Oiling Washington's Wheels

In the capital, parties are essential to the governing game

Washington Gossip Columnist Betty Beale, who holds the equivalent of a black belt in the sport, spotted her opportunity. Noting that Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was about to wind up a chat with Attorney General William French Smith at the Swedish Ambassador's Christmas party, Beale swooped past the hors d'oeuvre table, greeted O'Connor and guided her skillfully to a brocade couch. She had reached safe territory. Even though the pair was surrounded by some 200 other guests, no one would have dreamed...

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