Bush's Staff, Working the Party

Josh Bolten
White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten served up drinks at Tuesday's event. (Chris Greenberg - The White House)
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, December 20, 2007

The "Upstairs/Downstairs" vibe at the final White House holiday party Tuesday night? That was the administration's senior staff waiting on the mansion's resident staff -- the butlers, ushers, florists, chefs, electricians, plumbers and others who make the place hum the rest of the year. Chief of Staff Josh Bolten donned a tux for bartending duties, spokesman Dana Perino poured coffee, and chief speechwriter Bill McGurn was on eggnog detail.

"I put myself through college as a cocktail waitress," said Anita McBride (Laura Bush's chief of staff), who worked behind a bar at the bash. "Although I must say, very few people asked for mixed drinks. I did get two children who asked me for a Shirley Temple."

The president and first lady hosted 25 holiday parties this year (paid for by the RNC, in case you're wondering) for more than 10,000 guests who consumed thousands of crab cakes, tamales, chicken fried steaks and desserts -- 20,000 cookies, 700 cakes and 320 gallons of the legendary spiked eggnog. Tomorrow, the Bushes head to Camp David for Christmas (where they'll be joined by Jenna and Barbara) and then to the Crawford ranch until New Year's Day.

A Sobering Look at the Man in the Limelight

How well do you know Vladimir Putin? The Russian president yesterday was named Time's Person of the Year for 2007; editors say he beat out J.K. Rowling and Al Gore. Fun facts about the Moscow strongman from the cover story titled (wait for it . . . ) "A Tsar is Born":

* Has a black belt in judo.

* Favorite Beatles song is "Yesterday."

* Sure doesn't drink like Boris Yeltsin ("Mostly he just twirls the Montrachet in his glass").

* Likes to read the Bible.

* Shorter than you expect (Time estimates 5 feet 6).

* Has never sent an e-mail in his life.


Born: A son, Eli James Senor, to Campbell Brown, 39, and Dan Senor, 36, in NYC on Tuesday. First child for the former NBC White House correspondent, who will debut her own CNN prime-time show sometime after reporting for duty in February, and her husband, the former U.S. spokesman in Iraq who now works in private equity.

Expecting: UK singer-songwriter Lily Allen, 22, and new-ish boyfriend Ed Simons, 37. She's the Internet phenom who broke out as a real hitmaker with "Smile," he's half of the electronica duo Chemical Brothers.


Buyer: Don Graham

Price: $2.8 million

Details: The chairman of The Washington Post Co., who separated from his wife last month, just closed on a 1896 semi-detached townhouse near Dupont Circle. The four-bedroom, four-bath Tudor underwent extensive work during the past year and is described as impeccable.

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

Bill Frist and James Carville filming a Coke commercial at the bustling corner of Connecticut and L NW yesterday; multiple takes for a scene in which the two pols walked toward a hot dog stand. (A heart surgeon and hot dogs? Must be that new Plavix-flavored Coke.) The manager at Morton's felt bad for them and sent down a platter of steak sandwiches and jumbo shrimp.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company