(all photos courtesy Chris Anderson)
As torrential rain poured and the threat of tornadoes loomed ominously over the Washington area, the streets of Foggy Bottom clogged up with traffic – commuters seeking the fastest route out of the city, busses crawling behind schedule, barely moving cabs filled with passengers no doubt cursing the new meter system. During periods of inclement weather, be it rain or snow, the DC metro area falls into a state of panic; the city itself effectively shuts down.
But not so for the brave tech-savvy attendees of TechRepublican‘s “Greetings from the Modern World” reception at Foggy Bottom/Georgetown’s new hotspot The Rookery. Maybe it was the open bar that lured them through the storm; for three hours, guests were treated to as much top-shelf liquor as they desired. Perhaps it was the exclusivity and the strict guest list; the invitation required attendees not only to RSVP as the guest of a host who had been granted a limited number of guest spaces, but to include a special code with their invitation to prove their authenticity. (Overkill? Perhaps, but if nothing else it ensured invitees wouldn’t take their invitation for granted.)
Or maybe it was simply that technologically friendly Republicans are unfortunately few and far between, and the opportunity to mix and mingle with like-minded young professionals was too great to pass up.
Either way, by 7:30 the upstairs of The Rookery was bustling with slightly damp technophiles fresh out of the rain, sipping cocktails through colored twisty straws, eyeing the hockey playoffs on the TV at the far end of the room, shaking hands with old friends and new contacts while the musical selections of DJ Gindy played over the scene.
Representatives from the sponsoring organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and The Leadership Institute were found throughout the room, discussing the role of their organization in advancing the cause of Republicans online. Americans for Prosperity spread the word of their upcoming summit in Austin forRightOnline.
Pictured: Jillian Bandes and Carrie Sheffield
Pictured: Michelle Oddis, Ethan Rabin, and Ericka Andersen
But the crowd included more than just partisan activists and members of the tech crowd. Journalists like Amanda Carpenter of Townhall.com, Chris Beam of Slate, and Carrie Sheffield of the Washington Times were among the attendees. Ericka Andersen of Human Events, Mark Hancock of ESPN, Sergio Rodriguera Jr. of the Department of Defense, and Matt Haller of Levick Strategic Communications also joined the crowd.
Pictured: Joe Mansour and Brian Forest.
The true stars of the show were the folks of TechRepublican.com and event sponsor the David All Group. Joe Mansour, called “2.0″ around the David All Group offices (obviously proclaiming Joe as the worthy protege of DAG founder and namesake David All), worked the crowd as he balanced socializing with hosting duties. David All, recently named one of Campaigns & Elections Politics magazine’s “Rising Stars”, was the man of the hour, his efforts securing him a place as one of the predominant luminaries of the Republican tech-savvy movement. Duke University rising senior Abby Alger, serving as an intern for the David All Group this summer, brought both style and sweetness to the affair proving that the tech world and the GOP aren’t just for the boys.
Pictured: Trent Edwards, Bettina Inclan, David All, and Abby Alger
Indeed, while one tends to find men in strong majorities at conservative events around Washington, the party not only featured balance but a beautiful crowd, including the always lovely Bettina Inclan and the hip style of AFP’s Annie Patnaude.
Pictured: The team from Americans for Tax Reform
More than just a networking event to discuss Twitter and sip cocktails, the TechRepublican.com party was a distinctly young, fun, and friendly affair of like minded young social professionals. Despite the weather, the TechRepublican.com team assembled a fantastic crowd and put on an event that has set the standard for the emerging Republican tech scene.
(Special thanks to Chris Anderson for the event photos)