While 11,999 Presidential Gala-goers were at the corner of Ninth and H streets NW screaming for cabs or hired limousines after the show Saturday night, Alexander M. Haig, the former secretary of state, had everything under control.
Awaiting him, his wife Pat and their 14 gala guests was a GMC recreational vehicle, emblazoned across the side with "Haigmobile," to shuttle them between the D.C. Convention Center and the Madison Hotel.
Haig popped for champagne, both going and coming, and through the window tipped his glass to less visionary gala-goers as the Haigmobile glided past. Among his guests were former treasury secretary William Simon and PepsiCo chairman Donald Kendall.
An aide to Haig, Sherwood D. Goldberg, gave the retired army general full credit. "It eliminated the need for four cars and it was a lot easier to spot."
Back at the Madison, the Haigs were among 100 guests of Frank Sinatra at a post-gala party. Some of the better-known faces in the crowd in the Dolley Madison Room were Pearl Bailey, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Merv Griffin, Charlton Heston, Eva Gabor, Mr. T and Don Rickles.
The Sinatra-Haig friendship began in the Nixon administration and flowered through the years. "They've been exchanging niceties with each other ever since," said Goldberg.