When I was reading Ashley Parker’s very amusing piece on the Obama administration’s younger staffers the thought that came to mind was that for a place that often feels like a very small town it’s in some ways bigger than it seems. After all, I think I’ve actually never encountered someone in a social situation and then it turns out that he or she is working in the administration. Indeed, I rarely even see anyone who I knew socially before they joined the administration. Mostly executive branch political appointees seem to work very long hours and you don’t see them much and the most compromising social relationships media types tend to have is our tendency to all hang out with each other all the time.
This all got undermined, though, because last night I was invited to a bona fide insidery cocktail party straight out of Glenn Greenwald’s worst nightmare (Cass Sunstein was even there) where I met Eric Lesser who’s heavily featured in the article. So arguably my point is discredited, but I prefer to think of it as an “exception that proves the rule” kind of situation since I’m invited to fancy parties roughly never. At any rate, this is a funny anecdote Parker put together:
“What do you say to the first lady?” one male staff member, dubious of the first lady’s efforts to set him up, moaned to me during dinner at the J&G Steakhouse in the W Hotel last summer. “‘I didn’t like her? She wore a push-up bra?’”
Anyways, this was the kind of party where they have a photographer whose job it is to document all the famous/important people who are there. So my official place in the pecking order was established by the fact that Ezra Klein was photographed and I was not.