“And this is Chace Crawford,” Ms. Haddad said.
“We’ve actually met before,” said Mr. Crawford, grinning.
Ms. Alba smiled stiffly. Seconds later, she turned to the man who was accompanying her.
“Are we ready to leave?” she said.
Mr. Crawford and Mr. Romo chatted a bit more and bro-hugged as they said goodbye. Mr. Romo left with Mr. Crawford’s sister, former Miss Missouri Candice Crawford.
Across town, in the Mellon Auditorium on Constitution Avenue, Rachel Maddow was still tending bar at the MSNBC after-party.
“This was my deal with them. They asked me to go to the dinner and I said no, and they said you have to do something, so I said I’ll do this,” Ms. Maddow explained. “I’m like a dog. Dogs are happiest when they have a job to do.”
But her arms were getting tired. There was a bar at each corner of the dance floor, but no one bothered with those. Instead, “Maddow’s Bar” was stacked three deep all the way across. The choices: a Pimm’s Cup, a daiquiri, or a Vieux Carre.
Chuck Todd angled his way to the front of the bar and told her to make him something. He said his mom was crazy about her.
“Like, she loves me? Or like she might try to kill me?” Ms. Maddow asked.
“She loves you,” he said.
“I made you a manly drink,” she said, and presented him with a daiquiri.
Earlier in the night, Andrew Breitbart had come through her line.
“I didn’t recognize him. But he said something to me about some news story or something,” Ms. Maddow recounted. “And I said, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean.’ And he said, ‘I’m Andrew Breitbart,’ and I said, ‘Oh. Nice to meet you.’”
“I ordered a Valerie Plame and she looked at me like I was an idiot. And I said I’m just kidding,” Mr. Breitbart said. “So I said”—he made his voice sound boring—“‘I’ll have a Pimm’s cup.’ And I just looked at her. And then she just looked at me. It was weird. And then I said, ‘I’d like an Acorn-Pimp-Hoax.’ I was just trying to get her goat and she just looked at me. And I thought, ‘Okay, fine, you don’t have a sense of humor.’ I mean, look, she’s a working girl and she’s serving drinks. I admire her gumption so I’m not going to get upset with her that she’s in a hard-core focus making all these free Maddow delicacies and that she didn’t get it.”
As for the drink?
“It was pretty good. She makes a pretty good Pimm’s cup.”
“I love that, I love it,” he said as he looked up at the massive black-and-white promos for each show, which hung between the room’s towering columns. “I mean, look at these Ionic columns. How can you not like all these Caucasian superstars from MSNBC?”
Sometime after 2 a.m., Ms. Maddow finally gave up her gig behind the bar. The massive hall was starting to clear out.
TV actor Steven Weber came over to say goodbye to Mr. Breitbart.
“Goodbye. Goodbye until I see you in L.A.,” Mr. Weber said.
“Tinkles,” said Mr. Breitbart. “See you in L.A., baby.”