News & Politics

Clintonistas Gather at the Corcoran for Strategist’s Book Party

Pollster Mark Penn’s book-launch party at the Corcoran brought out some big names in politics—but no Hillary.

What: First-time author Mark Penn celebrated the release of Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes with family, friends, and associates.

When: Wednesday, September 5, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Corcoran Gallery of Art

Who: As CEO of the PR firm Burson-Marsteller and chief strategist for both Microsoft and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, Penn drew a guest list including such well-known politicians and media types as Senators Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh; former DNC chair and Hillary fundraiser Terry McAuliffe; Penn’s wife, fundraiser Nancy JacobsonThe New Republic's Peter Beinart; Washington Post columnist EJ Dionne; New York Times columnist David Brooks; the Nation’s Ari Berman, and former Clinton adviser and current ABC News analyst George Stephanopoulos.

In the “only at a Washington cocktail party” department, conservative leader Grover Norquist—a college friend of Penn’s from Harvard—also made an appearance.

Food: A modest selection of appetizers.

Drink: White wine. 

Scene: Guests gathered in the Corcoran’s main hall, whose high ceilings and flat acoustics dwarfed the couple of hundred attendees, book tables, and wine stations.

Penn—who coined the term “soccer moms” to explain a small but significant voting segment while working for Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign—talked about some of the 70 micro electorate groups he has identified for the 2008 cycle and explained that America isn’t a melting pot but a highly diverse, segmented population.

Ratings (out of 5):

Boldface names: 2
Swankiness: 3
Food/drink: 3
Exclusivity: 3

Total Score: 11 (out of 20)

Look below for a slideshow of the event: 

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