Drama. Ego. Protocol: Washington dinners have it all — and that’s just the seating chart

You walk into a fancy dinner and pick up the little envelope that reveals your fate: the seat assignment for the evening. Did you score a prized spot at the best table? Or are you in “Siberia,” consigned to a seat in the back of the room? In a city full of status symbols, nothing distills power more quickly than your literal place at the table.

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