The RNCs election night party got off to a subdued start at 8, as a group of some 500 GOP loyalists swilled cocktails at $7.75 and $5 for mineral water, and munched on an array of meats. A cover band, hardly noticed by the grim-faced partygoers, softly worked its way through old standards, including Son of a Preacher Man, while CNNs election coverage flashed on massive TV screens.
Meanwhile, bars in downtown Washington are packed, with patrons cheering as the returns come in. At the M&S Grill on F Street Northwest, the crowd of about 40 people clapped and screamed as several states were projected to go to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). The group clapped loudest when CNN projected that D.C.s electoral votes would go to Obama.
At the Democratic National Committee party at the Mayflower Hotel, where, of course, Eliot Spitzer met his political end, in the grand ballroom the hors doeuvres were free, but the cocktails were not. The Democrats offered a cash bar, with $7.50 for a cocktail and $5 for a glass of sparkling water. More than one partygoer was spotted heading for the door looking for an event where the drinks were flowing more freely.