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Google and 'Vanity Fair' party with the GOP

Google and Vanity Fair hosted one of the most talked-about parties at the Republican convention.

Around 2:30 a.m., partygoers leave the Google and Vanity Fair event at Minneapolis' modern art museum during the Republican convention. Declan McCullagh/CNET News

MINNEAPOLIS--Republican partygoers in the Twin Cities this week may have been sporting slightly more formal attire than their counterparts in Denver--think more suits and pearl necklaces--but that doesn't mean their parties were any less bumping.

The Google/Vanity Fair party Thursday night in Minneapolis for the Republican convention largely measured up to, and in some respects surpassed, the Google party in Denver.

The two parties were the same in concept--well-known politicians, unknown aides, and a smattering of Hollywood celebrities moved through rooms sporting colored themes, finger foods, and open bars. However, the lines at the bars in Minneapolis were shorter, and there was a greater selection of food: there were chocolate-covered strawberries, sushi, sliders, and even a mashed potato bar complete with fixings like lobster and caviar.

The party was held at the Walker Art Center, a modern building that stood in eye-catching contrast to the traditional churches that dotted the neighborhood. Inside the center, one of the nation's top contemporary art museums, were high ceilings, sharp angles, and modern chandeliers, lending the party a slightly more sophisticated feel than last week's at Denver's Exdo Event Center.

The one Hollywood celebrity CNET reporters spotted at the party late in the evening was Rosario Dawson, who diplomatically attended both the Republican and Democratic conventions. Google co-founder Larry Page (apparently minus wife Lucy Southworth, who showed up last week) showed up in a pinstriped suit; Google CEO Eric Schmidt and senior legal VP David Drummond were at the Republican convention earlier in the week, a Google representative told us.

Partygoers seemed pleased with the evening. However, no one--not even the social conservatives--appeared happy when the bars shut down precisely at 1 a.m., apparently because of a city ordinance.