Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Team McCain Throws DC Holiday Bash and Has The Gang of 500 Purring Like Well-Fed Alley Cats

Ok, we can all admit that suburban Ohio voters do not particularly care about a holiday party thrown in Washington DC. Rural voters in Florida probably care less, even if its a Straight Talking U.S. Senator in one of DC’s finest galleries, The Corcoran, throwing the holiday party in question.

However, as important as Florida and Ohio voters are to an electoral map strategy, there is another political constituency almost as important for statesmen who might harbor presidential ambitions. This "other" constituency just happens to be much, much smaller. And, it happens to like parties. Especially parties in Washington DC.

This constituency, of course, is the so called "Gang of 500" - a wonderfully diverse, smart and slightly smug group of journalists, political operatives, money men (and woman), lawyers, lobbyists and government types who live, work and play within 10 blocks of downtown DC and Manhattan (except for Drudge, who lives in Miami and Governor Schwarzenegger's people who live in CaliFORNia). This small group plays a large part in setting the political agenda of a presidential election, especially two years out from the election when "real" voters aren't paying attention.

The Gang lives inside-baseball because it is all they know. And, right now, the inside-baseball money is sorting out who is up and who is down in the 08' presidential election.

"Yip-yip-yip!" Monday Morning Clackers all of them. But very, very, VERY important clackers at that.

Which is why all the potential presidential contenders in 08' are courting the Gang of 500. Which is also why any Romney/Giuliani/Clinton/Obama/Kerry/Biden supporters who happened to make it inside the McCain holiday party at the Corcoran last Tuesday night and saw Senator McCain and his wife, Cindy McCain (who looked terrific), basking in the love of a huge percentage of the Gang of 500 (plus another 400 people just like you and me) probably felt like Santa had just left a lump of coal in their stocking.

Too bad for them. The crab cakes were wonderful and the booze was free. I even met my hero, David Brooks, and got to chat with him briefly. One Gang member down, 499 to go.

As I left the Corcoran that night one could only think that McCain/Weaver/Salter/Dennehy/Nelson know how to throw a bitching party. It might not matter to the Ohio suburbs, but it does matter. These guys are playing to win.