Election Night Revelers Prepare to Party
Judging by the slew of election night parties being thrown around Washington, one thing is certain: No matter what the outcome, there will be plenty of hangovers Wednesday.
While the biggest bash of them all is planned for Grant Park in Chicago, where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to Barack Obama's "victory" party, there will be dozens of small parties held all over Washington. The vast majority of them are being hosted by giddy Democrats expecting to win the White House and expand their majority in Congress. They're renting out every kind of venue from Irish pubs and billiards halls to sleek martini bars and hotel ballrooms.
The biggest Democratic election-night bash, planned jointly by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in Washington. The Democratic campaign committees are expecting thousands of party goers for a rollicking night of returns watching.
The Democratic National Committee is hosting a separate party at the Mayflower Hotel for donors, though DNC Chairman Howard Dean will be joining Obama and Joe Biden in Chicago.
By comparison, the National Republican Congressional Committee - which is expecting losses of as many as 20 to 30 House seats - isn't planning much of anything Tuesday night. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is holding a small bash for donors at its headquarters on Capitol Hill. And the Republican National Committee has just announced its "election night celebration and results watching party" will be held downtown at the Capital Hilton.
John McCain is having his election night party at the luxurious Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix. But don't expect too many press reports from the event.
As Lynn Sweet reported on her blog at the Chicago Sun-Times, while the Obama election-night crowd in Grant Park is expected to include scores of journalists covering the extravaganza, the McCain campaign is allowing only a press pool to cover its soiree.
Democratic operatives and true believers back in Washington, meanwhile, plan to party... hard.
The town's progressive movers and shakers are gathering, as they have for each presidential debate, at the trendy LeftBank in Adams Morgan. Their event is called "Change is Comin." Organizer Brian Komar, a policy wonk with John Podesta's Center for American Progress, says the price of admission is $25 to cover food, the DJ and posters.
"Whatever is left," he told us via email, "will go toward an Inaugural Blue Ball.... :)" (Cocky!)
And even though their candidate didn't win the primary, the direct mail firm MSHC Partners, which worked for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, is holding a big one. The firm has rented out Buffalo Billiards in Dupont Circle for an invitation-only evening of shooting pool and watching returns - and yes, drinking. (Beware, fellas: We hear Trish Hoppey, who put the "H" in MSHC Partners - has spent a lot of time in and around Bedrock Billiards, a competing billiards hall. Let's just say: the gal knows how to break.)
And no major celebratory occasion passes without the booze lobby getting a piece of the action. Yes, the party-crazed Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, known as DISCUS, is hosting a bipartisan reception at the National Press Club early in the evening. Billed as a "super premium American whiskey tasting," the invitation promises Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell will be attending.
The AFL-CIO is planning a little party at its headquarters. Other Democrats will be watching returns at the Democratic Club, or at a number of bars that various political firms and individuals have reserved. (Envision Communications, a Democratic media consulting firm, is inviting friends to have a drink at the back bar at Poste, the restaurant inside Hotel Monaco.)
Republicans, meanwhile, are invited to gather in the privacy of their Capitol Hill Club, the main Republican club on the Hill. Otherwise, with Obama holding a significant lead heading into Election Day and given the dire forecast for congressional Republicans, GOP election night watch soirees are hard to come by.
Even famed Republican Washington hostess Juleanna Glover of the Ashcroft Group isn't having a party on Tuesday. "Will be at home though," she told us via email, "hopefully up until dawn watching McCain eek it out."
Another well-known GOP Washington party host, Jim Courtovich, is taking his election night watch bash to a much warmer, more vibrant locale in a key battleground state. Courtovich, managing partner of Kearsarge Global Advisors, whose schmoozy foodie (and boozy) "Gaucho" parties in Washington have become legendary, is hosting an election night soiree in the heart of Miami. His party will start at the Delano Hotel with "mojitos and pundits," then move over to the swanky Casa Tua Club for "dinner and results."
Even as the economy is tanking, there will always be election night parties.
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