The king and queen of Jordan strolled over to the Renwick Gallery last night to top off their second day in Washington with some high-powered socializing with Washington officialdom.
It was just a short stroll, of course, since King Hussein and Queen Noor were staying next door at Blair House. But by the time they arrived at the handsome old red brick building where the Anwar Sadats once entertained, some guests among the formally clad crowd of Cabinet officers, members of Congress and State Department officials had pretty much decided that as state visits go, Hussein's was going well enough.
"Very positive," said Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Qasim, who also spoke of "a successful personal rapport between the president and his majesty."
Rep. Paul Findley (R-Ill.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that while he had no idea what President Reagan told Hussein in private talks, outwardly the Jordanian monarch seemed to be in good spirits.
"Hussein thinks highly of the Saudi peace plan, and if he got along with the president," said Findley, "there must not have been any difficulties over that plan."
"I think he'd like to be in the peace process if it weren't for the PLO," said Sen. Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), who visited Jordan in August.
Hussein offered no clues in his after-dinner toast other than to express the general hope for continuing "on a clear path toward common objectives for peace in the Middle East."
Vice President George Bush said that while there have been some differences in the past, "there are none that cannot be overcome."
Round tables for eight with white floral centerpieces filled the high-ceiling room, and paintings covered the rich red walls. Guests were "thanked" for not smoking by small placards on the tables, an admonition that may have been left off the head table. There, the royal couple and Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. lighted up cigarettes when the meal was over.
Later, as Haig was leaving, someone noted that he seemed to be in remarkably good spirits considering the flurry caused by columnist Jack Anderson's report that Haig had "one foot on a banana peel."
"Busy men are always in a good humor," Haig replied with the hint of a smile.
"Sometimes," Haig was cautioned by former ambassador to Jordan Dean Brown, now president of the Middle East Institute. "Don't mislead."
Others at the dinner for 130, given by the newly arrived Jordanian Ambassador Majali and his wife included Sens. Charles Percy (R-Ill.), John Tower (R-Tex.), Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.) and James A. McClure (R-Idaho); Attorney General William French Smith; CIA Director William J. Casey; deputy chief of staff Michael Deaver ; and Deputy Secretary of State William P. Clark.