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The actress who stalked Rudy Giuliani

December 11, 2007 |  8:22 pm

Who was that gorgeous woman hanging around the trendy Santa Monica burger joint, The Counter, today?

The place was packed with news media and a loyal following of Rudy Giuliani fans waiting for the Republican candidate to dash in for a quick meet-and-greet before heading off to mine some more money from Southern California fundraisers as part of a two-day swing through the Golden State.

She looked so familiar and was she ever dressed to the nines in a shockingly red, white and black Gaultier outfit! Then, she made her move, actually being one of the first to grab Giuliani when he walked in.

But it wasn't a rabid fan or one of those in-your-face TV news reporters trying to get their own face on-screen. It was the stylish actress Kerry Washington, who played the wife of Ray Charles in the 2004 movie "Ray."

She's been popping up at campaign events for many of the presidential candidates these days -- using them as a living props while she models the latest fashions for an upcoming issue of the New York Times Magazine. The candidates don't seem to mind the free exposure. So Giuliani happily obliged, posing with Washington inside the jam-packed burger joint before he headed over to the news cameras.

During his California visit, Giuliani maintained a confident posture. "I like the position we're in," he told The Times Phil Willon. "I am not overconfident. I realize that we're going to lose some primaries, and we're going to have a strong enough organization to sustain that."

But the gracious Washington wanted to make sure that everyone knew it was all strictly business. She did a similar photo shoot during a Bill Richardson campaign event in Century City on Monday.

“Just to be clear,’’ Washington said afterward, "this is not an endorsement.’’

--Andrew Malcolm