City Paper is not for tourists
The venerable Women’s Wear Daily has a profile of Washingtonian and public relations guru Tammy Haddad. It is, predictably, about Washington’s social scene—-an entirely different beast from what most District residents experience. Even the title is nauseating: “Tammy Haddad Rewrites Washington’s Rules.” Actually, my understanding is that Tammy Haddad plays by the exact same social rules that have governed the inside-the-Beltway power structure for decades!
But for those of us who will never make it to Haddad’s famous brunch, or care about what goes on there, here are a few gems about what life is like in her world, annotated by yours truly:
- “To do a dinner party in this day and age, you have to chose between Democrats and Republicans.” Cue anxious teeth-gnashing, ritual bemoaning of the good old days when Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan used to drink together.
- “I do a party like a TV shoot,” she says. “And then I take it live to the Internet.” I don’t even know what this means.
- What hostesses need to understand, she explains, is that the new world of social media renders exclusive Washington dinner parties superfluous and obsolete. Hostesses! Stop trying to get people to come to your house and start a Twitter account.
- “Tammy totally respects that the Washington social world is not my world,” says [Susan] Axelrod, whose daughter has battled epilepsy from infancy. “She gets that I’m not impressed with these people. But then she’ll say, ‘This is someone to help you, and so you need to come to this dinner, then write them a note, and this is what you should say.’” Conveniently, Haddad says she got interested in curing epilepsy not long after Susan Axelrod and her husband, senior advisor to President Barack Obama David Axelrod, moved to town!
- Many have bemoaned the current state of social affairs in the nation’s capital. In August, George W. Bush’s former White house social secretary Lea Berman, wife of top Republican fund-raiser Wayne Berman, recalled the halcyon days of the last century. It was a simpler time. Men were men, women were women, black women were in the kitchen.
Photo via YouTube screengrab