Monday, January 5, 2009

Will the Obamas make the cocktail, dinner party rounds?

The Pleasure of His Company

Since the whole country is riveted in everything and anything that the Obamas do, now many are wondering in Washington, D.C., will they be home sitters like the Bushs or will they be a young, lively couple and go out and make the rounds.

First off, this may be on the Obamas agenda, it should be but I don't see any major movement until after the Inauguration. Frankly, they just left their home of Chicago, are living in a hotel with their girls, there is no wind Grandma-in-Chief is in D.C., yet and hell, they are going through a period of adjustment.

In my opinion, I do see them making the rounds, maybe even a couple of parties before the Inauguration, but it will be on the low.

This still does not mean that D.C. is starry eyed not to have the Obamas as dinner guests.

Now as a new administration moves to town, another Washington guessing game begins: who will be able to snag the Obamas for dinner?

“There’s a lot of jockeying right now,” said Ann Walker Marchant, the chief executive of a public relations firm and a niece of Vernon E. Jordan Jr., the longtime Clinton insider. “They certainly know they have an open invitation at my house.”

“Everybody in town wants to see them, everybody wants to go to the White House,” said Sally Quinn, the author, journalist and frequent hostess. “And everybody wants to have them over.”

The fight is on for having the Obamas to their home, hopefully to be a new BFF, or maybe a temporary BFF, but more importantly many want that invite to the White House.
An Obama aide, groaning at the mention, said the transition office has been flooded with invitations to parties, dinners and events, particularly for the weekend of Jan. 17, before the inauguration, but Mr. Obama has not yet accepted any social requests.

He might be choosing carefully. A new president’s first foray into the social scene in the capital can be heavy with symbolism, a hint of how the first couple plan to engage with unofficial Washington. Failing to do so could mean missing an opportunity to meet the press, make bipartisan overtures and advance the White House political agenda, as other presidents have discovered.

Yes, be very careful about this social scene, it can help you and definitely HARM YOU. But if you want in with the Obamas, ask the press, who do you get in to get in with them? During the campaign, the press growled and complained about NO ACCESS to Obama because he did not have his campaign office in D.C. it was in Chicago, far, far, away from the D.C. conventional wisdom. So, if folks want the Obamas at their dinner table who do you go to?
“The social question is, who the closest people to the Obamas are personally?” Ms. Haddad said. “Who’s the hottest property inside their small circle?”

A common tactic is to host a gathering not in honor of Mr. Obama, but for someone close to him, such as one of his top aides, making it difficult for him to refuse the invitation, one Washington hostess slyly suggested.

That was how Desirée Rogers, a longtime friend of the Obamas and the incoming White House social secretary, lured them both to her Chicago Gold Coast condominium in November: to attend a birthday party for Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama.

Ummm, trick them into coming to your home by honoring someone they admired and/or is close to. That is slick. Or try this trick...
“You have to find somebody Obama is dying to meet,” she said. “That’s the old Washington way, to dangle the bait, you know? And Obama would be such big bait; anybody in the world would come to a dinner for him.”

Whenever the President and his First Lady make the dinner circuit, I am sure it will be staged to a tee.


Home Page