VERSATILE Erin Elmore, the former Apprentice, TV anchor, QVC guest host and PhillyGossip favorite, is spending the first half of her summer in Cleveland.
Elmore, who studied poly sci at the University of Miami and got her law degree at Villanova, has been named Deputy Press Secretary for Caucus Operations at the Republican National Convention, working, she said by phone, as "the liaison between the convention and Donald Trump."
Surprised that she's working in Republican Party politics, Elmore said her TV and Apprentice background got her foot in the door.
"The minute Donald Trump dipped his toe into running," she said, "I started getting phone calls from media outlets."
Her appearances were so popular and frequent that Elmore became a Trump surrogate and participated in conversations with the candidate. (She explained that there are three tiers of campaign talking heads: Supporters are fans of the candidate who can say whatever they want; surrogates stay on message; and staff basically develop the message.)
Working as part of the Trump campaign allowed Elmore to meet a number of RNC bigwigs, including David Urban, former chief of staff to Sen. Arlen Specter.
The connections led Elmore to her new gig and six weeks in Cleveland, leaving her husband and son back in Philadelphia. Now, instead of wrangling a 3-year-old, she's wrangling reporters (not that much different), possibly Trump (not at all different) and "controlling people who want to be part of the machine."
It's way more interesting than arguing with Hillary and Bernie surrogates on a TV news show, she said. "I'm surrounded by brilliant people from all walks of life, some of whom have been working on conventions since the '80s."
And while she admits to having some friends upset with her party's candidate, she said her "real friends want me to succeed and see this as a really wonderful opportunity."
"I'm working on a presidential campaign and how many people get the chance to do that?"
One other perk: While touring the Quicken Loans Arena to get the layout for the convention, she got to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers' practice.
TATTBITS* Alicia Keys and her We Are Here Movement will headline an exclusive DNC opening celebration on Monday, July 25, at the Politico Hub (2 Commerce Square).
Keys will participate in a panel discussion on criminal-justice reform and civil rights and give an intimate musical performance.
The event is invite-only to attendees and press, but will be live-streaming on POLITICO.com/live.
* Well, Loki here.
PerezHilton.com says Taylor Swift has moved on . . . to Tom Hiddleston. The pair was seen canoodling in Rhode Island.
* Too many Broadway stars to count will record a new version of the 1965 Jackie DeShannon hit "What the World Needs Now" by Burt Bacharach-Hal David to benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida.
Before it hits iTunes, the digital download will be available at BroadwayRecords.com on June 20 for $1.99. Playbill will produce a making-of music video.
* To launch her own book imprint, Oprah Winfrey is releasing her first cookbook.
Winfrey's Food, Health and Happiness: 'On Point' Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life is scheduled to come out Jan. 3 of next year, assuming Flatiron Books can figure out how to get all those words on the book jacket.
"In the past several months on Weight Watchers, I have worked with wonderful chefs to make healthier versions of my favorite meals," Winfrey said in a statement. "When people come to my house for lunch or dinner, the number one thing they ask is, 'How is this so delicious and still healthy?' So I decided to answer that question with recipes everyone can enjoy."
* People magazine reports that Sean Penn almost named his son Hopper, Steak.
So if he'd been circumsized, would that have been a Steak tip?
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.