The Washington Times - January 20, 2009, 06:15AM

Tonight’s Huffington Post party was a fire marshal’s worst nightmare.

Held at the Newseum, this soiree attracted D.C. political hot shots, top pop stars and plenty of current and former Obama staffers.

The wait outside was cold but thankfully fairly brief. If you had a certain colored bracelet you were let in the VIP line.

At one point Dem strategist Joe Trippi (of Dean and Edwards fame) was pulled out of the regular person line and brought into the special line.

Also getting in ahead of the masses was the New York Times entourage - Jeff Zeleny, Adam Nagourney and editor Bill Keller in the mix.

Some Code Pink protesters mustered an effort with signs reading “Yes we can - end the war.”

Newly minted “Meet the Press” host David Gregory was quickly ushered through the rope line, along with several women by his side.

Humble award of the night goes to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who stood by as Gregory got in and did not alert the gatekeepers he also is D.C.-famous.

As I walked in, promoter Don King was the first person I spotted. He was wearing a denim shirt with a Mount Rushmore image emblazoned down the front.

I asked how he was feeling.

“This is wonderful,” he said. “Only in America.”

The party include a countdown to midnight and performances by the Black Eyed Peas who sang “Practice what you preach” and Sheryl Crow, who crooned “Change will do you good.”

Sting was a highlight, and Shakira and were spotted mingling in the crowd. 

I also saw Larry King kiss Arianna Huffington.

On a local note, Sonja Sohn, who plays Detective Shakima Greggs on The Wire, looked smashing in a gold strapless dress.

Among the political types I spotted from my perch on the 3rd floor in the massive crowd were Team Obama’s Nick Shapiro and Ben LaBolt, along with Hari Sevugan and superstar Taylor West.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher of California also made her way through the crowd.

On my walk to the Metro when it was over, I bumped into Sen. Chris Dodd, who told me I should have asked him to dance at the party.

Spotted taking the Red Line: Dem consultant Joe Lockhart and MSNBC’s Dan Abrams.

Several partiers started to chant President-elect Barack Obama’s “Fired up, ready to go!” slogan while waiting for the train.




 Christina Bellantoni, White House correspondent,
The Washington Times


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