DFL ball in Washington: sparkling gowns and plaid shirts

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Though the handwritten sign on the door said “Ball,” the $100-a-head Minnesota DFL affair in the back room of a Veterans of Foreign Affairs bar in a tad seedy part of Washington was a far cry from the glitz of the 100 or so other balls about the city Tuesday evening following the inauguration of President Barack Obama. No matter. The food was good and there was plenty of it, and, as Sen. Amy Klobuchar pointed out, it was the only ball she would attend that night where she felt comfortable wearing flatter shoes and knew everybody.

Fancy wear ran the gamut, from tuxes and sparkling gowns to Lake Wobegon wool pants and plaid shirts. Coats were piled up on a table in the back corner of the room, where it was cash bar and a DJ spinning the tunes.

Early in the evening DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez introduced Klobuchar as Minnesota’s senior and junior senator. Melendez said some had asked him if Al Franken would be lower in seniority than Roland  Burris, Illinois’ most recently named senator to replace Obama. Melendez reported that under the Constitution all new senators would be equal in seniority.

Klobuchar jumped in to say Melendez was correct, “but Illinois is a little bigger than Minnesota.”

Franken gave an update on the status of the recount. He said he had been on the Mall earlier and saw Obama’s swearing in, although “not from the same vantage point as Amy.”

“We’re going to be able to tell our kids  that this generation responded to the many crises we face,” “And I will be there. Not very high up, but I’ll be there.”

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