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Presidential attention

Top Republicans have made no secret of their dismay over Rep. Katherine Harris's run for the Senate. But President Bush had kind words for the Sarasota congressman when he saw her last week at a bill signing in the Rose Garden.

"The president just congratulated me on being cancer free. Isn't that nice?" said Harris, who underwent recent surgery to remove an ovarian mass. "I didn't think he even knew."

Bush chatted only briefly with Harris, but he appeared delighted to see Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Weston Democrat who was also at the bill signing for a law that cracks down on sexual predators. He grabbed Wasserman Schultz's hand and then her shoulder, noting that he was heading down to Florida "to see my little brother."

"Oh, my good friend," retorted Wasserman Schultz, who as a Florida House member was a frequent critic of Gov. Jeb Bush's administration.

Wasserman Schultz said Bush greeted her when he walked out to the ceremony. "He said, 'Hey Deb, How are you doing,' " Wasserman Schultz said. "He was so nice to me I almost fell over."

Perhaps it was the recent publicity the congresswoman has earned: She was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful people on Capitol Hill in an article by the Hill, a Capitol Hill publication.