Monday, January 19, 2009

Dateline Washington DC: The George Bush Farewell Party


It is going to be SO COLD tomorrow when Barack Obama is sworn in...the wind sweeps across the Mall like a knife, but the glow of good cheer from the crowd (plus the sheer numbers) should help keep events heated up.

Last night I let myself be dragged to the George Bush farewell party at Glen Echo Park in Maryland by some Republican friends who hoped that proximity to the soon-to-be-ex-president would help their deep despair. It didn't.

For one thing, the party was colder than The New York Public Library during February Fashion Week. There was no heating in the building! We had been warned to bundle up, dress casual. One felt that one was at a slightly better clad NASCAR rally.

The guests huddled in overcoats, mostly in gray and black, which suited the funereal mood. There were occasional pops of color in the form of cheap fleece jackets; I suppose the outgoing administration must watch their pennies from now on. And of course, funny hats, mostly the foam kind.

Not even copious amounts of Budweiser and barbecue applied to the wounded psyches of the guests made a difference in the temperature. It was held in the Great Spanish Ballroom...why they could not have dragged in a space heater or two baffles me. But perhaps the Republicans are past caring. Many of them were planning to leave town the next day, not to return until well after the inauguration, if at all. One woman confided to me that she and a number of others had taken a house in Palm Springs. Shivering, holding my (ugh) paper plate of ribs, Palm Springs seemed like a delightful idea at that moment.

Fortunately, I had the excuse of work calling me, so I could make my escape early in the evening. Never have I been so happy to return to a warm, stuffy workroom filled with idiotic panicky staff!

Elisa & Bucky The Wonderdog

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