But never mind all that. Inside the gathering was a safe space, where friends, former colleagues and stalwarts of Washington’s social scene did all the things you would want your posse to do if you published a book: They lined up to inscribe messages to Spicer on a poster (“Congrats!” and “we love you” was the tone), get their copies signed and generally cheer for the author.
His wife, Rebecca Spicer, was front and center. The author’s mom, he said, was on the way.
There was zero chance of a combative, gone-viral interview during a Q&A here, since the questioner was Spicer’s podcast co-host, Katie Pavlich of Townhall.com. So Spicer drew nothing but cheers for the remarks he’s been giving in his recent flurry of media interviews promoting the book.
“It was sort of my American Dream,” he said of snagging the position of White House press secretary. He aired his well-circulated regrets. “We could have done a lot better that day,” he said of his first press briefing, in which he angered the press corps by falsely claiming Trump’s inauguration crowds were the largest in history, and disappointed his boss, who didn’t like his performance, “including suit choice.” Plenty of guffaws from the friendly crowd for that one, most of whom recalled President Trump’s disdain for Spicer’s untailored dress.
The party was ticketed, with admission running as high as $1,000 for a level called “Press Secretary,” which got you on the “host committee” plus four tickets, inscribed books and a VIP reception. But organizers had, in the days before the party, nixed the $30 fee for the lowest-priced ticket, the “Press Corp” level, and made it free, which resulted in some curious onlookers — a knot of Georgetown public-policy graduate students sipped drinks on the upper level. They were there, they said, to support their classmate who works for Spicer, to “learn more” about the book — and to maybe gawk a little at Official Washington gathered around open bars.
Mostly, there were pals and former colleagues from Spicer’s career on Capitol Hill, the RNC and the Bush administration: Bruce and Joyce Gates (she’s a former chief of staff to former House speaker John A. Boehner; he’s a co-owner of Pearl Street Warehouse and producer of the famous “warehouse parties” at GOP conventions); former Trump communications director Mike Dubke; Missy Jenkins of the Alliance for Aging Research; consultant David Carmen; longtime former RNC-er Sara Armstrong; and lobbyist and Bush alum Julie Cram.
But no current White House VIPs appeared to be in attendance — the Trump boldfacers were across town at the Trump hotel, where Trump booster Judge Jeanine Pirro was being feted for her new book “Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy.” That’s where you would have found the likes of Donald Trump Jr., Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Mercedes Schlapp and Corey Lewandowski, per a spy.
Trump World denizens haven’t missed their chance to show their Team Spicer bona fides, though. There’s another book party in his honor on Thursday, this one at the Trump International Hotel and co-hosted by Trump Jr. et al.