Did TPM really say that there were no Republicans at the Crossfire relaunch party on Wednesday night? And doesn't this conflict with TPM's earlier report identifying John McCain as an attendee?
Well, yes, John McCain was there and so was Chris Shays, for that matter. But like I said, no Republicans.
A little backstory is in order here.
Republicans, particularly GOP chair Marc Racicot, have been whining about the new Crossfire, saying Begala and Carville are too rough, too mean, whatever. And they've been hinting they might boycott the show. Now when one of the Crossfire flacks called me on Monday to check to see if I could come, she told me how busy she was with invites to a lot of White House people. But I didn't see any of them there.
Now let's start with a few qualifiers. Despite TPM's status as the ultimate DC uber-insider, he doesn't know what every player in DC looks like. What he disproportionately knows are the faces of Democrats -- particularly at the staffer level. So all of these factors make for a significant sample bias. No doubt there were other Republicans there who I a) don't remember, b) didn't recognize, or c) never saw. Still, I know a lot of faces. And here's who I saw.
John McCain (proves my point...), Chris Shays (proves my point...), David Drier (who knows?), Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing (Crossfire media hounds, don't count...), Mary Matalin (host's wife, doesn't count...), Cliff May (legitimate exception to my rule, but also a touch of a Crossfire hound)
I saw lots of Dems (Clinton administration officials, members of Congress, staffers, consultants, etc.), but beside Matalin no one who I recognized from the White House.
Were they afraid Jim and Paul would slap them around and that Mary wouldn't defend them?