Had you walked through the doors of the St. Regis Hotel at this time last night, there’s a good chance you would have bumped into Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) making a quick exit from the fete for Bob Schieffer’s 20th anniversary with “Face the Nation.” But a brush with the House Minority Leader was only an appetizer for the smorgasbord of the bipartisan political power that partied inside the hotel’s Astor Ballroom. Raising a glass to the legendary newsman were current and former Secretaries of Defense Leon Panetta and Donald Rumsfeld, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who has appeared on Face the Nation more than any other guest. Representing the White House were Dag Vega and Jen Psaki.
In his remarks, a flattered Schieffer joked that when he first got to Washington, Republicans and Democrats always attended parties together. “But now it’s a big deal,” he told the crowded room.
The Washington press corps were also out in full force for Bob’s big night. Spotted in the crowd were Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee, Bob Woodward, FNC’s Ed Henry, NBC’s David Gregory and Betsy Fischer, Politico’s Jonathan Martin, Keach Hagey, Mike Allen and Patrick Gavin, Newshour’s Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, Bloomberg’s Margaret Carlson, NYT’s David Sanger, WaPo’s Roxanne Roberts, and Steve Chaggaris. Rounding out the room were a slew of CBS talent and staff such as former “Face the Nation” EP Carin Pratt and current EP Mary Hager, Rob Hendin, Kaylee Hartung, Chris Licht, Lara Logan, Jan Crawford, Nancy Cordes, Chip Reid, Bob Orr, Wyatt Andrews, John Dickerson, Christine Delargy, Walt Cronkite (Walter Cronkite’s grandson who now works in the DC bureau), Chris Isham and of course, the evening’s hosts and top network brass Jeff Fager and David Rhodes. Noticeably absent was new CBS News White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell who was in New York City covering the president and UN.