Candy stripers, urine-themed cocktails, and Republican doctors

By Ben Westhoff

Not all politically minded folks were raging against the machine or feeling the Joe-mentum at the Xcel Center on Tuesday night; Republican doctors were partying their asses off at Chino Latino. They assembled in Uptown for a gathering sponsored by a group of medically-minded lobbying groups, and consumed guacamole, sushi balls, and, most appropriately, urine-themed cocktails. (Though the foamy, golden liquid was dispensed via tiny plastic cups, attendees were assured the drink was simply vodka, pineapple and champagne.)

The event was called “Anatomy of a Party,” and while it was technically nonpartisan, the assembled were largely out-of-town conventioneers for whom “single-payer” is a dirty word. The Chino waitresses, dressed to impressed in white stockings and undersized candy striper outfits, seemed a bit cautious of the assembled elephants, however. “I’m telling people that I’m not old enough to vote,” imparted one.

Though the assembled included anesthesiologists, spine specialists, and thoracic surgeons, the dermatologists seemed to be the most politically relevant folks on hand. “Yes!” a D.C. derm lobbyist named Kelly Haenlein answered when I asked if her campaign interest was heightened by McCain’s potentially-deadly blotches. “While we are by no means glad that John McCain has melanoma, we’re glad he’ll bring more awareness to the public about it.” Perhaps my judgment was clouded by the Chino-politans – featuring dry ice and an edible orchid – but for a moment there the proceedings seemed a grand old party indeed.

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