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 quintet; in Dr. Pepper, 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
As befitting a man descended from a woman who was captured by Turks and hung by the feet during the Greek Revolution of 1821, Sen. Paul Efthemios Tsongas' (D-Mass.) reception was a panorama of ethnicity.
Sarantos, Kaplan, D'Addario, Kenney, Letsou -- all around, the nametags conjured up the neighborhoods of Lowell, Mass. (Tsongas' hometown and, as it was hard to ignore at yesterday's party, "the birthplace of the industrial revolution,"), of Haverhill, Boston, and so forth.
Thirty members of Tsongas' family, including his father, sisters, cousins and aunts, came down from Massachusetts for the festivities. Tsongas' two daughters, Ashley, 5, and Katina, 1 1/2, were also much in evidence, dressed in identical red velvet jumpers. While Tsongas was being interviewed by a Boston TV station, Katina grabbed at the microphone as though it were a lollipop.
Tsongas' father, Efthemios, stayed in his son's office for most of the party, resting. "I have a bad heart," he explained.
"Now he is really at the top," said the senior Tsongas."I don't want him to go further... He has proven himself.Why go and get into other problems that can tear a person apart?"