Former Senator Alan Simpson and his wife Ann were greeted warmly by close friends Vice President and Lynne Cheney, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni, as they celebrated a story 80 years in the making with the publication of “Shooting from the Lip: The Life of Senator Al Simpson” at the Jefferson Hotel on Thursday. Members of the Washington elite also attended, including Simpson’s childhood friend, former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta; former Senator Elizabeth Dole; and VP Biden Chief of Staff Bruce Reed.
The authorized biography of Senator Simpson was written by his former chief of staff, Donald Loren Hardy. After six years of combing through the Senator’s personal journals, Hardy has put together a no holds-barred account of Simpson’s life and more than 30 years of public service.
Senator Simpson greeted everyone with a smile, hug or handshake, with guests recounting how this is how Washington “used to be,” when people from both sides of the aisle could get together for an evening of fun. Other guests included Rep. John Dingell and wife Debbie; Ambassador of Gabon to the US, Michael Moussa-Adamo; Ken Levinson, Holly Page, Ann and Welles Orr, Mike and Leili Tongour, former Senator Chuck Robb and wife Lynda. Carrying the media banner were Bob Woodward; NPR’s Nina Totenberg; ABC’s Polson Kanneth, Marc Adelman, Kelley McCormick, Mark Shields of PBS and Fox News’ Bret Baier.
Co-host Tammy Haddad welcomed the crowd and thanked Senator Simpson for his years of service to the nation and TV appearances. Co-host Peter Grossman followed, speaking on behalf of himself and Connie Milstein, thanking Senator Simpson for his long-standing record of bi-partisanship work.
Author Donald Hardy and wife Becky were also on hand to toast the release of a true labor of love. Hardy told the crowd Simpson convinced him to write the book when he said, “I will give you access to everything in my life….6000 pages of diaries…do the right thing by telling the truth.”
Senator Simpson had the whole crowd laughing as he reminded Mr. Hardy of how they met when the author “stole” a car as a teenager and their many subsequent exploits on Capitol Hill. Simpson reminisced about the great days in Wyoming and the greater days in Washington. One guest remarked that he is America’s favorite Senator.
Check out the video of the remarks and photos from the event below: