As far as Washington power-mingling scenes go, the book-launch party that the Service Employees International Union held on Tuesday for Arianna Huffington was practically a love-in.
There was a folk singer strumming a guitar (that would be Huffington pal Jill Sobule), plenty of fresh-faced progressive types, and a sing-along in which partygoers were urged to join in with Sobule. And there was lots of girl power, in celebration of Huffington’s new book, “On Becoming Fearless in Love, Work and Life.”
Huffington thanked the crowd, urging them to “silence the obnoxious roommate in your head” and calling them “a group of amazingly fearless people.” Among the fearless attendees was Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), whom Huffington waxed eloquent about for his own fearless stance against the Iraq war.
But the most fearless thing she’s ever done? “I think it will be in the future,” she told us. Our only disappointment was that Huffington didn’t utter the B-word. It was included in the lyrics sheet passed out to guests of the song Sobule wrote for Huffington. But when the author got past the first lines, “I’ve written a book and I have a blog/But in my whole life I’ve never sung on a song/So if my voice sounds funny and my accent’s strong,” she skipped the rhymes-with-witch word in the last line: “Get over it b**** and sing along.”
GOP Indian group offers Sen. George Allen warm reception
We just can’t get enough mileage out of Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) and his “Macaca” gaffe. So a recap that the Indian American Republican Conference’s (IARC) sent out about their recent Washington confab caught our eye. Among its lineup of GOP heavyweights who addressed the group, including presidential adviser Karl Rove, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), was none other than Allen. According to the group’s summary of the event, Allen talked about a recent trip to India and “ways for the U.S. to increase its competitive advantage in the global economy.”
IARC Chairman Raghavendra Vijayanagar told us in an e-mail that the session was a cordial one in which the senators discussed issues including the importance of a nuclear pact between India and the U.S. But as Allen wrapped up the speech, he said, the talk grew more personal.
“He issued a heartfelt apology at the end of his speech, which I felt was sincere, and he received a spontaneous standing ovation,” Vijayanagar wrote. “We have put this in the past and have moved on. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Sen. Allen in the future.”
And in other Allen news, the senator’s rediscovered Jewish heritage apparently has yet to bring him good tidings for the upcoming holidays. Asked by The Hill whether anyone had wished him a happy new year yet — Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown Friday — Allen, momentarily startled by the question, replied: “No, they haven’t. But are you?”
Indeed, Sen. Allen: L’shana tovah (for a good year) from The Hill.
Buck breaks sudsy glass ceiling at beer org
Those stereotypes of beer as a man’s drink are just sooo last-century. Every Budweiser ad you’ve ever seen (particularly those airing during Monday Night Football) to the contrary, it turns out that women rule the brew. The National Beer Wholesalers Association has named Betty Buck as its very first female “chairman” of the board. The owner of Buck Distributing Co. Inc. in Upper Marlboro, Md., which was founded by her father, Buck broke the sudsy glass ceiling after serving on the association’s board since 2000. We’ll raise a glass to that!