As to whether any new members were actually there was anyone’s guess, but no one seemed to mind as long as "Tucka" was there.
Tucka, as he's affectionately called, is the founder of The Daily Caller; Neil Patel is former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and their invite motto was "As always, The Daily Caller staff never needs a big excuse to party."
"We’re having this party tonight," said spokeswoman Becca Glover Watkins, "because we wanted to congratulate all of the new members and their staff on coming to Washington. We’ve got a lot of people in here right now and there’s going to be a lot more, so we’re telling people to drink up. If a member comes, we have staff ready to recognize them and they’ll probably be wearing their pins. It’s a great opportunity for reporters to meet the young staffers. We also welcome back all the returning members. Tucker and Neil may say a few words, but otherwise The Daily Caller‘s staff hopes to enjoy the free drinks as much as any other person in the room."
Mike Riggs and Becca Glover
And they did.
Niteside asked Carlson to give us a few comments, to which he replied: "I’m not going to talk about anything except to thank our sponsors [Edelman and Strategy One] and say that we have massive amounts of liquor and hope you will avail yourself of it. And, I’m going to let human nature take its course. We have a room of young, attractive intoxicated Washingtonians, shoulder to shoulder, temperatures rising... so who knows what’s going to happen. But I’m not playing the scene, I’m married."
As to whether there were actually any members at the closerthanthis crowd, he responded, "I doubt it; you’ll have to ask that man over there."
Tony Blankley weighed in on a more serious note. Blankley has had a prolific career, spanning from House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s press secretary to President Ronald Reagan’s policy analyst and speechwriter, as well as a stint at The Washington Times.
"I think the Congress has a big decision to make," Blankley said, "particularly the House Republicans. As to whether they are actually going to try to deal with the deficit or just try to frame the issues, I don’t know which way they will go on that decision."
Scott Wheeler, former TV producer and investigative journalist, was in a party frame of mind. As to the new Congress, he remarked: "There will be screaming, yelling and gnashing of teeth."
Christina Wilkie of The Hill has been up there all day and all night. "It feels like a learning time. We have so many new members they aren’t exactly sure where to go, or where to stand; we have a significantly higher number of people looking a little lost. We are talking about upwards of 1,000 new staff members and a lot of staff members that haven’t worked in politics before and there is a sort of sense of the first day of school. We try not to make fun of them."
But the most amusing comment of the evening came from Katy Adams, half of the Examiner’s Yeas and Nays. "If you Google Boehner," she said, "on the sixth entry it shows up in Dickapedia, a spoof from The Huffington Post comedy section. Boehner’s on there, right at the top.... How does that go so high up as the sixth entry? Go on, Google John Boehner, you’ll see the Dickapedia entry."
We actually did find someone with a pin. Niteside asked him if he was a freshman congressman. "No, I am the spouse of a member and I guess I’d better not comment on anything." So, you can’t comment on anything? "No, I just don’t want to." We will spare him the courtesy of not publishing his name; he has a lot to learn about Washington.
"I’m not trying to encourage people to drink," we heard Carlson instruct from a distance, "but there’s a lot of alcohol downstairs as well."
We have to wonder who is going to input their motto tomorrow morning: "While you slept, showered and shaved, we read today's papers and Web sites."