Two dozen exceptionally “civil” guests dined at the long table of the Belgian embassy residence for the International Foundation for Education’s Civility Awards; well-named, given the topic (and given the host, polished and urbane ambassador Dominique Struye de Swielande).
Tennis coach Kathy Kemper, founder and CEO of the IFE, praised the honorees, Senator Susan Collins and Mayor Adrian Fenty, for bipartisan cooperation and for emphasizing civility’s value in their personal and public lives. The Ambassador expanded on this, as did George Vradenburg, the Phillips Collection’s chairman and IFE dinner chair. IFE trustee Morton Kondracke (of Roll Call) moderated a Q & A with the Democratic mayor and Republican senator that centered on the partisan-powderkeg D.C. voting rights controversy.
At one point, the decidedly Democratic and irrepressible Trish Vradenburg, whose husband supports the GOP, exclaimed to the table: “I can’t believe I’m sleeping with a Republican!” Unflappable George replied “And loving every moment of it!”