One regular is Rebecca Canan, a 26-year-old member of the Madison, an all-female, largely conservative club that frequently holds themed fundraisers—like MadiSCENE and Mad in Madras—at Smith Point. She tells of more lists: Smith Point’s list within a list, called the Side Door list, whose members avoid the main entrance and may bring a plus-one; the Young and the Guest list, Washington Life magazine’s roster of D.C.’s chic set, to which she was named this year (the main perk is the annual party); and the Madison’s membership roster, for which only unmarried women (no divorcées, please) are eligible to apply. A similar male organization, the Capital Club, a 100-member, mostly conservative group boasts various “sons of,” including Reeves Barbour, son of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and Moore Capito, son of West Virginia Representative Shelley Capito.
Access to such groups is possible, if rare, for those without GOP ties. On a Saturday night at Smith Point, Jennie Kim, 25, a member of the Madison and a Democrat, has just returned from a lavish wine-tasting charity dinner on a Virginia estate. “I think the social scene mirrors the political scene,” she says. “Republicans are more disciplined—they have lists, there seems to be more order to it—whereas Democrats are more open.” This organized fun is often learned in the Greek system that many Cap Club and Madison members were a part of in college.
“The Republicans come from the same towns, schools and country clubs,” says Blair. “They just want to continue the fun. I’m not saying anything bad about the kids who are Democrats, but it’s just different.” Bespectacled and slightly rotund, Blair cuts a figure that is simultaneously paternal and imposing. He is gearing up for another Saturday night, relaxing in a booth at his new members-only bar-restaurant, the Rookery, which he opened this past spring, just across the Georgetown border in the West End. Blair invited 200 of his bachelor friends to join; 185 married couples and 500 eligible women are on a “permanent guest list.”
Blair’s lists have inspired copycats. The Gryphon Room, a Georgetown bar, recently enforced a list on Thursday nights, drawing on much of the same young Republican crowd. The social exclusivity even goes virtual. In 2006 University of Virginia graduates Reed Landry and Neel Patel started an invite-only social networking Web site called LateNightShots.com, which quickly gained ground with the Capitol Hill preppy set. The site is now so popular that the White House blocks its staffers from accessing it at work. Users can review their favorite watering holes and anonymously debate everything from prenuptial agreements to who has the “best legs on the scene.” A reality-TV show based on the Web site and the Georgetown milieu begins filming in September; two Madison members, Katherine Kennedy and Krista Johnson, are being considered for starring roles.