NEW YORK — Party lines — political or social — are seldom what they seem, especially at a media-heavy Saturday night bash for 6,500.

Several insiders at the Republican National Convention’s welcome party at the Time Warner Center here proved that wit and tact will go a long way in the days ahead.

Asked if he had any last-minute advice for designers preparing for 7th on Sixth in the midst of the RNC, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “I think it’s going to be a great fashion year with record-breaking crowds.”

Fox News’ Greta Von Susteren was more direct when asked for a few telltale signs of New Yorkers versus Washingtonians. “There are much more conservative dressers in D.C. We’re the ones asking directions. But we know all the names of the senators and politicians, and can actually identify the people in the convention.”

So, what is Larry King most looking forward to this week? “Ending it. It’s hard to go to an event where you know the outcome. It’s like going to the Super Bowl and you know who wins. We’re looking for news and it’s mostly manufactured here,” he said, “It’s fun and it’s a party. You get to see people in political circles gathered in one room. But it’s not a news story — unless something happens, and then you want to be there.”

A self-described “Republocrat,” Don King, in a star spangled jean jacket with five oversized pro-Bush campaign buttons, said he will support the president for four more years. Like Bush, he believes Democrats “have to give black voters a sound basis of why you should vote for them,” he said.

“Martin Luther King told me both parties use black voters for a political football. They promise us everything and they give us nothing,” King said.

Russell Simmons’ and P. Diddy’s voter registration campaigns earned points with King. “I think it’s wonderful. The more people we can register to vote the better — regardless of who they vote for,” King said. “People have died — black and white — for the right to vote,” King said. “Some have put their lives on the line for the question of freedom, justice and equality.”CNN’s Wolf Blizter noted the Democratic National Convention has been held here five or six times, but this is a first for the RNC. Asked about the irony of having the RNC in this largely Democratic state, Blitzer said, “It’s ironic that New York has a Republican mayor and a Republican governor.”

As for his own staying power for the week ahead, Blitzer said, “Pace yourself. It’s like war. You want to make sure you have enough for the next day.”

— Rosemary Feitelberg

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