Surrounded by a halo of handshakes were Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who has long toyed with a political bid, and JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon, a guy whose talk of patriotism and politics has some observers thinking he might make a go of it himself.
“I’m waiting until after the midterms to decide,” Cuban said when we pressed him about whether he’d take on President Trump. Dimon had been swallowed into the pack of suits, so we couldn’t take his temperature.
Besides the spectacle of watching what could be two presidential bids take shape, there was plenty of other people-watching to be had. Former White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett was at the coat-check stand, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer and Fox News’s Bret Baier were yukking it up in a corner, and newly elected Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) was making his debut onto the Washington party scene.
Axios co-founder Mike Allen, the Zelig-like reporter who formed the company with fellow Politico alumnus Jim VandeHei, was working the room. “Thanks for being a supporter,” he says as he stops to greet guests.
The prevailing observation in the crowd? Official Washington can’t believe it’s only been a year since Axios launched. That might be partly a testament to how quickly its bullet-pointed dispatches on the Trump White House have become a fixture of inboxes across the swamp. But it’s also an indication of the sheer volume of news that’s transpired in the last 365 days in the whiplash-inducing Trump era. In other words, that’s a lot of bullet points.