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Convention’s End Brings Revelry To A Close

August 20, 1992

HOUSTON (AP) _ The curtain dropped Thursday on a week of Republican revelry that left the festive faithful with a song in their hearts, big bucks in their campaign chests and a burning sensation in their tum tums.

Not to mention a pounding in their heads.

″Thank God it’s only four days,″ sighed a smiling California party-goer, Mary Jean Duran of Lafayette, at a Farewell Fiesta bash overflowing with margaritas and Mexican beer.

″It’s been a Texas-sized party and Texas-sized fun.″

Companion Adrienne Cisneros of Hacienda Heights described her first GOP National Convention as ″lots of boots, hats, margaritas, chili, beer, barbecue and Tex-Mex.″

Laughing, she added: ″It was also lots of late nights and early mornings.″

Indeed, it was a elephantine hoot.

For thousands of delegates, guests, hosts, politicos, media, assorted fat cats and hard-core party animals, the sideshow outside the Astrodome was every bit as wacky as the main event inside.

Flashy socialite Georgette Mosbacher, wife of George Bush’s campaign chairman, got more ink and air time than the first and second ladies combined and at week’s end even her dog joined in the media blitz.

″Adam Mosbacher, below, graciously greeted guests before retiring to a white sofa for a nap,″ the Houston Post disclosed in a caption accompanying a photograph of the Cavalier Spaniel.

Adam appeared, well, cavalier. Or at least coolly indifferent.

With a smile on their lips and venom in their veins, competing gossip columnists dropped celebrity names with Hollywood abandon and debated daily whether Arnold Schwarzenegger would or would not surface on the party circuit.

He did.

″I told you so,″ sniffed the Chronicle’s Maxine Mesinger.

It was also Maxine who detoured from the party trail at one point to reveal some really big news: The London Mirror was poised to publish photos of Fergie, Duchess of York, cavorting topless on a beach with her ″very frequent companion″ John Byrne.

Meanwhile, Maxine’s counterpart at the Post, Betsy Parish, provided critical daily body counts. Sample:

″Sound bitems: David Brinkley at Brennan’s; Larry King at Ritz-Carlton; Rush Limbaugh at Plaza Hilton; Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor at Four Seasons; Roger Ailes and James Brady at the Wyndam Warwick; Charles Kuralt at Armano’s and Cafe Annie...″

The celebrity gambit hit its fever pitch when delegates began popping into parties with souvenir buttons that said: ″I saw Elvis at the Republican National Convention...″

A Michigan youth delegate, Nick Stamas of Midland, was a minor hit at a major bash with a ″Nixon ’92″ button but a totally unofficial poll amid the redneck revelry produced this clear-cut souvenir favorite:

″If Bill Clinton is the answer, it must be a real stupid question.″

And so ends a week of star-spangled debauchery, which, according to published reports, raised as much as $10 million for fall campaigns. It is time though, as Texas Gov. Ann Richards suggested in a slightly different context, to lock up the liquor cabinet and switch off the lights.

The party’s over.

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