It's the biggest, snazziest, and just the most darn fun party leading up to the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, and this year's fete at Tammy Haddad's house included a new feature: voting by Washington's most powerful on who will be our next president. Tammy tells us that most of the 550 guests voted. “It was about an 80 percent turnout,” she tells us. Some, like NBC's Tim Russert, didn't vote, of course, being too nonpartisan to participate. But most everybody else in the crowd of Washington's most important political and media biggies couldn't resist the kids asking for their vote. And the final tally:
Sen. Barack Obama--43 percent
Sen. John McCain--38 percent
Sen. Hillary Clinton--19 percent.
"If Obama wins, clearly we will become the ultimate finger in the wind," says Haddad, the former right-hand woman for Larry King and Chris Matthews and now a PR exec. Her regular hosts for the "11th Annual Garden Brunch" were other Washington big shots, including Hilary Rosen, Alex Castellanos, Debbie Dingell, David Adler, Kathryn Leyman, and Beth Viola.
The voting clearly shows a trend that has been growing in official Washington: There is an increasing weariness with the Clintons and a desire for somebody new to watch and cover. But it also shows the resilience of McCain, who is a media darling of sorts. And it might prove what the Clintons have been saying all along: The political and media elites just don't like her. For fun, Adler, a pal, partner, and cohost of Haddad's who is CEO of Bizbash media, made a funny video of the polling of guests at the party on all sorts of other questions. See it here on YouTube.