The annual Christmas party held at the home of private GOP strategist Ron Bonjean and his wife, Sara, can never be described as a somber affair. There are things you can bank on: a washed up actor, laughter, an ice luge, a smelly elf who makes balloon toys, more laughter, food, drink and good holiday cheer! Hoards of journos and Capitol Hill and K Street types piled into the couple’s home on Saturday night. This year’s actor was looney-eyed activist Gary Busey (a vast difference from last year’s relatively subdued Mr. Belding). Busey was a real hit with the ladies because what woman doesn’t want her bra snapped at a party? There was also an increasingly drunken dirty dancing dude in a pink bunny costume making his way around the tent. You’ll hear more about him later. We warmly bring you a moment by moment guide to the evening.
8 p.m. FishbowlDC dines with former FBDCer Matt Dornic, now at CNN, at Neyla in Georgetown. He asks the bartender what to eat that won’t cause bad breath.
10:15 p.m. FBDC arrives. We pass conservative commentator S.E. Cupp and Rep. Raul Labrador‘s (R-Idaho) Chief of Staff John Goodwin, who were leaving the party.
10:16 p.m. Spotted: House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor‘s (R-Va.) Communication’s Director Brad Dayspring. Speak of the devil! We were just saying he’d probably be here.
10:17 p.m. A partygoer remarks: “Gary Busey is holding court somewhere. I’m going to sit on his lap.”
10:18 p.m. Be careful, warns The Hill‘s Emily Goodin. Gary Busey is “grabby.”
10: 19 p.m. NRCC Spokesman Brian Walsh introduces his new blond, shapely girlfriend around the party. He remarks, “Gary Busey is quite a character.” Another partygoer remarks, “This is getting f–king crazy. Busey is crazy.”
10:20 p.m. A male guest on Busey: “People are complaining about the boob grabs.”
10:21 p.m. Guests line up to meet Busey and take their picture with him. One enormous woman in a gray dress poses with him. He wraps his arm around her, reaches for her bra strap, and SNAP!
10:22 p.m. A woman in line laughs at the bra snapping and says, “We still gotta get a photo. What the hell, right?”
10:25 p.m. Female partygoer says, “I think there are hookers here. I don’t know what the f–k is going on.”
10:30 p.m. FBDC gets face time with Busey. He thankfully stays away from my bra strap. “We need to turn this mess into a message,” he says, speaking of the political landscape, explaining that his goal is to be a political motivational speaker (he successfully lobbied for a helmet law after he got into an accident and suffered a head trauma). I ask what side of the political spectrum he’s on and he replies, “I’m on the right side. I’m like a heat seeking missile when it comes to telling the truth.” So who’s he backing? That’d be Newt Gingrich. At this point he says he can’t hear me even though I try leaning into each ear to shout my questions at the top of my lungs above the din of mingling guests. He directs me to his publicist, Michael Conley, who’s standing nearby. “Oh, he’s very charismatic,” Conley says of Busey. “He tells the truth so people relate to him. He says what people are afraid to say. Gary has never been afraid to tell the truth because the truth is the truth.” What else would the truth be besides the truth? Who wrote these talking points? “He’s here to help humanity and be who God wants you to be,” Conley says, explaining that Busey is very into the Golden Rule. So does this mean that I get to snap his briefs?
10:45 p.m. A male Capitol Hill aide wants to discuss our Friday penis picture that accompanies our weekly feature, “Sunday Morning Panels: Only Males Need Apply.” He wants to know, “Are they wooden, are they candles?”
11 p.m. The big wild hairdo of TWT‘s Charlie Hurt is spotted afar from across the room. Recalling last year’s Bonjean Christmas party, he says this sometimes happens when he washes it. He’s taunting partygoers with a miniature silver gun that doubles as a lighter. Actually, it’s just a lighter but it has a red light on it that he keeps directing at people’s necks. USA Today’s Sue Davis stops by to say hello and make fun of his clothing, which appears to be some sort of barn jacket and khakis.
