On Thursday, May 15, 2014, an event was held to celebrate the publication of Arianna Huffington’s book, “Thrive” at The Jefferson in Washington, DC. The event was hosted by Constance Milstein, Gail MacKinnon, and Rachel Pearson, and featured guest speaker, U.S. Senator Al Franken.
California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom felt right at home at Washington’s Jefferson Hotel on February 16th to discuss his new book, “Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government.” While WHCInsider provided live coverage of the program C-SPAN’s Book TV covered all the action from the Gallatin Room for an upcoming segment (scheduled for next weekend or so). Newsom mingled among the select crowd of reporters and government officials keen to hear how Farmville can become legitimate models for politicos. Among the crowd were Newsom’s old friend Hilda Solis, the former Secretary of Labor, and former California Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, who paid tribute to Newsom as a strong leader for California and in technology. The book party was co-hosted by Constance Milstein and JC de la Haye St. Hilarie, Tammy Haddad and Ellen Tauscher. Top Obamaites Evan Ryan and her husband Tony Blinken, Jeremy and Robyn Bash, Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley, Jane Oates, joined journalists Kate Boulduan Jim Fallows, who recently moved back to Washington, Jane Mayer, from the New Yorker,Michael Falcone from ABC News, David Chalian and Jonathan Martin from Politico, Betsy Fischer Martin of Meet the Press and Rob Saliterman from Google. Eve O’Toole, whom Newsom called his “best friend and trusted adviser” and her husband Peter O’Toole, joined Holly Page, Mandy Grunwald, Martha Slagle , Jonathan Capehart, Judy Kurtz, Heather Podesta, Melissa Moss, and “get excited” chairman Marc Adelman.
After Newsom signed copies of his new book and gave a few brief interviews, the crowd retreated for a closed door dinner and more than a few verses from some popular songs. While that remains a secret, check out some photos from the event to see what you missed when gaming change comes to Washington:
CURE Epilepsy’s 2012 Key to the Cure event announced a new Slash The Stache campaign: CNN pundit and Purple Strategies’ own Alex Castellanos has volunteered to give up his moustache if he can bring in 500 more donors. At the event, co-hosted by Connie Milstein and JC de La Haye Saint Hilarie, Tammy Haddad and Susan & David Axelrod, David Axelrod started off remarks with a rhetorical question: “So what’s a mustache,” said Axelrod. “What’s a mustache mean? We got $1.1 million to remove it.”
Held at a private residence in Washington, D.C., Susan and David Axelrod, fresh from their Morning Joe appearance where he lost his iconic mustache, informed the assembled crowd about the DC campaign. “Alex called me and said ‘I’d be willing to join you in this Slash the Stache’ movement if that would be helpful. Tonight we announced on CNN if we can add another 500 donors to the 26 donors we added this month, he will shave his mustache off on CNN. Which, as Alex pointed out, for a Cuban is even harder than it is for me.”
Axelrod closed out his announcement by making way for a surprise guest: Vice President Joe Biden.
“He has great empathy for people who struggle,” said Axelrod in his introduction. “He came out and spoke at our dinner last year in Chicago. Everyone in that room felt like there was a family member there talking to them because he understood their struggles.”
“I came tonight,” said Vice President Biden, “because I think it’s appropriate to nominate Susan for the Nobel peace prize. Because it’s great to be at a bi-partisan event in Washington where everyone knows what to cut and who should pay for it.”
The Vice President went on to address the effects of epilepsy, including the fifteen million effected throughout the world by the disease along with 65,000 that perish from the disease. Referencing his own sister-in-law’s son, Vice President Biden described it as “not only a lightning storm in the brain, but a knife in the heart.”
“All you have to do is look in my sister-in-law’s eyes,” said Biden, “Look at this magnificent child and know there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop the seizure.”
Biden singled out the great scientific work of three top NIH doctors, Dr. Frances Collins, Dr. Story Landis and Dr. Tony Fauci. He also praised the “bi-partisan” efforts of Alex Castellanos in joining the DC Campaign. Washington veteran Heather Podesta is Castellanos co-chair of the new campaign.
