Podesta, Andrew Light, Mike Lowry, Susan Baker in D.C.

Jane Oates, assistant secretary of the Employment and Training Administration, and The Podesta Group Founder Tony Podesta. Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

“The Rise of Marco Rubio” was the subject last night at the 701 restaurant, site of a reception for the new book by Manuel Roig-Franzia.

Tony Podesta, the founder of the Podesta Group, said he didn’t think Rubio, a junior senator from Florida and rising Republican star, would make the Romney ticket, but he did offer this prediction: “He’ll be the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee someday. I like him.”

Podesta and Jane Oates, an assistant secretary for Employment and Training, talked about plans for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. He secured an apartment just a few blocks from the Time Warner Cable Arena by swapping it for time in his place in Venice.

While Roig-Franzia signed books, cocktails and bruschette were passed along with summer vacation stories.

Amy Weiss, a principal with Point Blank Public Affairs LLC and Peter Kadzik, with Dickstein Shapiro LLP, just returned from Provence and Sonoma.

“We drank a glass of wine or two,” Kadzik said.

Andrew Light with the Center for American Progress said he enjoys lazing on a beach reading “Demon Fish,” soon to be in paperback, by his wife, the Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin.

Homeless Awards

Mike Lowry, executive director of Washington Agricultural Families Assistance, and David Wertheimer, a deputy director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also swapped vacation stories Tuesday night at the Kennedy Center.

The two were present for the annual awards ceremony of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Wertheimer accepted the Private Sector Achievement Award as the chairman of Funders Together to End Homelessness, the only national network for grant makers funding homeless causes.

The Gates Foundation is among the more than 140 funders, as is the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which was represented Tuesday evening by Bill Pitkin, the director of domestic programs.

Bill Hobson accepted the Nonprofit Sector Achievement Award as executive director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, a provider of homeless services in Seattle. Mary Ann Borgeson, a county commissioner in Douglas, Omaha, received the Public Sector Achievement Award for helping 166 Katrina evacuees to Nebraska.

The center of attention was Susan G. Baker, wife of former Secretary of State James Baker. She co-founded the National Alliance to End Homelessness and serves as its co-chairman.

She beamed in a bright blue dress, welcoming guests like Stephen Coyle, the chief executive of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, and Gary Parsons, the former chairman of Sirius XM Radio, now chief executive of NextNav LLC.

Taxing ‘Privileged’

Coyle had done some number-crunching and shared some of his solutions to ending homelessness in America. One was hitting the “privileged” with higher tax rates to pay for more housing.

The ceremony began with a performance by the Ambassadors of Praise choral group of N Street Village, a Washington shelter for women, and featured a reading from Miriam’s Kitchen Studio Poets.

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

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