Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DC's Top 5 Sites for Political Intrigue & Scandal

Whaddya know? They're all hotels.

Watergate - Perhaps you've heard of the chi-chi apartment-hotel complex on the riverfront? Hint: a little break-in occurred here in 1972, something to do with Richard Nixon and wiretaps. Monica Lewinsky, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Condi Rice have all lived at Watergate, despite the sad 60s architecture.

Renaissance Mayflower Hotel - J Edgar Hoover ate lunch here every day for 20 years. John F Kennedy reportedly sampled the charms of the fairer sex here. And NY Governor Eliot Spitzer infamously rendezvoused with a call girl here (room 871).

Washington Hilton - This is where John Hinckley tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. Hoping to impress the actress Jodie Foster, the disturbed young man shot Reagan, his press secretary and an FBI agent near the T St NW entrance.

Westin Washington DC City Center (formerly the Vista Hotel) - In 1990 DC mayor Marion Barry was caught puffing crack cocaine in room No 727. The FBI had a surveillance camera inside that also captured Barry uttering his timeless quote - 'Bitch set me up!' - in reference to ex-model (and police informant) Hazel 'Rasheeda' Moore, who was with him.

Willard InterContinental Hotel - President Grant coined the term "lobbyist" here to describe the many political wranglers trolling the lobby. You'll still find quite a few of them in the hotel bar, swirling single-malt Scotches and determining your next tax hike.

This is part 2 of a week-long series on DC. Part 1 reveals where to see nuclear missiles, the gun that shot Abe, and 8 other awesome things for free.

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