The White House Correspondents annual dinner, begun in 1920, is a Washington, D.C. ritual and is usually attended by the president and vice president. In recent years, the event has exploded into a weekend-plus long series of events. Washington has a love affair with Hollywood and we're all aflutter in anticipation of (possibly) rubbing elbows with entertainments' elite.
This year, attendees include: Chelsea Handler (to provide the irreverent sass), Gabourey Sidibe, ScarJo, Bradley Cooper, Michael Douglas, Betty White (could she be cooler?), Jon Bon Jovi, Mariska Hartigay and chronic dumpee Jessica Simpson, among others. Washingtonians live, work, eat and play with leaders of the free world and don't blink an eye. I was once in line at Whole Foods sandwiched in between Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Karl Rove with Cokie Roberts two aisles down. Yawn. Put Justin Bieber in Whole Foods or on Capitol Hill and inside the Beltway residents will riot.
Getting into WHCD parties is no easy task -- it takes finesse and perhaps shamelessness to convince party organizers why you should attend their party.
In some instances, organizers appear to be courting and coaxing certain VIPs and reporters into attending their parties,
says Betsy Rothstein, co-editor of MediaBistro's Fishbowl DC,
In others, e-mails from reporters go coldly unanswered.
Susanna Quinn, a fifth generation Washingtonian, granddaughter of Senator Mike Monroney and wife of former White House Counsel Jack Quinn has no trouble getting on the lists. How is she getting primed for the glitterati?
The White House Correspondent's Dinner is a great opportunity to celebrate all the smart people who cover the White House
, she says,
So I'm prepping by reading Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea, listening to the Jonas Brothers' latest CD and following Demi Moore on Twitter.
Tammy Haddad, TV producer and media guru launched a website dedicated to all things WHCA last year since there was so much interest in the dinner. Haddad will be hosting her seventeenth annual "Garden Brunch," known as the best loved of all the weekend's parties. This year, Susan Axelrod is the honorary co-chairwoman of Haddad brunch and will benefit CURE Epilepsy.
People are so interested in Washington and the WHCD that we decided to teach something while they're here
, said Haddad. Guests at the famous tented backyard brunch are bi partisan power players, many of whom are Members of Congress who are rarely in Washington for the weekend. Two weeks after Haddad's 2009 brunch, she scored an interview with the President. Aboard Air Force One, POTUS said to Haddad:
Hey, I heard you had a great party last week.
Haddad says it's now a different culture to have a President
know what's going on at a non-official event.
You too, can peek into Washington's power weekend. Haddad will be live streaming her party and covering other WHCD events. http://www.whitehousecorrespondentsweekendinsider.com/