A little rain (okay, a storm powerful enough to break the car windshield of veteran reporter Finlay Lewis and his wife, Willee, on their drive over) didn’t stop people from showing up to Bret Baier’s Monday night book party — at least not anyone who mattered.
The shindig for “Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire,” the Fox News anchor’s newest release, felt like stumbling into a White House staff meeting, but at the Marriott Marquis.
There’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions picking at the fruit spread while talking to Fox News reporter Peter Doocy about his latest get. Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, is chatting up Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.). Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is assembling a cheese plate at the buffet. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross basically can’t move without someone coming up to greet him and his wife, Hilary.
There’s Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, and Ambassadors Yousef al-Otaiba (United Arab Emirates), Dina Kawar (Jordan) and Elin Suleymanov (Azerbaijan). Marriott Executive Chairman Bill Marriott and his son David, and David’s wife, Carrie, are making their rounds. A slew of journalists such as Stephen Hayes, Chris Wallace, Mara Liasson, Bob Cusack and Jennifer Griffin are here. D.C. social elites such as Politico owner Robert Allbritton and his wife, Elena, and power couple Mae and Ande Grennan, who hosted the event with the Marriotts, are mingling. And of course, Bret’s wife, Amy Baier. Phew.
While Trump, the man who might love hobnobbing with his administration officials and Fox News top dogs the most, wasn’t present, he was there in spirit. Baier spoke on the connections that 45 shares with the subject of Baier’s book, former prez Ronald Reagan.
While Baier knew Russia would be a factor in the current news cycle when he decided to start writing, he couldn’t predict just how timely his book would be. He didn’t make linking Trump and Reagan the focus of his book, but he did note similarities between the two leaders, including how Reagan was underappreciated during his time.
“Their personalities are very different. … I don’t think Reagan would be that fond of Twitter,” Baier joked. “But here’s what’s similar: their ability to shift the paradigm … saying bold things makes people’s heads explode in Washington, but maybe changes the dynamic to set the table for something bigger.”
Does that mean Baier thinks history will treat Trump as favorably as Reagan? The jury’s still out on that one.
“I think history is going to have to judge that.”