There were more than plenty DC journos on hand last night at the St. Regis Hotel to see David Axelrod introduce David Brooks as The Week‘s Columnist of the Year Award. The dinner was emceed by The Week‘s Washington editor-at-large Margaret Carlson and Axelrod was the guest speaker. “You’re what the future could be, don’t screw up,” Axelrod joked with the crowd on the future of journalism.
His intro to Brooks included ancedotes about their “parallel lives,” both having attended the University of Chicago and starting out as reporters in the Windy City. “I did want to be David Axelrod. I followed his career every step of the way. The one thing I haven’t done is elected somebody president. Senator Lindsay Graham?” Brooks joked to the politician in the crowd.
More funny lines from Brooks: “I used to have all sorts of human drives, the need for food, for water, for sex. Now I have one drive… the need for column ideas.”
Other honorees of the sixth annual Opinion Awards included Editorial Cartoonist of the Year The Atlantic Journal-Constitution’s Mark Luckovich and Blogger of the Year fivethirtyeight.com’s Nate Silver.
A panel discussion “Will There Ever Be a New Politics?” followed, which included Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), WaPo’s Eugene Robinson (who was applauded for his recently awarded Pulitzer) and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. After some back-and-forth moderated by The Week‘s editor-at-large Sir Harold Evans, Scarborough’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinksi worked the crowd for a Q&A that included queries from Slate’s John Dickerson, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart.
Attendees included: Tammy Haddad, Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn, Andrea Mitchell, Len Downie, Mike Allen, Matt Cooper, Ana Marie Cox, Savannah Guthrie, Mark Whitaker, Jonathan Martin, David Shuster, Steve Clemons, Betsy Fischer, Maureen Orth, Lynn Sweet, Tina Brown, Tucker Carlson and others.
Also: Rep. Jane Harman, Rep. Ed Markey, Sen. Ben Nelson, Rep. John Dingell and Debbie Dingell and Walter Isaacson, among others.
Above is the cover of the program distributed last night. We have a few photos after the jump and more to come…