Guests included Obama top aides Alan Krueger, Fred Hochberg, Alyssa Mastromonaco, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Favreau, Ben Rhodes, Bruce Reed, Evan Ryan, Tony Blanken and Cody Keenan. Tech was well represented by Fred and Kim Humphries of Microsoft and Walt Mossberg of “All Things Digital.”The Defense Department’s Jeremy Bash and former Defense Department official Doug Wilson attended along with Dr Mark Dybul, the new head of the Global Fund for AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria. GOP Hill top aides Doug Heye (Cantor) and Michael (Boehner) and MK Steel were there to support the cause and Alex Castellanos. Media favorites Jonathan & Betsy Fischer Martin, Ed Henry, Bill Plante,Kimberly Dozier, Luke Russert, Gretel Truong, Kelley McCormick and Patricia Harrison, President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Washington newcomer, New York Times Congressional reporter Jeremy Peters and partner, Dr. Brendan Camp were greeted by new Washington colleagues. Purple was well represented by Steve McMahon and Rob Collins.
You can watch the full video of the event including the Vice President’s remarks below:
Friends and sponsors included Jim McGreevey, American Beverage Association, Dan Whyte, from Brookfield Renewable, Erik Smith from Blue Engine Message & Media, Microsoft, Walmart and American Airlines. Greta Van Susteren and husband John Coale were thanked for their support, friendship and co-sponsoring the event.
David Greenberg was the lucky 11 year old boy along with babysitter Lauren Campbell who were given a ride home by the Vice President in his motorcade!
The Embassy of Canada was ground zero for spooks, State Department officials and some of the best actors in Hollywood, Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston and even Jennifer Garner. Time Warner’s Carol Melton along with the Canadian Ambassador welcomed the star-studded crowd that included Robert Anders, a consular officer at the U.S. embassy 33 years ago, who along with 5 American Embassy colleagues hid at the Canadian Ambassador’s Tehran residence until they could be slipped out of Tehran after the Embassy was overtaken.
Tony Mendez, the CIA agent who created an almost laughable but effective path to sneak the six Americans out of the country, received a big welcome from Ben Affleck. Mr. Affleck spoke with pride about the joy of bringing this almost unknown great chapter in American Canadian cooperation to life. He introduced CIA Director General David Petraeus and his wife Holly, saying he was “honored to be in the room with him.”
Actor Bryan Cranston was overheard taping a video greeting to the Petraeus’s daughter who could not attend the event.
Guests included the State Department’s Huma Abedin and husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner who pointed out Huma got a screen credit in the film. CIA General Counsel Stephen Preston, NYT’s Maureen Dowd, PBS’s Gwen Ifill and Lisa Davis, Investigative reporter Mark Hosenball and AP’s Kimberly Dozier were part of the packed house. Media favorites Men’s Health’s Marc Adelman, the Washington Post’s Amy Argetsinger, RNC flack Sean Spicer, Senator Boxer’s Laura Schiller, CNN’s Joe Johns and Sam Feist sipped water and ate up the popcorn and the story of a successful American CIA mission. Part of the film was shot at the State Department and the actors visited CIA headquarters.
The Benjamin Franklin diplomatic room at the U.S. Department of State was filled with past and future dignitaries and diplomats to honor the 10th anniversary of the Pamela Harriman Foreign Service fellowship program. In partnership with the College of William & Mary, they provide “funding for students interning over the summer in the U.S. Embassies in London, Paris, or the Secretary of State’s Office in Washington, D.C.” Pamela Harriman was married to the son of British P.M. Winston Churchill and later became the U.S. Ambassador to France; she passed away in 1997. Her granddaughter, Jennie Churchill, thrilled the gathering by greeting guests and fellows alike.
Welcoming the star-studded crowd was President Obama’s Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Capricia Marshall, described the Ambassador as “proud to be an American by choice” and retold the story of the first time she met Ambassador Harriman: “She was the first person who hosted President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton for dinner at her home in Georgetown and I remember that moment meeting her and thinking, what an extraordinary person, so poised and elegant, I really think I’m going to like Washington.”
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was traveling, sent a letter that Ambassador Marshall read to the crowd: “…this fellowship remains a vital tool of diplomacy. With a myriad of challenges we face around the world, it is essential that we cultivate a new generation of young leaders who will work together to find solutions, forge peace, and foster prosperity…. Ambassador Harriman was an extraordinary woman whose dedication to public service remains an inspiration.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein called Pamela Harriman, “A true original. She sought out new challenges with dedication and enthusiasm. She traveled the world and discovered how dialogue, communication, and clear understanding of history and culture could bridge differences between foes and lead to mutual, beneficial solutions.”
