Ward 4 Councilwoman Muriel Bowser has so far been coy about her intention to run for mayor -- her colleagues Jack Evans and Tommy Wells have already said they're running -- but the speech Bowser delivered at her 40th birthday party last Thursday sure sounded like someone trying to establish her mayoral bona fides.

Addressing the 200-plus crowd in a lemon-hued yellow party dress, Bowser paid tribute to the leaders who came before her (including Marion Barry, who waved to hearty applause) and gave shout-outs to appeal to every possible voter in the District of Columbia. Bowser noted her use of Twitter, Facebook, and Excel spreadsheets; claimed to ride the bus, Metro, and bikes; pledged allegiance to Rustik DC, Busboys and Poets, and Chez Billy; and praised Jay-Z, the B-52s, Prince, and Nirvana. Also: She's excited about the Nats.

The packed party, which took place at the Northwest home of Daniel and Loretta Neumann Smith, drew a diverse crowd that included Council members Mary Cheh, Phil Mendelson, and of course Marion Barry. Nearly as many well-wishers swirled around Barry as the birthday girl, and the Ward 8 council member soaked up the attention under a tent in the backyard.