Where’s there’s smoke, there’s VIPs: Distilled Spirits Council rolls out cigars and classic rock


Mark McGrath sings with Camp Freddy at the Distilled Spirits Council party. (Amy Argetsinger/The Washington Post)

CHARLOTTE — “Gone, gone are the smoke-filled backrooms of the past,” promised Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, welcoming the public to the Democrats’ family-friendly “CarolinaFest” street fair Monday.

Er, just a metaphor, right? Because we saw plenty of conventioneers enjoying the smoke-filled back room at the Distilled Spirits Council party Monday night. More of a smoke-filled side room, really — a velvet-roped patio where guests partook of free cigars, handrolled by a tobacco artisan on site.


Tobacco enthusiasts watch the show from the cigar patio. (Amy Argetsinger/The Washington Post)

“I guess he doesn’t like Motley Crue?!? I guess he doesn’t like Minnie Riperton?!?” Bach yelled. “He doesn’t even have any Melissa Manchester!” Boom.

More Reliable Source news from the convention: Philly mayor sighting; Kal Penn video; Jeff Bridges’s rain dance

In other political music news: Minaj’s Romney rap underscores Obama’s wobbly relationship with world of hip-hop

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