Paul Kirk had his coming-out party last night.
And for the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, the party at the party seemed to put aside its problems, mind its manners and say nothing but nice things. All reception long.
"I think he's someone who has enormous talent and integrity," said Pamela Harriman, Democratic Party fundraiser. About 250 people packed her Georgetown house for the evening.
"I think Mr. Kirk is a very experienced and responsive . . . no, let me start over," said former DNC chairman Robert Strauss. "I've known Mr. Kirk politically and professionally, and as a lawyer and a politician he's responsible, he's sensitive and he's sincere."
"Well, I think we're all looking forward to the solidification of the party," said Carter White House social secretary Gretchen Poston. "I see all different people. I'm seeing all of the people from all different areas.whe Army. I knew he'd never amount to anything," Occidental Petroleum president William McSweeny joked. McSweeny and Kirk are both from Massachusetts.
But there was only a murmur made about anyone other than Kirk. And that was about Virginia Gov. Charles Robb a principal organizer of the DLC. Robb wasn't there, and although one guest was reported to have asked who Robb thinks he is, stirring up so much trouble in the party, most people wrote it off as being a natural part of party problems.
"We've always had problems. It doesn't matter. We've never been all one group. It's the party of arguments and disagreements, but we've got the issues right," said Esther Coopersmith, a party fundraiser.
"It takes damn few credentials and no pedigree to be a Democrat," said Wright.