And the Winner Is…
The press corps handicapped the race and Miss America turned heads
B Y J A N E T D O N O V A N
20/20 hindsight? Juleanna Glover Weiss was headed to the New Hampshire primaries with the McCain contingent the morning after her book party for Garrett Graff’s The First Campaign. Good choice in retrospect. “He will be the nominee, inevitably,” she quipped confidently. The night was all about politics and predictions. So, how did insiders stack up against professional pollsters who, in retrospect, got it all wrong? Here are some off-the-cuff remarks: “The next president will be Obama and Mark Warner will be the vice president,” said John Arundel, editor of The Alexandria Times. “Huckabee will be the Republican nominee.” “I think Michelle Obama will be the best first lady we’ve ever; She’s young, charming, beautiful and smart. Obama’s going to win,” claimed Stephanie Mansfield. What about Obama’s lack of foreign policy expertise? “People say he has no experience which means he’s not corrupt. He’s a rock star.” Veteran Democrat Tom Quinn weighed in, “Obama is proving to be a formidable candidate. He has great delivery and a great voice.” “Iowa was not a shocker for me,” declared Washingtonian’s Harry Jaffe. “I think that Iowans are authentic people and Obama was an authentic candidate. Hillary Clinton ran a polldriven campaign. I think Obama will continue and McCain will be the Republican nominee.” Beth Solomon giving her take on Iowa:
Compton was headed home early to pack her bags for the Middle East. “Iowa kind of turned everything on its head. It’s a reporter’s dream.” “Watching this campaign has been like watching the Soviets trying to leave Afghanistan, it’s taking so long,” said WMAL’s Chris Berry. Amen.
There she is
No one could believe the young lady in the red dress was actually Miss America. After all, the Washington Press Club Foundation’s Annual Congressional Dinner was about hard core journalism. But yes, it was and there she was. Even Kirsten Haglund herself couldn’t believe she was Miss America. It was fun to watch who accidentally positioned themselves for a photo op, most notably Hardball’s Chris Matthews, who just happened by her table, where she was a guest of Congressional Quarterly. Guests were astonished at how amusing the program speakers were; generally not the case at such functions. Rep. Rahm Emanuel can definitely lose his day job. The former Clinton senior advisor was on a roll. “I’m a man who has learned a lot since my days in the Clinton White House. Back then, the words stimulus and package had a whole different meaning. Let’s be honest, back then when we would talk about a surge, a lightening quick thrust and a phased withdrawal, it was damage control.” He was joined at the podium by Sen. John Cornyn, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Mitch McConnell. Actor Ted Danson was in the house and wants to make it perfectly clear that he actually does not claim rights to an environmental brew named after him called “Danson’s Best.” He might follow up on the idea though and contribute profits to his environmental group Oceana. The dinner was followed by a CQ after party featuring Doc Scantlin with Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday look a-likes wandering about. Seen: Clintonite Lanny Davis, Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff, David Bass, Bill Press and Dan Glickman (seated with Miss America).