62nd annual Washington press club dinner & CQ putting on The Ritz after - party
February 8 • Ritz Carlton
While potential Presidential candidate Sen. George Allen of Virginia
was dining on fi sh and fi let at The Washington Press Club Foundation's
62nd Annual dinner on February 8th at the Ritz-Carlton, Sen. Judd
Gregg was cha ing about the bi-annual budget while quarantined in
a parking garage adjacent to the Senate Russell Offi ce Building. Even
though the nerve agent scare proved false, Blackberries were buzzing
throughout most of the evening; at least until Sen. Arlen Specter
took over the podium. He was surprisingly witty.
"I know what you're thinking: Every year you're having a Democrat and
a Republican, and this year you decided not to have a Republican,"
the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said, referring to his oft
considered moderate reputation. Taking a jab at longtime friend Sen. Bob
Dole, Specter relayed this conversation: "I told Elizabeth, ‘I just shaved
and I feel ten years younger.'" To which Elizabeth replied: "Why didn't
you do that last night? " Then there was his joke about three men getting
to choose between Rye, Scotch or Bourbon. The first replies Rye, the
second replies Scotch and the third, a man in cloth replies: "I'd commit
adultery first." "Hey wait," the others chimed in, "I didn't know that was a
choice!" On Trent Lott: "During the hurricane [Katrina], he lost his house
and his library… both books. And he wasn't even finished coloring one."
Co-speaker and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer held his own
with a "Brokeback Mountain" inspired joke about Tom DeLay and
his relationship with controversial lobbyist Jack Abramoff . "The
former House leader signed letters to Abramoff inscribed: "I wish
I knew how to quit you.'"
Celebrity power was compliments of Congressional Quarterly, whose
guests included Miss America Jennifer Berry, Fran Drescher, Joey
"Pants" Pantoliano, Cady Huff man, Tim Blake Nelson, and Giancarlo
Esposito. CQ kept the buzz going until 1 a.m. at their exclusive ‘Putting
on the Ritz' after party co-sponsored with The Creative Coalition.
BY JANET DONOVAN