Private Equity: Humankind’s ‘Highest Calling’ — OK, Joke

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, left,  with The Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein at the Kennedy Center Spring Gala on May 4, 2014.

Photograph by Kennedy Center

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, left, with The Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein at the Kennedy Center Spring Gala on May 4, 2014.

“Washingtonians are indefatigable,” says David Rubenstein, founder of The Carlyle Group and a major donor to civic and artistic causes in the nation’s capital.

Especially when it comes to partying.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were up until wee hours Sunday morning at the Bloomberg LP/Vanity Fair party.

Sunday night, they were back in black-tie best for the Kennedy Center Spring Gala,  which Rubenstein hosts.

Rubenstein, who also attended the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday night, dined next to Lagarde, while Pelosi and her investor husband, Paul, caught up with Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, during the cocktail hour.

No sluggishness or tired eyes present.

Fellow Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer, ever buoyant, worked the room before the meal started.

Where do these people get the energy?

During the gala’s intermission, Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero said he went to bed around 3 in the morning.

But no big deal.

Another night, another gala.

This one had special meaning for Kennedy Center regulars, as it was a tribute to Michael Kaiser, the center’s president who leaves later this year, after a 13-year tenure.

Rubenstein praised Kaiser for getting the art organization’s budget back on track. ”Perhaps you can help the federal government,” he joked.

In his post-Kennedy Center years, Kaiser will stay close to Washington, overseeing an arts management organization he started.

That didn’t stop Rubenstein from offering career advice:

“You could try the highest calling of humankind: Private equity.”

The gala raised $2.7 million.

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