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Politico Turns 4 at a Pool Hall

Politico celebrated its fourth birthday last night at Continental Lounge in Roslyn, according to Mike Allen‘s morning Playbook.

The highlights:

A tablecloth that read: WINNING THE MORNING SINCE 2007.

Eight balls that read POLITICO.

The pub has filled 42 positions in three months and interviewed more yesterday.

The night was to remind them of their “heritage.”

A party game happened at the beginning. Guests were asked to write down who they enjoy working with most. The winner: Katherine Lehr of the Media & Special Projects team.

The tweeter, @FakeJimVandeHei, should be pleased. He or she got a shout-out when the real Executive Editor Jim VandeHei was gifted a T-shirt and shorts proclaiming: “KICKING YOUR @## SINCE 2007.” (All caps of course.)

Read Allen’s in-depth party write-up, which included a link too the picture at left…

POLITICO AT 4: Last night, POLITICO celebrated its fourth birthday with a family-only “First Term Bash” at Continental Lounge, a pool hall in Rosslyn, a few blocks from World Headquarters. “WINNING THE MORNING SINCE 2007″ said the red, white and blue tablecloth at the entrance. It was a chance to salute our amazing colleagues, who have built POLITICO into a journalistic and commercial success story that has filled 42 new positions in the past three months, and interviewed for a bunch more yesterday. This month, we launched POLITICO Pro, a slick series of policy-focused POLITICOs devoted to energy, health care and tech. The amazing response has blown away every projection, proving anew that we have cracked the code on sustainable journalism for the 21st century. Last night, screens overhead reminded us of our heritage with a montage of screenshots and front pages from the early days – the debates, the election-night webcasts, the wee-hours TV hits from crazy locations.

As we walked into the party, we filled out a card asking which “POLITICO I enjoy working with most … and probably don’t tell enough.” The winner was the multitasking Katherine Lehr, a beloved member of the Media & Special Projects team. In a sly memorialization of POLITICO lingo, John F. Harris was presented with a cap saying, “LET’S MINDMELD.” The real Jim VandeHei, the Vince Lombardi of news, also unwrapped a gift — a T-shirt and shorts proclaiming: “KICKING YOUR @## SINCE 2007.” The guys saw the future as no one else did: They turned out to be gifted leaders, managers and recruiters, and built a thriving, gutsy organization that’s been a journalistic and commercial smash beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Robert Allbritton and Fred Ryan had the courage and foresight to back them as they took us all on this great adventure. With the headcount now at 190, Robert and Fred still tease the guys about their initial pitch that all they needed was “the five right people.”

Amid the fancy cupcakes and down-home stadium food, it was a night for a little POLITICO lore: It turns out that if Autumn VandeHei hadn’t thought of “POLITICO,” we probably would have been named “Power and Politics.” (We were “The Politico” until just before launch, when we were finally able to buy POLITICO.com.) For awhile during the germination weeks, there was a push for “PoliticUS.” And Mike Allen still owns the URLs for all the bad names we bought after every brainstorming session: “Political Zoo,” “Political Huddle,” “Political Circus.” Last night was also a chance to pay tribute to the gifted young people we have the joy and privilege of serving beside: They have so much talent and drive – such bright personal and professional futures — and toil with so much dedication and good cheer. Very humbling. And so, a toast: Four more years!

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