Bloomberg News

Rubenstein, Greenspan, Arsht, Elle: Scene in D.C. 2012

December 24, 2012

National Symphony Orchestra Gala

The Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, and his wife Alice. They recently donated a 5,000-pipe organ to the Kennedy Center. David Rubenstein said his "Jewish mother" would be happy with the donation as he disappointed her by dropping out of piano lessons as a child. He paid tribute to the late Marvin Hamlisch, whom he called a "mensch." Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Scene in D.C. encountered dogs in black tie, rock stars mingling with crusty legislators, and lobbyists admiring Renaissance sculpture. Here are this year’s Scene superlatives.

Most Likely

Among those most likely to be “Scene,” the Carlyle Group LP’s David Rubenstein stands out. The billionaire was a fixture at the Kennedy Center’s marquee events and the National Book Festival on the National Mall.

He faces competition from Washington’s renaissance woman, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 79. In 2012, she took in the drama at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, opera at the Kennedy Center and Michelangelo’s David-Apollo at the National Gallery of Art.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, 86, hit the dance floor with his wife, Andrea Mitchell, at fancy events and turned up at a “Downton Abbey” cast party.

Senator Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, and his wife, Abigail, attended the choicest events in Washington, including the Art in Embassies Gala last month and the White House Correspondents’ Association weekend events earlier in the year.

Best Dressed

Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall and arts patron Adrienne Arsht carry the banner for Oscar de la Renta in D.C. Arsht wore the designer to the Sondheim Award Gala in April while Marshall donned backless de la Renta for the Ambassadors Ball in September.

Lobbyist Heather Podesta’s sartorial choices reflect her edgy taste in art. An Alexander McQueen and Prada devotee, she holds her McQueen skull-logo evening bag while networking at cocktail parties.

British Ambassador Peter Westmacott dresses the part of the English gentleman with double breasted suits and beige trench coats. The bright red socks worn for his guest appearance on “The Colbert Report” earned him serious style cred.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi thinks outside the ball gown with elegant trouser suits, like the one she wore to the Freer Sackler anniversary gala in November and the red ensemble she rocked at a National Gallery reception earlier this month.

Biggest Givers

Jay Johnson, the chief executive officer of General Dynamics Corp. (GD:US), is stepping down soon, but he went out with a bang on the D.C. philanthropy circuit. He was co-chairman of the Meridian Ball and his company sponsored the National Symphony Orchestra’s season. He attended the NSO’s season-opening gala.

His counterparts at Boeing Co. (BA:US) and Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT:US) got behind the Kennedy Center Honors and the Phillips Collection galas, writing big checks for these big events. General Motors Co. (GM:US)’s Dan Akerson revealed that he gives away his salary and donated an extra check to So Others Might Eat so it could make its fundraising goal.

Best Surprises

From towering supermodel Elle Macpherson to the pint-sized Jack Russell Uggie from “The Artist,” the White House Correspondents’ Association had its fair share of unusual suspects.

At another event, I got lost in the lobby of the Ronald Reagan Building with artist Jeff Koons and found him to be as funny and cheerful as his work.

Guitar god Jimmy Page, a Kennedy Center honoree along with his bandmates from Led Zeppelin, asked to inspect my photo of him. I happily obliged.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer on this story: Stephanie Green at sgreen57@bloomberg.net or on Twitter @stephlgreen.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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Companies Mentioned

  • GD
    (General Dynamics Corp)
    • $121.39 USD
    • -0.09
    • -0.07%
  • BA
    (Boeing Co/The)
    • $124.05 USD
    • -0.35
    • -0.28%
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