Lanny Davis, Darrell Issa; Old Wilson House: D.C. SceneStephanie Green
Attorney and TV commentator Lanny J. Davis celebrated his new book, “Crisis Tales: Five Rules for Coping With Crises in Business, Politics, and Life,” with a wine and cheese reception last night at the Hamilton.
Turnout was strong and bipartisan. Host James Wholey, partner and co-chairman of the government-affairs group at law firm Dilworth Paxson LLP, marveled at “what you can accomplish with an open bar.”
Davis also works for the firm, yet the two men differ on politics. Davis is a former attorney in the Clinton White House, and Wholey was a top staffer to former Republican Senator Bob Dole.
Crises “admit no party or ideology,” Wholey said.
Davis has made his name as a virtual crisis fireman for a range of clients from Clinton to Martha Stewart.
Representative Darrell Issa, the California Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and his fellow committee member Representative Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Democrat, paid homage to Davis for forging partnerships on both sides of the aisle throughout his career.
Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Davis have joined forces on Purple Nation Solutions, a lobbying and media consulting firm.
“Hence the purple shirt and tie,” Steele said, referring to his wardrobe choice of the day.
Steele and Issa voiced hope at the news this week that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush may run for president.
“All odd numbers belong to the Bushes,” Issa joked.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said he was heading to warmer climes this week to speak at the Goldwater Institute in Arizona about his favorite subject: fiscal discipline.
“We’re friends even though we disagree about virtually everything,” Davis said of Norquist. Their one political meeting point: “I’m a good liberal Democrat, except on the deficit. I’m a deficit hawk,” Davis said.
Among the Democrats in the house were Representative Rob Andrews of New Jersey, Representative Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania, and former congressman C. Thomas McMillen of Maryland, now the chairman and chief executive of Timios National Corp.
Woodrow Wilson House, where the former president lived after vacating the White House, was the site of a dinner Monday evening to mark the centennial of his inauguration.
Guests hovered around Wilson’s desk and piano during the cocktail hour. A three-course meal was served in the dining room under a portrait of Wilson’s second wife, Edith.
One of the last events she hosted was a reception for Jacqueline Kennedy as the new first lady in the spring of 1961. Edith Wilson died that December.
“Historic places matter,” said Robert Enholm, executive director of the Woodrow Wilson House. “There is a solemnity to this place.”
Thomas Perriello, former Democratic congressman of Virginia and president and chief executive officer of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, drew comparisons between the Wilson and Obama eras, calling both presidents “intellectual, hyper-rational globalists.”
(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 Ryan Sutton on dining, David Shribman on books.