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Keller @ Large: The Awkward Holiday Party

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(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – As far as I know, House Speaker John Boehner and other top Republicans did in fact attend the White House holiday party Monday night, and how awkward do you suppose that was?

Listen to Jon’s commentary:


As best I can tell, the Democrats view the Republicans as clueless losers with no standing to bargain for anything since election day, and the Republicans see the Democrats as dangerous idiots bent on destroying the economy in the name of gratuitous political point scoring.

Not exactly a promising backdrop for an evening of good cheer and goodwill around the eggnog bowl.

But holiday parties don’t always take place amid universal engagement in the spirit of the season, do they?

I remember one company party I attended many years ago, before I came to work at WBZ, where one co-worker brought the proceedings to a standstill with a profane tantrum seconds after he arrived late to the affair. The cause – the hors d’ouevres were all gone.

Ho ho ho!

And I recall another long ago event when, as sometimes happens at office holiday parties, one drink too many triggered an unwelcome outburst of honesty from one colleague, who shared his low opinion of bosses and co-workers with one and all.

His personal belongings were waiting for him in a box the next day.

Those might well be picnics compared with last night’s icy White House shindig. Putting adversaries together, pouring them some punch and expecting them to be merry can be a bit of a stretch.

For that reason, it may be just as well that Gov. Patrick appears to have abandoned the tradition of a holiday party with the local political press.

Still, it is a good idea, in theory, to help hostile partisans in Washington find common personal ground of some kind. I hope they had the good sense to aggressively break the ice last night, maybe with a rousing game of Twister.

After all, once you’ve had your foot in the face of someone whose armpit is around your neck – and laughed about it – it’s hard to take sharp political elbows quite so seriously.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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