As Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse and Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer proved Wednesday night at their fundraisier for public affairs officers stationed in Afghanistan, bipartisanship isn't dead after all
"When we started planning this thing, I imagined we'd invite 10 or 15 of our good friends together to help out and join us at the bar," Woodhouse says.
What happened instead was that journalists, politicos, and flacks alike came together in droves to Capitol Hill restaurant Bullfeathers to donate cash and items such as books, magazines, cigars, and cookies, raising more than $15,000 for "flacks who wear flak jackets."
For reporters who typically spar with spokesmen during the day, it was a rare chance to join in on a good cause.
"Bipartisanship is something that is so lacking in D.C. these days. It's great to know that everyone's capable of showing up and helping out for people who deserve it," NBC's Luke Russert says.
The crowd came out to support veterans like Thomas H. Porter, vice president of Washington PR firm Morgan Meguire, who spent a year in Afghanistan helping reporters navigate a war zone and managing the military's message.
"You know, for me, the toughest part was Skyping with my family and having to listen to my daughters ask me to jump through the screen and come home," Porter says. "The being in a war zone isn't comfortable, but it's the families back home that suffer the most."
Rebecca Spicer, communications director for the National Beer Wholesalers Association, a sponsor of the event, says that for the NBWA, the event hits close to home.
"In the beer trade, a lot of men and women in our industry trade in their beer uniform for the American uniform, so we are always looking for ways to support the effort in Afghanistan."