Google, 'Vanity Fair' party down at DNC

Event on the last evening of the Democratic convention brings together Mountain View geeks, Washington insiders, and Hollywood celebrities.

Stephanie Condon
Stephanie Condon Staff writer, CBSNews.com
Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.
2 min read
Red carpet outside of Google's exclusive party at the Democratic convention. Note the multiple colors on the windows: inside the rooms were divided into sections that matched the colors of the company's logo. Declan McCullagh/CNET News

DENVER--Yes we can? Sure, unless you're talking about getting into the Google/Vanity Fair party on Thursday night.

Barack Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination for president Thursday, in front of thunderous crowd of nearly 80,000 in Invesco Field, evoked inclusivity and unity--two qualities that don't necessarily make for a cool party.

Google managed to build the buzz for its party all week in Denver--limiting tickets, dis-inviting people, and making well-known Washingtonians--gasp!--wait in line. Not helping was that recipients forwarded around the e-mail invitation, resulting in an avalanche of RSVPs.

Also lending an aura of exclusivity was the location at the Exdo Event Center, a nondescript building in an almost-shady part of town, where a red carpet was rolled out and folks hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity or two hung around outside. (For the record, Google is planning another similar event for the Republican convention next week.)

Inside, the warehouse-like space was divided into quarters, each with different colored theme--one wall had red-tinted lighting and flames projected across the wall, while the other side had green lighting and astroturf on the ground. Another quarter featured a bar made out of ice. Each quarter of the room had a bar and snacks, ranging from sushi to Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

A few media heavyweights like Anderson Cooper and Judy Woodruff mingled with the crowd. Other celebrities included Chevy Chase--a regular in Washington. Tech lobbyists were there as well, plus Google co-founder Larry Page (and wife Lucy Southworth) and Google senior vice president of legal David Drummond, an Obama supporter.

Ducking through a side door led to a room with a large stage where partygoers were playing the Rockband video game. Some members of Congress, like Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, seemed to be enjoying the performance. Adjacent to that room was a small space with a few games of Wii set up, and past that, there was finally a room with a dance floor.

Note to political hacks: Just because you wrangled an invite to this party doesn't mean you can actually dance--or that we want to see you try.