As usual, it was a "Who’s Who" of Jewish Washington that turned out on a cold and rainy Tuesday night for Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications’s annual "Latkes and Vodkas" Chanukah party.
Steve Rabinowitz greeted guests at the door of the Woodley Park PR firm, while Matt Dorf primarily hung out upstairs near the bar at the party — whose theme centered around foul-mouthed, allegedly corrupt Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Signs on the restrooms referred to the "bleepin" mens’ and ladies’ rooms and an invitation to the bash had Blagojevich saying "This latke is a bleepin’ valuable thing; you just don’t give it away for nothing." (Earlier invitations included "Maverick Latkes and Vodkas" with John McCain, Sarah Palin and "Joe the Latke" and "Latkes We Can Believe In" with Barack Obama.)
Spotted amidst the applesauce and screwdrivers at the offices of the Woodley Park PR firm were former Obama campaign Jewish outreach staffers Dan Shapiro and Eric Lynn, now serving as Middle East adviser to the transition team and senior adviser to the inaugural commitee, respectively. At one point near the end of the night, Shapiro was seen chatting with AIPAC political director Rob Bassin. Former Hillary Clinton campaign Jewish outreach staffer Josh Kram was also in attendance.
CNN political commentator Jamal Simmons and Chicago Sun-Times Washington reporter Lynn Sweet had a lengthy discussion, while former JTA Washington reporter Matt Berger, who spent the campaign covering Sarah Palin — and before that Rudy Giuliani — for NBC and National Journal, was renewing old acquaintances. DNC vice chair Susan Turnbull, Alexandria, Va. Rabbi Jack Moline, Americans Friends of Lubavitch Washington director Rabbi Levi Shemtov and Jewish Council for Public Affairs executive director Rabbi Steve Gutown also were in attendance.
In addition, Washington representatives of more than a dozen Jewish organizations and half a dozen Israeli diplomats stopped by to munch on latkes or down some vodka. Others partying including Obama transition team member Mara Vanderslice, DNC deputy finance director Julie Tagen, and Amy Bodette, director of DNC chairman Howard Dean’s office.