Celebrating inauguration with might and Maine in Washington

Published by The Portland Press Herald
by Kevin Miller

On Monday, hundreds of thousands of spectators from across the nation will gather within sight of the U.S. Capitol to watch President Obama take the oath of office.

But for several hours Sunday afternoon, it was all about Maine -- Maine politics, Maine seafood, even Maine blueberry-vodka cocktails -- in one tiny corner of Washington.

About 450 people gathered on a spring-like day for a "Luncheon to Celebrate the Inauguration of President Barack Obama." The luncheon was co-hosted by the Maine-based law firm Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios and the New Zealand embassy.

It was actually the second such event organized at the New Zealand embassy by Preti Flaherty, a well-connected firm whose attorneys are easily found in the hallways and committee rooms in Augusta. And like the first 2009 inaugural party, the guest list for Sunday's invitation-only event read like a who's who of Maine politics, past and present.

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