There were fellow Yalies, old Navy buddies and an ex-ambassador or two, but really, most of the people who paid $125 to eat homemade guacamole at the George Bush fund-raiser last night were just old neighbors who wanted to hear about the kids.
And that they did. After Bush, former CIA chief and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, had scoffed at his poor polls and taken a few swipes at Jimmy Carter, he let the gang know about George Jr., Jeb, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy. All are fine and will be working for his campaign, he reported, although Marvin, 22 has taken up competing in demolition derbies.
The fund-raiser itself was at the home of former Pennsylvania Senator and Mrs. Hugh Scott, Longtime friends who more or less watched George group up. Hugh and Marian are old friends of George's parents, and well, having a fund-raiser seemed the least they could do.
After all, Dorothy Bush, wife of the Connecticut senator who was George's father, had befriended Marian when she was a scared Senate wife. "She was so nice to me and helped me over the hurdles," she remembered last night.
The non-neighbor, political names that were invited (Reps. Barber Conable of New York; John Paul Hammer-schmidt of Arkansas, Paul McCloskey of California and Robert Michel of Illinois) showed up after most of the guests and press had left. The House was working late, they said.
But guests like Henry Catto, former chief of protocol, were pleased with those who showed up on time.
"This is a huge turnout," said Catto, who is now coordinator of Bush's primary campaign - a job he relishes more than his old one.
"It's more than the flesh can bear," he said of protocol, adding that these days he's "hissing at the television and waiting to recapture the White House."
Another guest who appeared to be on the White House offensive was, appropriately, Charles Whitehouse, former ambassador to Thailand. Whitehouse knows Bush from Yale, from the Navy and from the time they were both ambassadors. When it was suggested that Whitehouse could continue the friendship just as easily as vice president, he was delighted.
"I think I ought to be," he laughed. "Tell him that."
As for Bush, he seemed more worried about getting the nomination first.
"I know that it's tough," he said. "I never thought it would be easy.But the reason that I'm going to win the nomination is that I really want to be president."