At Breitbart News CPAC speakeasy, champagne and chatter

The band was second fiddle to conversation at the Breitbart News bash on Saturday. (Photo by Emily Heil.) The band was second fiddle to conversation at the Breitbart News bash on Saturday. (Photo by Emily Heil.)

A 17-piece swing band was cranking out some hot tunes, but the revelers gathered in a crowded Capitol Hill townhouse on Friday for Breitbart News’ speakeasy party weren’t there to dance.

A few gamely gyrated to the jazz, but most of the crowd — young conservative types and journalists, some of whom had been shuttled in from the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor outside Washington —  was there to talk.

Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Tex.) held court in the kitchen, engaging in a conversation with an earnest man wearing an American-flag tie. (It was the kind of party where Gohmert was as much of a draw as the open bar.) The room buzzed with chatter, and even the pickup lines were wonky.

“You’re hotter than Sarah Palin.” (Was he kidding? And did it work?)

“Ted’s a really good friend of mine.” (We’re assuming that’s a name-drop of Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican regarded as a rock star of the right.)

The venue, which was turned for the evening into an ostensible “speakeasy,” with vintage-costumed cigarette girls offering trays of candy and champagne doled out by bartenders dressed like flappers, is actually Breitbart News’ Washington headquarters, explained Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, taking in the packed house.

Reporters work out of a carriage house in the rear of the stately rowhouse, which is only steps away from the Supreme Court. The main house includes living quarters for some of the staff and, of course, room for parties like Friday’s.

“Andrew said that if you didn’t have a place within spitting distance of the Capitol, no one would come,” he said, referring to Andrew Breitbart, the late founder of the conservative media company. “He loved to throw big parties.”

 

Read more Reliable Source:

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Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
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Emily Heil · March 7, 2014