“I still love biography,” she purred at a soiree celebrating the book’s publication held last week at the Washington home of Marina and Daniel Ein.

Before she began her career as an author, Kelley, a longtime D.C. resident, worked as a press secretary for former Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-Minn.). The scribe says with a laugh, “I was a wonk. I read the Congressional Record.” She calls that time “absolutely fabulous,” saying, “There was not the divisiveness there is today. There was socializing with Democrats and Republicans.”

She fondly remembers the “mad crush” she had on a particular lawmaker, which started outside a senators-only elevator at the Capitol. Former “[Sen. Thomas Dodd (D-Conn.)] was standing there and the elevator came. I didn’t know who it was and I started to get on the elevator and the [attendant] said, ‘I’m sorry.’ ”

Kelley continues, “Sen. Dodd was so gracious and said, ‘Come on, come down with me.’ I don’t think that would happen today.” 

These days, the writer’s output seems as quick as her spitfire personality. She’s already working on another book using Tretick’s photographs to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

But another bio is still on her brain. “Paula Broadwell could sit down with Gen. [David] Petraeus and write and write and write and then hand it to him and say, ‘Yes, sir. No, sir. Whatever you want in there, sir.’ But I don’t do that. So it has to be someone special, really special.”