Late Night: Punkin The White House

statedinner1125That’s punkin, not pumpkin my fellow gobblers and gobblees. Yes indeedy, the White House has been officially punked. Late breaking from the Washington Post:

A couple of aspiring reality-TV stars from Northern Virginia appear to have crashed the White House’s state dinner Tuesday night, penetrating layers of security with no invitation to mingle with the likes of Vice President Biden and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Tareq and Michaele Salahi — polo-playing socialites known for a bitter family feud over a Fauquier County winery and their possible roles in the forthcoming “The Real Housewives of Washington” — were seen arriving at the White House and later posted on Facebook photos of themselves with VIPs at the elite gathering.

While the White House offered no official explanation, it appears to be the first time in modern history that anyone has crashed a White House state dinner. The uninvited guests were in the same room as President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, although it is unknown whether they met the Obamas and the guest of honor.

Here is the best part – they had their picture taken with the one and only Ron Emanuel:

But the best was yet to come: Once inside the dinner tent, they got pictures that appeared to show them with ABC’s Robin Roberts, Bollywood composer AR Rahman, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, Obama Chief of Staff Emanuel (identified as “Ron” in the couple’s Facebook photo caption) and two with a grinning vice president. (Emphasis added)

So, that is a pretty good story; but here is an even better one of some punkin going on at the White House, courtesy of the inestimable Howie Klein.

Howie tells the story of how he arranged for Lou Reed to attend and perform for an official Clinton White House State Dinner for Vaclev Havel, President of the Czech Republic:

One of the “big” news stories yesterday was the State Dinner President Obama gave in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who, like CNN’s Sanji Gupta– a guest– is a doctor. 400 people were invited– probably 200 + 1 each, but I’m not certain– and it was in a heated tent on the lawn. I have a half-baked reason for telling the story of the state dinner I went to in September, 1998
I understood exactly what President Clinton wanted– and delivered. Havel and Lou Reed, a Reprise artist and a friend of mine, had such a powerful bond that Havel actually credited him with being part of the inspiration for the Velvet Revolution that freed Czechoslovakia from Soviet domination.
Everyone was grooving out (Henry Kissinger, Ted Stevens, Eric Holder, Kurt Vonnegut, Jane Harman, Chuck Hagel and 2 generals, John Shalikashvili and my new pal, Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)– not just Lugar– and I kept wondering if anyone had any clue what the lyrics were. Clinton certainly didn’t. He got up onstage and played his sax.

Now that is some punkin the White House!

102 replies
  1. EvilDrPuma says:

    Needless to say, if they’d tried to crash a Bush state dinner, they would have been served franks and beans and then shot.

  2. EvilDrPuma says:

    Seriously, where’s the Secret Service in all this? Was Bush such a pain that they decided to take four years off?

  3. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Tareq and Michaele Salahi — polo-playing socialites known for a bitter family feud over a Fauquier County winery and their possible roles in the forthcoming “The Real Housewives of Washington” — were seen arriving at the White House and later posted on Facebook photos of themselves with VIPs at the elite gathering.

    This couple was able to find time to break away from Boehner’s expensive golf games to make it to the WH?

  4. EvilDrPuma says:

    Agreed. If the Secret Service can’t handle bouncer duty, I don’t want to think about what could happen in a large-crowd, open-air environment.

  5. Teddy Partridge says:

    A CNN talking head had Roxanne Roberts, the WaPo reporter who ‘broke’ this story along with Fran Fragos Townsend, W’s wife for Homeland Security, on AC360 tonight. Somehow, for all of Frannie’s feigned outrage about such a horrific Obama state dinner security breach, the topic of having a gay male prostitute in the press room day after day during the Bush years never came up.

    I wonder why?

  6. Teddy Partridge says:

    You know the White House is pissed about this story — it’s what everyone will talk about over Thanksgiving Dinner if they talk about Obama at all. But the best part about the White House being pissed off is the bonus: the President’s Chief of Staff has a new nickname going forward: “Ron

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      it’s what everyone will talk about over Thanksgiving Dinner if they talk about Obama at all.

      Ummm… well, maybe my Thanksgiving Dinner won’t be all that typical, but some of the people that I dine with work with engineers born and raised in India; where I live, it’s a big deal to see Mr. Singh and the nation of India get more ‘respect’ and visibility.

      The focus on India is a **big** deal.
      And Mr. Singh is highly regarded for his economic and medical policy work (by those with whom I am occasionally in contact).
      IMVHO, this State Dinner is long overdue.
      Neither Bush nor Cheney were capable of an initiative of this sort; this new focus on India is enormously encouraging from my tiny view on the world, where on morning walks, I sometimes pass women out for their morning walks dressed in beautiful saris.
      This is what Obama was elected to do: bring this nation into the 21st century after the nightmare of BushCheney.