11:15 p.m. More Busey party chatter. A male partygoer says, “You’re not knocking Gary Busey. He’s at the top of his game. He lost his face and his mind.” A different male guest tells me that Busey told his date the following: “I know what we’re going to do later. We’re going to sweat.” WHAT?
11:30 p.m. Three different female journos approach FBDC to complain about the baseball caps worn by Politico founders Jim VandeHei and John Harris. One couldn’t distinguish between the two and referred to VandeHei as the one with the fake Twitter alias (that would be Fake Jim VandeHei or Vandaheeho, a pronunciation coined by SNL late Saturday night). All the women were incensed about the hats. “They look like they’re sixth graders in a gang. It’s almost like they planned it,” said one. Another remarked that it was offensive and tacky to wear baseball caps to a Christmas party.
11: 45 p.m. The elf wanders into the crowd and begins his balloon act for The Hill‘s Goodin. Someone nearby says, “He doesn’t smell right.”
11:50 p.m. Meanwhile, the male pink bunny is randomly dirty dancing with women he passes. In a word: disturbing. The bunny knocks into FBDC. “Love you, love you,” he says.
11:55 p.m. TWT‘s Susan Crabtree walks by on her way to meet Busey. She says, “Gary Busey was in my favorite surfer movie.”
Just after Midnight: Who invited ABC “What Would You Do” host John Quinones? A drunken, crying woman is sitting down on steps with her head in her lap. Her male companion is yanking on her arm. Many in the vicinity begin to stare. She’s obviously had too much to drink. Some say she was puking. Her mascara is running. Female partygoers circle around her, wondering what to do. At one point a guy approaches the clearly hostile male companion and says with disdain, “Take her home, man.” The companion again grabs at the woman. He tries to prop her up and it’s not going smoothly, as he isn’t in such hot shape himself. They finally make it out a side door as a number of guests lament that they should have done something to help.
12:45 a.m. The witching hour is fast approaching. The party begins winding down but is still whirring with that late-night had too much to drink blue-lit aura. Ron says it’s nearly time for him to relax and have a beer. Busey and his publicist are still here. Are they contemplating a sleepover?
12:50 a.m. Goodnight. We’re outta here. Thank you Ron and Sara for your hospitality.
See more names after the jump…Also, UPDATE: Read a partygoer’s recollection about an altercation that was witnessed between Busey and the guy in the pink bunny costume.
A sampling of guests: NJ’s Chris Frates, Quorvis’ Sam Dealey, former TIME scribe Tim Burger, Susan G. Komen’s Kiki Ryan, CBS’s Christine Delargy and her brother, Glenn Ballard, TWT’s Brett Decker and Anneke Green, NBC’s Erika Masonhall, Salt Lake Tribune’s Thomas Burr, Sen. John Thune’s Spokesman Kyle Downey, Rep. Lungren’s Press Sec. Brian Kaveney, Nick Massella, Roll Call’s Abby Livingston and Shira Toeplitz, Washingtonian’s Luke Mullins and Real Clear Politics’ Erin McPike.
Anonymous partygoer: “One thing I wish you’d seen — Gary Busey schooling the guy in the rabbit suit. Apparently he posed like Tim Tebow with Busey in the background for a photograph. Busey flipped out and started shouting at his publicist to take the film away (surprising in a digital age). Publicist was slow to respond; Busey gets up like he’s going to fight the guy! Somehow the picture is is deleted — didn’t see if it was by bunny-suited guy or a friend — and it is proven to publicist that the photo is gone. Rabbitman is dragged away by friends, acting belligerent like he wants to fight Busey (at this point, the suit is half off; he’s pink-panted from the waist down). Busey starts to calm down, but the line of people waiting to chat with him has thinned out of fear. Busey looked like a rabid dog (more than usual). He’s placated with a blond woman who is handpicked by the publicist to be next, despite not being in line.”
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