Jennie Churchill told the rapt crowd, “Having lived through the Second World War and been closely involved with my great grandfather, Sir. Winston Churchill, Pamela understood the importance of diplomacy and politics to peace and life in a democratic world. From her husband, Averell Harriman, who was governor of New York, and a leading diplomat, Pam also learned much about world politics and met leaders on both sides of the Iron Curtain. She lived a fascinating life, at the forefront of world events.”
His Excellency Francois Marie Delattre, Ambassador of the French Republic; President Emeritus Timothy J. Sullivan of the College of William & Mary; Governor James Blanchard, also spoke fondly of their time with Ambassador Harriman and her impeccable ability to serve with grace and dignity.
Janet Howard, who served as Director of Mrs. Harriman’s political committee and Chief of Staff for many years, was recognized from the podium for her incredible work on behalf of the fellowship program. Howard recently retired as Vice President at the Coca Cola Company.
After the remarks, 14 former fellows joined for a group photo, many of whom have gone on to public service and will continue Ambassador Harriman’s legacy. Other guests included Ina Ginsberg, Sen. Chuck Robb and Linda Robb, Stuart Eizenstat, Ambassador Lloyd and Ann Hand, Marc Adelman, Allen Fleishman, Bob Barnett, Candy Stroud, Liz Stevens, Ann Jordan, Dr. Billington, Bill and Dorthy McSweeny, and former Speaker Tom Foley and wife, Heather.
Check out more photos from the event:
Washington came together at the Jefferson Hotel to welcome, remember, congratulate, and celebrate Mark Shriver and the book he wrote about his beloved father, Sargent Shriver. Fred Ryan, President and CEO of Politico, vice-chairman of Allbritton Communications and Chairman of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation began the program by welcomed guests and congraulated Mark on his book’s contribution to history. CURE Epilepsy Founder, Susan Axelrod introduced Shriver, whom she met on a plane with Vice President Biden after her daughter, Lauren, competed in the Special Olympics. Many elected officials, policy makers, and media attended including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and Rep. Chris Von Hollen, Senator Bob Casey and former Senator Chris Dodd, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Molly Elkin, Holly Page, Susanna and Jack Quinn, FOX’s Ed Henry, NBC’s Luke Russert, Peter Alexander, Geoff Morell and Kelley O’Donnell!
“A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father Sargent Shriver” is a heart-tugging inside story of the trusted member of the Kennedy family, a man dedicated to doing good and a father who lifted the world with his big heart. Mark told the crowd:
“He clearly had the ability to balance his faith, his family, his friends, his commitment to the community, his commitment to the world. And for me, struggling how to balance all of that, how to raise three kids, how to deal with aging parents, how to have friends, and make a commitment to God and still try to do something with my life, I decided to dig in and try to figure out what dad’s secrets were, and that’s what this book really is.”
Check out the photos from the event and video of the program below:
Watch LIVE! the fete of Mark Shriver for his new book “A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father Sargent Shriver”
Mike Allen reported in today’s Politico Playbook, that while New Yorkers (who had their premiere two nights ago) thought the new HBO Film Game Change “was a sit-com,” Washington watched it as a documentary. The Newseum was packed with reporters and 2008 campaign staff eager to see the much buzzed about Game Change film based on the book by the same name by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. Walking the red, or blue rather, carpet were the authors, screen writer Danny Strong, director Jay Roach, and the star of the film, Julianne Moore, who plays Sarah Palin and Sarah Paulson who plays staffer Nicolle Wallace. Also in attendance were veteran producers Gary Goetzman and Tom Hanks, as well as McCain senior campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt who was portrayed by Woody Harrelson in the film.
The film takes place five years ago starting in 2007, following the John McCain campaign through selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate and the struggles and victories within the race. Viewers such as Wolf Blizter praised Moore’s performance – “She did an amazing Sarah Palin. She looked like her, she sounded like her — she was Sarah Palin,” as reported by Politico. Ed Harris as John McCain and Harrelson as Schmidt were also highlights of the film as they played characters carrying the emotional weight of a presidential campaign having to make difficult decisions. The film mixed real news footage of reporters and then candidate Obama with film footage which gave Blitzer, Gwen Ifill and Katie Couric cameos.
Check out more photos from the premiere below: