MSNBC's Chris Matthews was forced to wait in line with the commoners. A blogger was mistaken for a prostitute. And everyone seemed to be Twittering or liveblogging. Inauguration eve was boisterous!

Judging by sheer star-power (and Twitter presence), the big party was the Huffington Post's big ball at the Newseum. Say what you will about publisher-turned-socialite Arianna Huffington as a boss, but she can still throw a mean ball. (Gwen Ifil had a party too, with Maureen Dowd, Tom Brokaw and David Brooks in attendance. John McCain had a party where his mom got wild.)

First, people had to figure out how to get there.

Then there was the epic line, involving special bracelets and hordes of people. FishbowlNY offered definitive coverage of the queue.

Tweets from multiple sources confirmed Chris Matthews continued to get no respect. From the HuffPo liveblog (more below): "Has Chris Matthews gotten in yet? He was spotted outside angrily waiting on line... "

Inside, it was clear that snark was definitely in attendance.

Stars were there, too! Big time. Sightings from the HuffPo liveblog (first embed) included:

  • Tom Hanks, whose daughter Liz has worked for HuffPo.
  • Ben Affleck
  • Chris Dodd
  • Sharon Stone
  • Sting (who sang)
  • San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom
  • "David Gregory and Beth WIlkinson just walked in...arm in arm... "
  • Robert DeNiro
  • Val Kilmer (who liveblogged)
  • Glenn Close
  • performed

Even the more prominent locals sometimes felt like D-listers.

The bleary-eyed aftermath came all too soon.

But was followed by an especially fresh morning.