Scene in DC: Casey, Baucus, McCarthy, Smits, Ambassadors

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Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

National Multiple Sclerosis Society National Capital Chapter president J. Christopher Broullire, and Senator Robert Casey, Pennsylvania Democrat.

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Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

National Multiple Sclerosis Society National Capital Chapter president J. Christopher Broullire, and Senator Robert Casey, Pennsylvania Democrat. Close

National Multiple Sclerosis Society National Capital Chapter president J. Christopher Broullire, and Senator Robert... Read More

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Ambassador Michael Collins of Ireland and his wife, Marie Collins. Close

Ambassador Michael Collins of Ireland and his wife, Marie Collins.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, and his wife, Judy McCarthy. Close

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, and his wife, Judy McCarthy.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall in her Oscar de la Renta dress. Close

U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall in her Oscar de la Renta dress.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

The scene inside the Ritz Carlton ballroom for the 34th annual Ambassadors Ball. Close

The scene inside the Ritz Carlton ballroom for the 34th annual Ambassadors Ball.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Betsy Savage, senior manager with Walmart, Sarah Beatty, director of federal government relations for Walmart, and Tres Bailey, director of federal government relations for Walmart, which gave $50,000 to the event. Close

Betsy Savage, senior manager with Walmart, Sarah Beatty, director of federal government relations for Walmart, and... Read More

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Actor and National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts co-founder Jimmy Smits and arts supporter Adrienne Arsht. Close

Actor and National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts co-founder Jimmy Smits and arts supporter Adrienne Arsht.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Academy award nominee Damian Bichir and his girlfriend, Stefanie Sherk. Close

Academy award nominee Damian Bichir and his girlfriend, Stefanie Sherk.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Ruby Beserra, vice president of Latin affairs for Coca Cola, and Frank Ros, vice president for Hispanic strategies for Coca Cola. Close

Ruby Beserra, vice president of Latin affairs for Coca Cola, and Frank Ros, vice president for Hispanic strategies for Coca Cola.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Joe Avila and Elizabeth Brakebill with Ford Motor Company. Close

Joe Avila and Elizabeth Brakebill with Ford Motor Company.

At the 34th Ambassadors Ball Wednesday night, Senator Robert Casey read a message from President Barack Obama about the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya.

The gala, held in honor of Washington’s diplomatic corps, raises funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Capital Chapter.

Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, was saluted along with Congressman Lee Terry, a Nebraska Republican, for work on behalf of Multiple Sclerosis. Casey is co-chairman of the MS Caucus in the U.S. Senate, and Terry is a member of the Congressional MS Caucus.

At the cocktail reception, Casey said that Ann Romney’s public discussions about her own battle with MS will “personalize” the condition and “lead to more bipartisan efforts.”

The diplomats wore red roses, while the legislators wore white ones. Among the ambassadors present were Arturo Sarukhan of Mexico, Perezi Kamunanwire of Uganda, Shankar Sharma of Nepal, and Michael Collins of Ireland.

Senator Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, and Senator Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, turned out to support their wives, Melodee Hanes, and Annie Coons, who served as co-chairmen of the event.

Indian Dance

During a dinner of beef tenderloin and pumpkin ravioli, a dancer from the Sutradhar Institute performed a traditional Indian number.

Wearing an Oscar de la Renta gown with a keyhole back, U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall offered a champagne toast to her diplomatic colleagues all over the world.

Then Congressman Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, hit the dance floor with his wife, Judy, another ball co-chairman.

The gala raised $850,000, which includes major corporate gifts from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Teva Neuroscience Inc., Boeing Co. (BA) and Southern Co. (SO), among others.

Empty Chair

“I gotta tell you, bro, you’re gonna need us,” said actor Jimmy Smits Tuesday night, speaking to an empty chair representing President Obama at the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts gala.

Smits’s reference to the crucial Hispanic vote in this year’s presidential election drew a ripple of chuckles and claps.

The 16th annual Noche de Gala at the historic Mayflower Renaissance Hotel honored actor Demian Bichir and rising actresses Cierra Ramirez and Gina Rodriguez.

Ford Motor Co. (F) was the primary underwriter. Toy cars were placed on the tables as centerpieces in a nod to the motor company.

Smits and Bichir both said they were impressed with the speech given by Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, at the Republican National Convention last month.

“He’s going to be one of the great politicians,” Bichir said. “Notice I skipped the word ’Hispanic,’” he added.

The Mexican Bichir portrayed an undocumented worker in “A Better Life,” which won him an Academy Award nomination this year. He was given the foundation’s Raul Julia Award for Excellence for his blending of advocacy into his art.

Smits said he will hit the road for President Obama, but the “surrogate thing” doesn’t come naturally to him as public speaking is sometimes intimidating “without my script.” His character Matt Santos on the hit series “The West Wing” successfully campaigned for president.

American Idol

Representative Loretta Sanchez, California Democrat, chatted with “American Idol” finalist Stefano Langone, who performed Tuesday night, and actor Esai Morales, who along with Smits is a co-founder of the organization.

Arts supporter Adrienne Arsht, in “very old” Marchesa, attended the gala with her friend Jorge Plasencia, the chairman and chief executive of advertising agency Republica.

Other private-sector leaders present included Frank Ros, vice president for Hispanic strategies for Coca Cola Co. (KO), Ruby Beserra, vice president of Latin affairs for Coca Cola, and Jerry Fuentes, president of Arizona and New Mexico for AT&T Inc. (T)

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on theater, Greg Evans on movies.

To contact the writer on this story: StephanieGreen in Washington at sgreen57@bloomberg.net or on Twitter @stephlgreen.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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