The party the Michigan State Society threw for Office of Management and Budget director-designate David Stockman had all the blustery good cheer of a campus football party the evening after the home team had won the Big Game. The crowd surrounded the guest of honor with the kind of delighted reverence normally reserved for the team quarterback.

"I realize I was given a very awesome task," Stockman told the celebrants packed together beneath the placid portraits of Ike and Mamie Eisenhower. "I hope we can all work together to bring about the changes needed to help this country." Back in the crowd, a stern-faced woman had her own advice to offer Stockman. "Let me through," she said. "I want to see if he got his hair cut. He may be a very smart man, but he needs his hair cut."

The optimism at the Capitol Hill Club was an abundant as the canapes and the sense of mission blazed brightly in the eyes of the newcomers. "There's a lot of b.s. in this town," said freshman congressman James Dunn (R-Mich.). "But we're here because we know what the people want and we're going to do whatever has to be done, whether it's politically expedient or not."

A veteran lobbyist listened and smiled. "Give him time," he said. "Give him time."