Today FishbowlMatt and I take you inside last night’s book party at the Northwest Washington home of Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and his wife, Susie, for famed ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The book: Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist. We’ll give you a play-by-play interpretation of what went down — FishbowlDC style. Some of it’s blind quoting, eavesdropping, and prison jokes, for which we make no apologies. Some of it’s petty and juvenile and involves taking advantage of people who have had a few drinks (a la HuffPost‘s Drunken Specialist Sam Stein), for which we also make no apologies. By the way, actor Kevin Spacey and former Washington Mayor Marian Barry both RSVP’d that they’d attend. Neither showed. Who did? Find out after the jump…
5:07 p.m. FishbowlMatt texts and wants to know what I’m wearing. I tell him I’m dressing down, that we’re going to a party where there will be an island of misfits and we can wear whatever we want. I assure him my outfit will not incorporate Stephanie Green golf ball-size multi-strand pearl necklaces.
6:40 p.m. We arrive fashionably early Tucker’s house and are greeted by friendly valets.
6:41 p.m. Publicist Janet Donovan arrives by cab with a giant golden handbag.
6:42 p.m. It’s 66 degrees outside. Roaring fire clearly for ambiance. Not function.
6:45 p.m. Tucker is holding court by the fireplace discussing the Politico story about The Daily Caller‘s “growing pains” published earlier in the day. He has a lot of reactions, one of which involves explaining the importance of “pissing up.” All in all, the story didn’t upset him.
6:55 p.m. We go to the more remote bar off the living room where intern Jordan Bloom is dressed in a white shirt and black bow tie and tending bar. Matt writes, “We meet Jordan Bloom, battered intern.”
7 p.m. Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle arrives and chats up Tucker about the Politico story. Boyle refuses to talk to any member of the press on the record.
7:10 p.m. We run into communications exec David Bass in a big fat striped suit. The suit has fat blue and white stripes; Bass isn’t plump. We start snapping his picture. He wants a do over, explaining, “I have the same stupid look on my face in every picture. Let me try not to look stupid.”
7:20 p.m. Oh look. It’s The Weekly Standard/Daily Caller‘s Matt Labash. He quickly admires FishbowlMatt’s gray tweed pants and says I’m not allowed to write anything about anything he says or he’ll break both my legs (the first part of this is true). FBDCMatt describes his trousers as a “tweed flannel hybrid.” Labash is clearly impressed.
7:21 p.m. More guests arrive. FishbowlMatt commentary: “There’s a glitterball coming in right now.”
7:22 p.m. Bathroom door locks but doesn’t latch. Not worth taking a chance. (Capitol File Editor-in-Chief Kate Bennett will later say someone walked in on her while she was in the can. She says she was just washing her hands.)
7: 25 p.m. Politico‘s Patrick Gavin and FishbowlMatt begin an in-depth conversation about no-iron shirts. Matt says he’s a “holy hell sweater.” Gavin says he plans to buy a decent wardrobe in the new year. Tonight he has worn a long-sleeved maroon shirt made of waffle material. It’s from the Gap.
7:30 p.m. I place a half-full wine glass on a stack of Jack Abramoff books for a moment and an undisclosed reporter says, “He was in prison for three years and tried not to get rimmed and look what you’re doing with a wine glass on the Abramoff books.”
7:33 p.m. An undisclosed reporter asks, “Who is that fat guy on the couch? I mean, he’s ‘stop-on-the-street’ fat. Isn’t he?”
7:34 p.m.: NYT‘s Mark Leibovich chats with partygoers. He says the book’s slowly coming along but that he must get back to regular newspaper writing soon. Guests tell him they can’t wait to read his book.
7:35 p.m. The living room speeches begin. Tucker says (in part): “I think Jack is a genuinely nice person. I don’t trust anyone who hasn’t been humiliated in public.” He mentions being on “Dancing With the Stars.”
7:37 p.m. Jack: “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he tells a packed room of guests. “This is my first book and may be my last if no one reads it.” He explains that his publicist Janet “is working me to the ground. I had 17 interviews today. I don’t have a tail and horns.” He says his wife, Pam, doesn’t read newspapers or watch TV. He also says she kept removing herself from the book until he explained that he had to explain where their children came from. Jack on prison life: “It’s a horrific place.” Jack on the kindness of others: “I’m not sure we deserve it, but I hope we keep meriting your friendship.” He recounts being on FNC’s Sean Hannity‘s program last week. He told Hannity he was going to appear on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell‘s show. Hannity tried to talk him out of it, telling him it was a waste of time. Jack appeared on O’Donnell’s “Last Word” anyhow and grew frightened as he spotted Michael Moore. He thought to himself, ‘We better hide.’ Soon he hears Moore inquiring, “Where’s Jack?” Moore approached and said, “God bless you. Keep up the great work. It’s fantastic.” Jack’s reaction: “Am I dreaming?” He calls the evening at Carlson’s home “the finest night of our lives in the last eight years. This tops them all.”
8:30 p.m. (roughly): A guest is ready to leave. He remarks, “I think I’ve done my time here, so to speak.” Reporters in the vicinity laugh.
Find out which reporter with a liberal agenda crashed the party…