When Vice President George Bush arrived at a reception Saturday night, he spotted the renowned singer Ella Fitzgerald and immediately put on his glasses to admire her necklace, a gold sphere with chunks of rubies and sapphires, a gift from Jacqueline Picasso.
When Secretary of State George Shultz joined RCA chairman Thornton Bradshaw in the dignitaries' box at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Bradshaw said they talked about the state of jazz.
And, when Bush played 18 holes of golf with "Today" show coanchor Bryant Gumbel at Burning Tree Country Club, Gumbel said the phone didn't ring once in four hours and they talked about playing with the Secret Service right behind them.
After six days of one of those shocking weeks--"extraordinarily emotional," in the words of Bush--the American foreign policy-makers and the diplomatic corps took a break at a concert and dinner dance to benefit the United Nations Association.
This being Washington, the evening wasn't a total break.
At the first phase--the sold-out Fitzgerald concert--Shultz made a few diplomats squirm, and many of the Americans whistle their approval, as he spoke from the Concert Hall stage. After reviewing the events leading to the invasion of Grenada, Shultz said, "Subsequent events have proven only too well the clear danger. The president acted correctly, as he did courageously." Referring to the U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the invasion, vetoed by the United States, Shultz said, "The U.N. gave him the back of its hand but we will stay." There were four rounds of long applause for Shultz.
While waiting for Bush at the reception, Under Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger discussed his lack of sleep and the efficiency of the American foreign policy machinery with William Ellinghaus, president of AT&T; Elliott Richardson, chairman of the U.N. Association; and Gen. Brent Scowcraft, national security adviser to Gerald Ford. Eagleburger said he had slept half an hour all week.
Asked what he thought of the criticism that the president was engaging in "hyperbole" about the safety of the Americans and the size of the arsenal for the resident army, Eagleburger took a long drag on his cigarette and replied, "We will see who is engaging in hyperbole when it is over."
Bush, like Eagleburger, had missed the Fitzgerald concert. After he spoke to the singer, he pounded his fist into his hand and said, "It's been a great week for the country, except for the deaths of the Marines in Lebanon."
At the dinner, which saluted the cuisine and vibrant eye of the Japanese, Bush also treaded into the delicate waters of the United States and the United Nations, where he was the U.S. ambassador from 1971 to 1972: "I left as a stronger critic and a stronger supporter." After he discussed his own trip to Beirut earlier in the week, he said, "I conclude this emotional week by saying thank God for the United States and thank God for a president who is willing to move to save the lives of Americans and to stand up for the democratic ideals which I believe really motivated the founding of the United Nations."
At the vice president's request, according to the Secret Service, reporters were restricted from interviewing the diplomats during dinner. Soviet ambassador Anatoliy Dobrynin was not present and British ambassador Oliver Wright sent his deputy Derek Thomas; both nations have been criticial of the Grenada invasion. Allan Gotlieb, the ambassador from Canada, said U.S-Canadian relations were fine, despite the position of Canada that the invasion was an extroardinary measure. "We were sympathetic, but we weren't consulted, and we have doubts about the invasion," he said. Ricardo Crespo-Zaldumbide, the ambassador of Ecuador, commented, "We Latin Americans are very cautious about the necessity to serve the integrity of the inter-American system and non-intervention is essential."
When the question of the media's blackout of events in Grenada early in the week came up, Bush was short: "The press wasn't there when we went into Iran; the press is in Grenada now. That's an inside-the-Beltway concern."
Bradshaw, whose company owns NBC, was upset about the censorship. "I have to feel very strongly about it. I think it was a very bad mistake, I can't understand it," said Bradshaw.