Norquist takes his watch off and sets it on the table while he eats. NBC journalist Tim Russert is a steak man!

The Palm is closed for renovation and reopens next month.

--Thomas Heath

By Dan Beyers  |  August 23, 2007; 4:53 PM ET
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