There is glee among political leaders in Virginia (which voted for Ronald Reagan) but something akin to nonchalance in Maryland and the District (which did not) at the week's inaugural festivities.
By virtue of being a Republican as well as chairman of the 25-member Republican Governors Association, Virginia Governor John Dalton is one of the busiest of the area officials.
Saturday night, he introduced and escorted President-elect Reagan around the Crystal Room of the Washington Hilton at a $1,000-a-person Salute to the States.
"We spent about 25 minutes together," Dalton told a gaggle of Virginians who had queued up at his box at yesterday's Governors' Reception at the Sheraton Washington Hotel. "It was a very excititng time," he said of his chat with Reagan, as his wife Eddy, nodded in agreement.
In the far corner of the sprawling Sheraton ballroom, Maryland Gov. Harry Hughes, one of several Democratic chief executives on hand to lend a bipartisan air to the event, estimated that nearly half the people who greeted him during the three-hour affair were non-Marylanders.
"Why are you here?" someone needled Hughes. "That's what I'm wondering," he said, and then, with his wife Patricia, nudging him and grinning, he added, "in the spirit of co-operation. Yes, that's why I'm here."
Hughes was joined in his box by two other Maryland Democrats, House Speaker Ben Cardin and Senate President Jim Clark."It's an American day, not a partisan day," explained Cardin.
Also on hand was the only District official to have a high-profile role in the festivities, Mayor Marion Barry. He has been accorded the protocol status of governor for the inaugural and had his own booth -- just like real governors -- at the reception.
"Obviously, a lot of people who think of themselves as leaders of the community aren't here," Barry said as he looked out over the Republican throng. "I don't think people are really excited."
For the District's heavily Democratic political community, a Republican inauguration just isn't the same as a Democratic one. The city's local big-wigs are on the outs, with little role in planning the Reagan inaugural and only a recent surge of interest in attending the events.
Guy Draper, the city's former acting chief of protocol, was on the arrangements committee for the Democratic National Convention in August and could have been in line to play a major role in a second Jimmy Carter inauguration. Now, he's attending a few events, but that's about all.
"When you're planning for Democrats, you have to plan a Rolls-Royce event on a Chevy budget," Draper said yesterday as he mingled among the assembled Republicans at the Governors Reception, held at the Sheraton Washington Hotel."My interest in these GOP events is to see what a Rolls-Royce budget looks like."
Some Marylanders are deeply involved in the inaugural festivities, partly because of their proximity to the nation's capital.
Louise Gore, a one-time GOP nominee for governor, was given the assignment of finding 400 hostesses for the nine inaugural balls, which turned out to be a good way of rewarding loyal Maryland Republicans, because it not only assured 400 women, and their escorts, of getting to the balls, but of complimentary tickets too.
And one of the larger private parties this weekend was last night's high tea at the DAR Library, hosted by Richard and Barbara Taylor of Potomac. About 500 people were invited, all of whom had contributed at least $2,500 to the Republican congressional campaign fund, to honor former President Ford, Vice President-elect George Bush, several members of the Reagan Cabinet and officials of the Republican congressional leadership.
With Republilcans now controlling virtually all the major elective offices in Virginia, political figures from that state are among the most active socializers in town. And given the Hollywood tinge to the inaugural activities, it's natural that Sen. John W. Warner and his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, are among the most visible of the political celebrities. They held a reception in their Georgetown home yesterday afternoon for the new Republican senators and Cabinet members, and tomorrow afternoon, wives of the new senators and Cabinet members are invited to a special screening of Miss Taylor's new move, "The Mirror Crack'd."