Balanced Crowd at Fox's Bash

Hillary Clinton with Chris Wallace
Hillary Clinton and Chris Wallace Wednesday night at Cafe Milano. (Photo By Rebecca D'Angelo for The Washington Post)

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Friday, April 28, 2006

There was a buzz when Dick Cheney walked into the "Fox News Sunday" 10th anniversary bash Wednesday night, but it was another guest -- arriving fashionably late -- who really got heads turning. Hillary Clinton ?!!? Here?

"Having the clear frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination show up at a Fox News party created a lot of excitement, and makes a statement about how we're regarded in top Democratic circles," said host Chris Wallace , who invited her to the celebration.

Clinton spent an hour at Cafe Milano schmoozing with News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch (very chummy since last year's truce), Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes , and most of the Bush administration, including Karl Rove, Josh Bolten, Karen Hughes, Dan Bartlett and former Fox host Tony Snow , just hours after he was named the new Bush spokesman. "Ten years ago we could have never gotten the White House press secretary to come to this party," joked Ailes.

More than 300 VIPs crammed into the Georgetown hot spot, passing a gantlet of security to make the cut. Much jockeying for face time with Brit Hume and Bill O'Reilly, and once-and-future power brokers such as House Speaker Dennis Hastert , Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Sens. John McCain and Ben Nelson , Rep. Tom DeLay , Newt Gingrich, Ken Duberstein, Ted Olson, Vernon Jordan and former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe. Yes, that flashy redhead was Georgette Mosbacher. Mike Wallace , Chris's dad, was on hand for the festivities. "Stop following me, Mike," Ailes told him. "This is it! The kid already got the job!"

The mood was conservatively expansive, with only playful jabs at CNN and MSNBC, and appropriately lush: Open bar, lots of food, cigars aplenty. The veep actually smiled when we interrupted his chat with Murdoch to ask about Snow. ("He'll do a superb job.") The new press sec starts briefings on May 8 and said he was rested and ready: "I was sleepless while I was trying to decide," Snow said. "I slept like a baby last night."

George Clooney's Washington Tour, Day 1

Doesn't matter how often he comes to town -- filming an HBO series or promoting a movie or what-have-you -- Washington just never seems to tire of George Clooney .

George Clooney talks to Barack Obama
Clooney and Sen. Barack Obama at the National Press Club yesterday.(Sarah L. Voisin - The Washington Post)
He's the biggest of the big names rolling into town for the "Save Darfur" rally on the Mall Sunday (though he may drop by the White House Correspondents' Dinner, too), and his appearance at the National Press Club yesterday with dad Nick Clooney completely packed the conference room. Reporters actually pulled out their own camera cellphones to capture the moment, our colleague Jennifer Frey noted. Father and son aired a video of a recent trip they made to Sudan to witness the devastation left by genocide. George made some brief remarks, took a few questions, posed for a few photos, and let the room bask in some of that dry, wry, sexy shtick.

"In the tradition of Hollywood," he said, "you'll all be getting gift baskets."

Another Darfur activist and might-as-well-be-from-here star, Olympian Joey Cheek , interviewed Clooney in his capacity as a celeb reporter for mtvU and let folks hold his gold medal (yes, very heavy). And MTV President Christina Norman dropped by before joining her own luncheon on the other side of the building, on the topic of the network's new global-warming campaign. Sudan? Please . MTV got into that two years ago with its own "stop the genocide" initiative in 2004.

For the Nats: Grass in the Outfield, Ivy in the Front Office?

The problem with going to an Ivy League school? You spend your entire life bumping into old classmates. Columbia's law school class of '76 produced two of the three men who could become president of the Washington Nationals -- Eric Holder with Jeff Smulyan 's investor group and Stan Kasten , who teamed up last week with the Lerner family. "He's a good guy, he's a good lawyer," Holder said of the former Atlanta Braves president. "I've followed his career, which is stellar," Kasten said of the former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general. Kasten is going to the class's 30th reunion this weekend; Holder is not, which all those ownership-race speculators can chew on, for what it's worth. Said Kasten: "I had lunch today with the dean of the law school, who was just beaming about this."

THIS JUST IN . . .

· Snoop Dogg was arrested late Wednesday after a fight that broke out in London's Heathrow Airport when some coach-flying members of his entourage were denied access to a first-class lounge. He was released on bail, but missed his connecting flight and had to reschedule a show in South Africa. Seven police officers were injured in the fracas.

· Glenn Makl , the fitness instructor who showed off his Duby a imitation without realizing Jenna and Barbara were in the room, returned to his weekly spinning class yesterday for the first time since the faux pas. All went uneventfully, according to sources there. Neither twin showed up, just a new student in a Bush-Cheney tee.


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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