On Sunday, January 18, The Daily Beast and Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC hosted a crowded brunch sponsored by MDC Partners to celebrate the inauguration. The locale: just two blocks (plus a few dozen squad cars and armed guards) away from the White House at the new DC home of the Council on Foreign Relations, thanks to the generosity of its president Richard Haass. Champagne-fueled “Obamimosas”—compliments of Moet Hennessy—flowed, hot quiche was devoured, and a stream of new and old D.C. faces circled the room.
David Axelrod—Obama’s chief strategist—was certainly the man to meet, but there were notable attendees from both sides of the aisle. Christophers Hitchens and Buckley drank highballs. Gayle King, Richard Holbrooke, Peggy Noonan, Mort Zuckerman, Howard Fineman, Jeff Zucker, Madeleine Albright and Arianna Huffington chatted about the coming events. Chris Matthews arrived with wife and son in tow. John Cusack stopped by on his way to the We Are One musical smorgasbord that would take place later that afternoon, and Jay Carney, Biden’s newly minted communications director, showed off his new transition team blackberry. The city certainly felt like the center of the country during the brunch—and it didn’t take three Obamimosas to see it.