Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
Washington in the 1950s was a pretty wonderful place to be. It seems in almost everyone’s memoirs, certainly this one, to have been the last time Washington was fun. It was “shabbier and less pretentious” than today, but it was also an easier place, a more human one, in part, apparently, because everyone in the White House, on the Hill, and in the newspaper bureaus was drunk. (In fact, that would explain the ’50s, wouldn’t it?) In the Washington young Mr. Novak enters, senators plot over whiskey and cigars; reporters knock back scotches while trading tidbits at the press-club bar; lunches with sources begin with doubles; the Senate majority leader is soused in the lobby, singing to himself. Beehived women chain-smoke with the boys and listen to their tales of woe.
Later, Peggy breaks into song
The part about Reagan dying and how she thought she would die also is quite moving.