WHCD Party Report: The #%^@%*! Bloomberg #%^@%*! After-Party
III. Bloomberg After-Party and Orgy of Self-Congratulation (11:00PM-2:30AM)
J. and I decide to walk (though tempted by earlier offer of limo ride from perhaps tipsy Harvey-ganger). Bloomberg minions are passing out nice, sturdy Bloomberg umbrellas to everyone as we leave. It's not raining yet, though.
Striding purposefully ahead of us out the hotel driveway: David Brooks. Not-quite-on-purpose shout, "Hey, it's David Brooks!" Am a little embarrassed, but my faux pas elicits no response. Perhaps he's being polite. Perhaps he does not realize that he is famous-for-DC. "Let's follow David Brooks to the party!" Still no response. "I can't believe we're behind David Brooks!" Nothing. I could do this all night. But we are almost there. . .
Line is not quite around the block. Jeff Bezos is behind us. Franken about five places behind us, swaying just slightly. Much discussion on whether or not IDs are being checked and whether or not everyone is being forced to stand in line or just those of us who may be famous-for-DC but who are not legitimately famous. Question answered:
• Olsen twins are swept by.
• Chris Matthews goes right on in.
• Joe Scarborough, talking to Marines, follows.
• Bezos takes this as his cue.
• John Podhoretz next, eliciting memorable exchange:
- Franken: "I'm telling Page Six!"
Podhoretz: "I am Page Six!"
Franken: "You can't handle Page Six!"
Truly, a man of the people.
Rain. Bloomberg minions pass out umbrella to those who didn't grab one earlier. Excellent planning and bodes rather well for the party proper.
Finally am at border of velvet rope. (Which is actually vinyl.) Doorperson asks for ID and then reports that someone earlier had tried to get in as me. Stunned. Thrilled. Won't shut up about it for another two hours or so. (Sorry, everyone.)
OK. Here we are. Home is oddly castle-y feeling, huge. Theme of evening appears to be "dessert" (?), hot waitpeople pass around trays of sinfully delicious mini cupcakes and what appear to be Jell-O shots. (Am not risking it.) Diptyque sandalwood candles everywhere. Totally top-shelf bar with a pour so generous it stuns even me. But I am sticking to champagne. Really.
Sean Astin. Morgan Fairchild and Kaplan. Paul Wolfowitz enters, followed by two beautiful women who may or may not be with him. Just then, waiter passes with tray of Jell-O shots, and for a brief, beautiful moment, it appears that Wolfowitz might take one.
Someone should have thought to provide air conditioning.
Patio area quite packed. Weird Ikea-like shelving makes up two open bars. The music sucks. Giant screen broadcasts Bloomberg. Are people checking their quotes? Worst product placement ever.
Affleck sequestered almost all night in rear "smoking section." (Yeah, yeah, insert smoking ban joke of your choice here.) Drudge, sans hat. I am not drunk enough yet.
People are actually trying to play pool at the pool table. This, while Drew Barrymore is in the room. Studied nonchalance? True ignorance?
Back room is dessert heaven. Candy, candy, candy. Coffee bar. Newsweek's Richard Wolffe and U.S. News's Michael Barrone talking poll numbers. Barrone confident --very fucking confident -- in Bush re-election. Would rather eat more cupcakes than discuss this prospect.
Lady in blue, sparkly dress: "So is it everything you thought it'd be?"
Chick in way-too-short black dress: "Yes! I'm having a great time."
LiBSD: "Really? I always thought the whole point of this was to get on the list. It's never as good as people say."
CiWTSBD: "Tell that to the people outside."
LiBSD: "Well, I think the real thing to do -- and I was going to do this this year -- is to get on the list, and then not go."
CiWTSBD: "Yeah, right. You know what would be even better? To not get on the list and not go. Why don't you try that?"
Jenny 8. Lee. Adorable Mike Allen (weaving, but he sort of deserves it). Howie Kurtz. There's a weird, not-quite-unwelcome casualness to the scene. Guards are definitely being let down. (Chris Matthews has his tuxedo jacket tossed over his shoulder.) It's a we're-all-members-of-the-same-club thing, which is both relaxing and off-putting. Did I mention someone tried to get in as me?
Back out on patio. Bill the Apprentice mobbed, mobbed, mobbed. Why?
Hugs and kisses with Bloomberg party queen, Chris Taylor. She is My New Best Friend.
Did I really just see Dominick Dunne?
Ryan Lizza spills a drink on someone. And things were going so well.
Leon Weseltier sitting with The American Prospect's Garance Franke-Ruta. A great disappointment: I had been certain Weseltier existed only within the walls of TNR, like some holodeck character.
Am finally drunk enough.
Tuxedoed: "I'm just an old married guy, so I may be wrong about this, but there's just something really sterile about this party, Washington parties."
Black dressed: "It's just, like, they're fun enough, but they lack some kind of heat. . . "
Tuxedoed: "Like, no one's gonna get laid after one of these things."
Black dressed: "Right. Even if someone does, it doesn't feel like anyone will."
Bacon. Really. Not shitting you. Waiters are handing out bacon. Perhaps it's time to leave.
Chicago Tribune's Jeff Zeleny confronts Bill the Apprentice. He is braver than I.
"I like your dress. It reminds me of Jerry Maguire."