By Robyn Mincher Posted November 5, 2008, 11:55 AM EST
WASHINGTON Although the media's focus was on the presidential candidates' election night festivities in Chicago and Phoenix, Washingtonians did throw a few parties of their own. With large-scale functions held by political organizations as well as smaller, more informal affairs, local organizations, business, and publications seized the opportunity to commemorate the evening's historic election.
Steps away from the U.S. Capitol at the Hyatt Regency Washington, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee held its “Election Watch Party,” featuring Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on stage with U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. Some 800 guests—mostly Democratic insiders and members of the media—converged in the Hyatt's ballroom, where a patriotic stage was festooned with flags and flanked by two projection screens with continuous voter returns coverage. Blue lighting and star-shaped gobos cast a glow on the ballroom walls and ceiling, while an all-American menu included bite-sized burgers and pizzas from the Hyatt's in-house catering team.
Closer to the White House, Qorvis Communications turned its newly remodeled offices into election headquarters for its voting results party, co-hosted by Beam Global Spirits and Wine. More than 500 members of D.C.'s political, legal, business, and media sectors attended. Wax sculptures of Barack Obama and George Bush (on loan from Madame Tussauds) were on hand as guests lined up for their picture with the current and future presidents. “The sculptures were a tough get,” said Qorvis' director of communications strategies and media relations, Renate Geerlings. “We hoped to get John McCain, but he hasn’t been created yet!”
The event featured politically charged cocktails such as the “Maverick Martini” and “Obamarama,” as well as a Maker’s Mark-sponsored dipping station, where guests could cover their glasses in blue and red wax as a commemorative item. White linen cocktail tables held white bouquets with roses and lilies from Caruso Florist. Poll updates were read throughout the night as guests dined on an American-inspired comfort food menu of truffled mac-and-cheese, mini apple pies, and red and blue cheesecake lollipops from Capitol Catering.