Some Republican and Democratic women seem to have at least two things in common these days: They desperately need money and they're not particularly happy with Ronald Reagan.
Last night these sentiments -- and more -- were hashed out over cocktails and dinner at the Women's Campaign Fund's annual fund-raiser.
"It's a very bleak picture," said Mary Crisp, former co-chair of the Republican National Committee, and now a political consultant. "This admininstration is anti-abortion, anti-ERA, anti-women. This whole idea of ER with out the A is ludicrous. It's an obscenity. But maybe in the end it will act as a catalyst in giving women the impetus to run for office and help other women to get elected."
"Women simply do not have an old-boy network," said New York City Council president Carol Bellamy. "It's more difficult for them to go to corporations and labor for money . There is not a real institutional interest in women."
Money seemed to be the least of the problems last night as 250 guests who paid $100 apiece started off their evening by roaming through Vicki Bagley's sprawling Georgetown house. Approximately $25,000 was raised by the bipartisan group to be used for campaigning and technical advice for women candidates.
The Bagley house was discussed almost as much as the issues. It seems to stretch for almost a city block with a living room that could easily pass for the lobby of the Plaza.
"Oh, my god, there's an elevator in this house!" screeched one woman.
Cruising through the 30 rooms were various congressmen and congresswomen, writers, artists and general supporters of the women's movement.
Guests went from the Bagleys' to 10 smaller dinner parties, given by household names all over town, including: American Film Institute co-chair George Stevens and his wife, Elizabeth; Washington Bullets owner Abe Pollin and his wife, Irene; Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and former ambassador to Germany George McGhee and his wife, Cecilia.
At the Stevenses' Georgetown house 50 guests sipped wine and ate baked ham by candlelight. Tables were set up in each of the different colored rooms with tableclothes that matched the curtains that matched the walls that matched the couches. Rep. Geraldine Ferraro (D-N.Y.) was one of the special guests at this party.
"The administration's failure to appoint more women is just the same as them thumbing their noses at all the women in the country," said Ferraro. "Women are really concerned all over -- not just activists. It's important to get as many women as we can to run. And they just can't run on women's issues or they won't win."
A few blocks away at George and Cecilia McGhee's, Rep. Timothy Wirth (D-Colo.) had this to say: "We would never have had all these problems with the B1 bomber, or the MX Missle, or nuclear weaponry . . . if there were more women in Congress . . . We really need to have more than -- how many women are there in Congress anyway?"