Everything was possible, yesterday.
The most famous was none of them -- all being outgloried by a movie-star wife.
One had been a professional basketball player, but that stopped counting for much as soon as the winning vote was cast.
One was youth, at 26.
One was a very gray freshman at 68.
All were winners, even -- or especially -- the daughter of Alf Landon, whom the country forgot about in hordes in 1936.
There were 77 new members in the House, 20 in the Senate of the 96th Congress, and yesterday was the day they got to eat the bacon they'd brought home on election day. They toasted themselves in benisons of song from a black quinted; in Dr. Prpper, in cheers raised with the last victory speeches of a long, long year now over.
All, of course, will spend less, tax lighter and sweep harder, as new brooms should do, and at the great susurrus of receptions all over the Hill, most still believed it -- except, of course, for the Old and Great Ones who glided in to offer welcomes, and remember the day in their own lives when everything was possible. Henry Allen
"When is the caterer arriving?" asked one guest as a member of the staff of Rep. James Michael Shannon (D-Mass.) pulled a box of five varieties of doughnuts from the office closet and arranged them next to the coffee on a table strewn with Boston newspapers. No caterer.
"We had a people's campaign," explained Bill Maren, campaign finance chairman for Shannon, who at 26 is the youngest freshman member of Congress. "So we have doughnuts instead of liquor. I have to go to some other guy's party to get a drink."
Shannons's Washington stsff (the oldest, Ron Suduiko, turned 30 last week and co-workers affectionately dubbed him "Dad") and his supporters might have preferred wine-and cheese to coffee-and-doughnuts.
"He doesn't look 26," said David McGinn, who will work out of Shannon's home office. "In fact. The only time the question of age came up was when he first brought up the idea of running. I suddenly realized that I didn't know how old he was. When I asked him, he quickly assured me, 'It's okay, it's okay. I'm 26!'"
Shannon, who's married but has no children, says that when he first began to interview for his staff he thought he had better hire some older people, but then reconsidered. "If I held people's youth against them, I would have been doing just what I asked people not to do to me," he says.