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A V(ery) I(mportant) P(arty) List

May 1, 2006  •  Post A Comment

For a few hours last Wednesday night, there seemed to be only one party in Washington.

The Insider’s eyes and ears in Georgetown said a good time definitely was had by all the Republicans and Democrats and conservatives and liberals packed into Café Milano to toast the 10th anniversary of “Fox News Sunday.”

“It was a fair-and-balanced party,” said “Sunday” moderator Chris Wallace, appropriating Fox News Channel’s famous slogan.

Fairly balanced though it might have been, the gathering was top-heavy. Indeed, the guest list smacked of The Insider’s alter-ego’s annual pundits poll.

Vice President Dick Cheney was in and out early. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch came early and stayed late.

Fox News and Fox Television Stations Chairman Roger Ailes made clear how proud he is of the first TV show produced by his Fox News division, but he also came armed with a few of his signature barbs mots. (The Insider wouldn’t have been standing as close as Newsweek columnist and MSNBC staple Howard Fineman when Mr. Ailes made jokes about both of Fineman’s employers.)

At one point, Mr. Ailes also acknowledged the presence of Mike Wallace, who was there not as Chris Wallace’s father but as a newsmaker who had been interviewed last fall on “Sunday” when his book, “Between You and Me: A Memoir,” was published.

“Mike,” Mr. Ailes said, “you can stop following me around. The kid has the job.”

The presidential wannabes in the crowd included, from the Republican side, Arizona Sen. John McCain and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee.

From the Democratic side: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, among the hardest-to-get guests for the newsmaker shows such as Mr. Wallace’s “Sunday.”

There were current power players (House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Speaker Dennis Hastert), former party national committee chairmen (Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Haley Barbour) and perpetual power brokers (Vernon Jordan and Jack Valenti).

Also present were a slew of Fox News Channel personalities: Shepard Smith, Bill O’Reilly, Greta Van Susteren and Bill Hemmer.

Then there was Tony Snow, the original moderator of “Fox News Sunday” and the incoming White House press secretary. Mr. Snow’s new bosses, new White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and White House Communications Director Nicole Wallace, also were at the party.

For what it’s worth, The Insider would consider Mr. Snow a success as press secretary if he could just get President Bush to say “noo-clee-ar” rather than “nook-yoo-lar.” The Insider wouldn’t mind it if the next time the president tried to characterize a tragedy, he didn’t call it “hay-nee-us.”

But The Insider digresses. She comes neither to braise presidential pronunciation nor to bury herself politically.

This girl just wants to have fun.

So she’ll return to the party and its principals, who also included former Chaiman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers and Ana Marie Cox, formerly of political blog Wonkette (in an ooh-la-la black pants suit).

And what was Mrs. Chris Wallace wearing?

An ensemble her husband thought of as only brand-new and “quite expensive” until she put it on and knocked his socks off.

A parting shot at a D.C. doyenne, who knows who she is: When the invitation is not “plus one,” one is asking for a hassle when one brings a four-footed accessory, unless one is, perish the thought, Paris Hilton.