Saturday, May 09, 2009

White House Correspondents Dinner Preview

(image via farlane)

Tonight is the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, a grand old party where the thin line between celebrity and politics vanishes. Despite the fact that the decimation of the newspaper industry means that fewer newspapers will be buying tables, it should be a festive event. Up-and-coming celebrities -- like Jon Hamm -- especially make the effort to attend. Hamm will probably be mobbed by DC ladies starved of the sight of a good-looking slab of man ("Politics," the butt-ugly Phil Gramm once observed, "is Hollywood for ugly people." So true.) First Lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to hand out scholarships to students chosen by the white house correspondents' association. Michelle had a hectic social schedule this week, attending the Met Costume Gala -- aka, the night Keifer headbutted that fashion designer -- on Tuesday night.

Congressman Eric Cantor, a name mentioned as a possible 2012 Presidential candidate, will be in attendance at the White House Correspondence Dinner as a guest of Newsweek. "He'll be with Owen Wilson and Natalie Portman," says The Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers. Ackers also said in a recent WashPo chat, "..the most exclusive after party tomorrow night will be hosted by Bloomberg News and Vanity Fair. The coolest and wildest after party will likely be the Capitol File magazine party at the Corcoran." Jason Bateman, Forest Whitaker, Sting and Tyra Banks are among the celebrities that will be attending the Capital File party.

Also at the Capital File party: Desirée Rogers, the White House Social Secretary (Obama's arbiter elegantiae), Narciso Rodriguez, Rashida Jones, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to President Obama, Bill O'Reilly and, of course, the ubiquitous Brooke Shields.

FishbowlDC tweets that Governor Sarah Palin, not attending because of floods in her state of Alaska, is sending Todd Palin in her place. Alberto Gonzales, the former Attorney General who is being investigated for torture, will be at the dinner, which should be suitably awkward experience for all involved (Averted Gaze).

The profoundly creepy Val Kilmer, who is making grunting noises about running for Governor of New Mexico, has been milling about the capitol and will probably find his way into the dinner.

At the annual power brunch at Tammy Haddad's house this afternoon Howie Kurtz tweeted: "Saw @jaketapper, @cbellantoni, Roger Simon, @TheFix & new baby. Oddest moment: meeting Todd Palin. Greta Van S. escorting him around." Kurtz won't be at the dinner, but he will report on the tweets (a sign that we live in a new(media) world).

Ludacris, who is becoming a regular at the White House Correspondents Dinner, was at last night's Time/People party. This is probably the only way Ludacris could get on C-Span (Shoutout to my mellow, Brian Lamb). Wanda Sykes, who recently came out publicly as a result of the appalling Proposition 8 vote in California, will be the entertainment for the party.

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