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Obama Meets the Press—for Dinner

7:50 PM, Mar 9, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Hated politics?

Loves his TelePrompTer, loves a White House ball

But mighty Obama

Don’t schmooze with us at all.

And just a week after Congress let automatic spending cuts go into effect, the Gridiron members noted, in Washington speak, the process that brought it about:

You’d think a sound solution here would be a real no-brainer

They play a game of chicken just to see who’s more insane-er

The culprits, their identities could not be plainer

Nancy, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid and Speaker Boehner

Oh, mandatory legislative budget sequestration.

The 650 dinner guests included several Cabinet members, top military officials, senior White House advisers, three governors, four senators, four House members and 10 ambassadors. Media stars at the show included PBS’s Jim Lehrer, C-SPAN’s Susan Swain, Meet the Press host David Gregory, ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Head table guests included the president and featured speakers as well as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and the director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper.

The Gridiron Club and Foundation is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization that provides contributions annually for college scholarships and journalistic organizations. Active membership is limited to 65 Washington-based journalists. Two new active members were introduced at the dinner: Thomas Burr of The Salt Lake Tribune and Sally Buzbee of The Associated Press.

John Mulligan, formerly of the Providence (R.I.) Journal, served as music chairman for the show. ABC News’ Robin Sproul produced the Republican skit while Stephen Koff of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer produced the Democratic skit. The opener was produced by Chuck Raasch of USA Today and the closing songs by Chris Casteel of The Oklahoman.

The club’s music director is Col. Michael Colburn, director of the United States Marine Band; he was aided by the band’s assistant director, Maj. Jason Fettig, accompanist John Fluck and the musicians of Sidney’s Orchestra.

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