The Divas Inside Margaret Carlson’s Apartment

The scene inside Bloomberg‘s Margaret Carlson’s picturesque Kalorama apartment last night was regal and serene as staffers at The Atlantic and National Journal gave Emily Lenzner, their new head of corporate communications, a welcome toast. Lenzner (pictured at right on the left) replaces Linda Douglass.

Bigwig journalists and other important-for-Washington people spotted around the living room included The Atlantic‘s Editor James Bennet, WJLA’s Gordon Peterson, CNN’s Hilary Rosen, Michael Steel, spokesman to House Speaker John Boehner and former ABC News producer Ian Cameron, husband to U.S. Nat. Security Advisor Susan Rice. WaPo‘s spunky “Erik Wemple Blog” was apparently there, but we must’ve been on different shifts and didn’t have the pleasure of bumping into him there.

As the mostly typical Washington cocktail party circuit sipped wine, there were homey touches like just baked chocolate chip cookies on trays as well as a large spray of sunflowers in Carlson’s kitchen. There were also servers dotting the room handing out lovely bite-sized snacks such as spinach feta flat bread squares.

The most dramatic part of the evening came when partygoers hushed long enough for Carlson and The Atlantic‘s Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons to give short speeches. “It’s great to be in Margaret’s home tonight,” Clemons began, before moving into this: “What The Atlantic does well is hire divas. I’m gay, so being a diva is high praise.” He glanced around the room and called out various “divas” such as National Journal’s newly installed Editor Tim Grieve, “the political diva” and the always charming (ha-ha) John Fox Sullivan (an “extraordinary diva”). Publisher David Bradley was named as “totally a Divo” along with Bennet and Carlson. He concluded, “Emily, I know you’re a diva as well.”

Lenzner did not demur about the “diva” comment and said she was happy to be part of the diva crew. She left it at that and encouraged guests to return to mingling.

Upon meeting Grieve (who once received a FishbowlDC award for having the worst temper in Washington) he shook my hand, exchanged niceties and said, “It’s been 30 seconds and I haven’t yelled at you.” He added, “I don’t have horns.”

See who else showed up…

Lenzner’s friends, family, and colleagues (former and present) turned out for a lovely welcome reception yesterday evening at Carlson’s Kalorama home. Atlantic Media was well represented by National Journal‘s Tim Grieve and Bruce Gottlieb; The Atlantic‘s James Bennet, Bob Cohn, Sullivan, Scott Stossel, Elizabeth Baker Keffer, Natalie Raabe, Emma Angerer and Clemons; and Government Executive’s Tim Hartman.

Also in attendance: Emily’s former SKDKnickerbocker colleagues Anita Dunn, Hilary Rosen, and Jill Zuckman; Fred and Linda Wertheimer; ABC News’ Robin Sproul; WJLA’s Peterson and wife Anne Fleming; the Newseum’s Shelby Coffey; the Aspen Institute’s Elliot Gerson and Jim Spiegelmann; NPR’s Anna Christopher, Gail Ross and Howard Yoon of the Ross Yoon Agency; democratic strategist Tracy Sefl; Boehner’s aide, Steel, and wife, Mary Kathryn Covert, WaPo’s Matea Gold, Wemple, and Amy Argetsinger; NPR’s Gerry Holmes; Washingtonian‘s Carol Joynt; Bloomberg TV’s Ellen Uchimiya; National Journal’s Matt Cooper; and Emily’s brother, Jon Lenzner, executive vice president of Investigative Group International.

In the living room...the speeches begin.

Rosen and Carlson say hello

Sullivan and Cooper banter about life in the kitchen.