That’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!