Maureen Dowd threw a “Star Spangled Banner” party — so I wore a star spangled tie. My modest attempt at festive attire wasn’t matched by anyone else there.
Maureen loved the tie and told me her sister had originally wanted everyone to come patriotically dressed. I did expect more clothing glitz from the glitterati who crammed into her Georgetown home, formerly owned by John F. Kennedy, in his carousing years — but the people she had were really all the glitz needed.
But the real stars were in her living room — and one corner of the party was owned by David Geffen and his boyfriend Jeremy Lingvall, who were both charming, relaxed and enjoyed talking about politics and the economy with the folks they encountered. I won’t quote any of the chatter, but Geffen’s understanding and framing of the economic tailspin the US has gone into was impressive when we were talking — and if anything, I think he thinks the gloomy picture Paul Krugman painted was too rosy.
Dowd was the perfect hostess. The fanciest treats she had were pigs in a blanket — but she knew that the real treats were face time with herself and the power guests she assembled. She constantly worked through all of the rooms of her very crowded place and kept folks moving and milling and meeting each other. She started off my part of the evening telling David Geffen, Jeremy, Larry King, myself and some others various of the sell-himself show-off lines JFK was heard by neighbors using with dates.
And then entered Rahm Emanuel, his wife Amy Rule, and three beautiful kids who Geffen’s Jeremy Lingvall, a great guy, promised to romp with next time the little Emanuels were in Malibu.
While everyone who was anyone seemed to be at Maureen Dowd’s super gathering, Rick Warren was not — and given how clearly close Geffen and Rahm Emanuel are, I think Rick Warren would have had to convert to hang out in that household.
I did mention to Rahm Emanuel that Gregory Craig, Barack Obama’s White House Counsel, had told me the other evening that he and the whole senior team needed to report to the Southwest Gate of the White House and report to duty between 2:30 and 4:00 pm on Tuesday, immediately after the Inaugural parade. And Rahm said “absolutely. . .have to start making phone calls.”
I asked Rahm in front of the Washington Post‘s Al Kamen who he’d place his very first call to. Emanuel said “my mother. . .and if you believe that, you are full of (well, I’ll just let that go. . .)”
And as the Hollwood A-List continued to arrive, I had the opportunity to meet and chat with George Lucas, Ron Howard, Larry David, Tom Hanks — who pretty much stayed at the doorway.
Others at the Dowd gala were California Attorney General Jerry Brown and Anne Gust, Andrew Sullivan and Aaron Tone, Alan Greenspan, Helene Cooper, Chris Wallace, Alison Silver, Al Kamen, Janice O’Connell, Aspen Institute President and historiographer Walter Isaacson, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, New Yorker writer and torture policy chronicler Jane Mayer, Bob Woodward, Arianna Huffington, Tammy Haddad; Politico‘s Ben Smith, Carol Lee, Jonathan Martin, and Mike Allen; Chris Matthews, Margaret Carlson, ‘Results the Gym’ owner Doug Jefferies, Adam Clymer, Brian Williams, Anderson Cooper, Tom Brokaw, Michael Hirsh, John Harwood, Jane Hamsher, Atlantic Monthly editor James Bennet and his brother Michael Bennet (who is the newly appointed Senator from Colorado succeeding Ken Salazar), David Sanger, Diane Von Furstenberg, David Shuster and Julianna Goldman.
Best line of the evening I heard besides Maureen Dowd’s tales of JFK was said to David Geffen and boyfriend Jeremy by someone who I won’t name.
This person said to them, “When you guys come to a State Dinner, you don’t have to come as a couple. Both of you come and you each bring a date,” nodding Maureen Dowd’s way.
This is going to be a much more gay friendly White House. Take that Rick Warren.
After the Maureen Dowd party that really will be considered one of the best of all parties thrown around this historic Obama/Biden inauguration, I went over to Halo where a very big festive gathering of the LGBT glitterati were having cocktails and giving lots of hugs.
At that gathering I ran into Ambassador Michael Guest and his partner Alex Nevarez. Guest resigned his foreign service position while Ambassador to Romania to protest the lack of support for domestic partners at the State Department and then helped launch the Council for Global Equality.
Others at Halo were Maureen Dowd partiers Andrew Sullivan and his husband Aaron Tone, Hilary Rosen, Lane Hudson (the man who helped out those Mark Foley emails and was pivotal in the 2006 Democratic victory that took the House of Representatives), Michael Rogers (who is the nemesis of many a closeted gay Republican — particularly former Senator Larry Craig), and TWN reader and Democratic National Finance Chairman Andrew Tobias — who will be honored at another Halo party tonight.
It’s now Monday, and I need to wake up.
— Steve Clemons