Past the phalanx of valet parkers, the strains of “Close to You” played by a small jazz band greeted guests at the door. White-jacketed waiters swarmed, bearing trays of tea sandwiches. The lighting was soft, and vintage photos of Bradlee grinned out from the hors d’oeuvres tables.
He wasn’t the only one smiling. The mood wasn’t somber, despite the sad occasion and the drizzle outside. Bob Woodward sidled up to one of a few bars for a glass of white wine. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi mingled, and somewhere across the crowd, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer was doing the same.
Tom Brokaw was hitting the shrimp plate — hard.
And as the crowd began to thin, heading back out to waiting cars and taxis, several partygoers broke into song, crooning along with the band in an uptempo “Bye Bye Blackbird,” and shuffling a few dance steps.