Olympia Snowe, the new Republican member of Congress from Maine, barely made it inside the door of the Capitol Hill caucus room when the women there surrounded her.
"You were great," said one.
"You're getting quite a reputation for one-liners," another said with a grin.
What they were referring to was a remark Snowe make last week at the Washington Press Club's dinner for Congress.
"I was talking about Gov. Jerry Brown and I said there were only two things I didn't like about him -- his face," Snowe said and smiled with great relish.
There are only four new elected women to Congress -- one in the Senate and three in the House -- and two of them came last night to the reception for them given by the Capitol Hill Women's Caucus and the Washington Women's Network in the caucus room of the Cannon Office Building.
Rep. Lindy Boggs (D-La.), who has been in Congress since 1973, was there as well. But few of the hundreds of women who gathered, for cheese and wine, soft drinks and Diet (of course) Pepsi, caught a glimpse of Geraldine Ferraro, the new Democratic representative from queens, who was once assistant district attorney there.
"I want to meet her," said Charlie Nance, speaking almost in a tone of awe. Nance, who works for Rep. Herb Harris (D-Va.), was one of a smattering of men present. The guests included members of the National Women's Political Caucus from all over the country. Mildred Jeffery, the chairman, was beseiged by as many friends and admirers as were the two representatives.
ACTION's Mary King an Mary Dent Crisp, the Republican National Committee's co-chairman, also were there.
"This certainly is an indication it's not an all-man's world," said Ferraro in very brief comments to the guests. "We do have a women's network on its way."
Rep. Morris Udall (D-Ariz.), another guest, said he's had a long association with the Women'sPolitical Caucus "I think the women bring a lot of class to the Congress. I just wish we had more."
Lawyer Pe Borromeo proudly wore his name tag which had printed on it "Capitol Hill Women's Political Caucus." You mean men are allowed to be members? he was asked.
"Is that ever sexist" he said. "It's a pro-feminist organization, not just an organization for women." Borromeo, who has been on the steering committee since 1975, does legal work for the caucus.