      (FWIW, the Republican business leaders ought to take the GOP Congressional leadership to the proverbial woodshed for being so clueless and rude that they skipped this State Dinner in a ‘cut off your nose to spite your face’ attempt to insult Pres. Obama. As an American, I’m personally relieved that neither Mr. Singh, nor his gracious wife, were subjected to the insipid platitudes of Boehner, Cantor, nor McConnell.)

      (And the Obamas looked terrific.)

  7. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    And on a serious, personal note, IMVHO Michelle Obama looked stunning in that gorgeous, classy dress.

    • PJEvans says:

      Although where I work, there was a woman complaining about how much decolletage Michelle displayed.

      There are a couple of Badgley Mischkas ing the Vogue catalog that would look really good on the First Lady. Or she’d make the gowns look even better.

  8. swag says:

    Extraordinary note on apparent Secret Service negligence on Salahis. Head of SS and Rahm should resign immediately.

    On Lou Reed and Havel, anybody who knows the history of the Czech Republic, the Plastic People of the Universe, Havel, and the VU would not find the Lou Reed appearance at the White House to be news or to be surprising.

    Nice post.

    • ratfood says:

      If you’re talking about the video that accompanies this post the first song is Dirty Blvd. from Lou’s “New York” album and the second is White Light White Heat, a Velvet Underground song that Bowie covered in the early ’70s.

      Great video choice bmaz!

      • TexBetsy says:

        I already had round one of Thanksgiving with a friend and his kids. Making a casserole to bring to a mid-afternoon dinner tomorrow, then munching at home and watching the Giants in the evening. You?

        • ratfood says:

          T-bone for Bob an’ me. Of course he’ll eat the steak and I’ll get the bone. :-)

          I haven’t decided what I’m having with it. I’ve resisted the temptation of desserts… so far.

  9. sunshine says:

    Maybe I’ve seen to many spy movies but I am worried about this. I’m thinking Watergate, planting bugs, anthrax, swine flu. We do not know what that couple brought or left behind or who instigated them to be so brazen to so such a thing.

  10. Funnydiva2002 says:

    Hey, Pups!
    Quiet around here tonight. Gotta say, I’m glad not to be travelling this weekend!

    Oh, and that “tent” on the WH lawn looked more like a glass pavillion. Really beautiful.


  11. Waccamaw says:

    Evenin’, pups –

    Like there aren’t enough of these freakin’ “Real Housewives of…..” reality shows on the idjit box already? Hruuuuumph! And it’d be really nice if law enforcement would put both of these people *under* the jail.

    Gotta go finish getting stuff ready for a trip tomorrow……y’all have a good holiday.

  12. Twain says:

    I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I plan to eat too much and then have a nap. It’s bed and book time for me. GN

  13. ratfood says:

    I heard a thump outside a couple minutes ago. Already got my morning paper with all the Black Friday ads.

      • Kelly Canfield says:

        Weee! That’s 3 great ones!

        Just a catering trick; if your freezing a 750ml bottle, consider purchasing and emptying a half gallon of milk or oj in one of the wax paper type varieties. Fill with water, put your 750ml booze of choice in it and freeze. Then peel the paper crap off for your event. Voila, ice-begirdled cocktail!

        Its fun!

        • Oilfieldguy says:

          kewl! One trick I did once for finger foods is slice carrots in long square strips. Soak in salt water until they are limber enough to tie a knot in the center. Then re-soak in fresh ice water to firm them back up to a snappy crispness. Folks are perplexed and ask how I knotted them. I tell ’em I grew them that way.

  14. freepatriot says:

    late night greeting from a pie bakin fool

    punkin, an french apple



    if you ain’t got pie, you can stop by

    we can cure your lack

  15. Lisa Derrick says:

    The Salahis just blew their chance on Real Housewives of DC. What they did was scummier and tackier than any of other women on those shows.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, I dunno, they are more interesting than the rest of the freaking stuffed shirt hollow head political asswipes at that dinner. Why not let em be on some stupid TeeVee show?

  16. Bluetoe2 says:

    Poetic irony. The American public is punked by “change you can believe in” and now the WH is punked by attention starved wannabees.

  17. mafr says:

    I wonder if lou reed played “heroin”

    weird, everything gets absorbed by the United Borgs of America.

    I have heard “doors” tunes in advertisements. the Doors.

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