On the eve of the White House Correspondents' Dinner this Saturday, the Washington Post threw a welcome reception for its advertising partners and kicked off a beltway press tradition.
The drinks and the eclectic finger foods were abundant at One Lounge on Friday night, as the Washington Post and the Slate Group kicked off the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner gala a night early.
The dinner, hosted by the White House Correspondents' Association, to be held at the Washington Hilton on Saturday night, is an annual reflection that celebrates the work of the journalists responsible for covering the White House. Saturday Night Live's Seth Meyers will host the event.
The White House Correspondents' Dinner is not devoid of controversy, and this time around the Washington Post found itself a participant in the beltway speculation, having invited real estate baron and potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to join their pre-dinner festivities on Saturday night.
The news organization questioned his attendance in their editorial pages, as Media Bistronotes:
"In an editorial today, WaPo columnist Dana Milbank agrees with Ezra Klein: that the paper inviting Donald Trump was a mistake," Alec Jacobs reported in Media Bistro. "Or, at the very least, awkward."
But the potential for Mr. Trump's attendance made for good party fodder on Friday night, as attendees compared plans for how to tactfully photograph the likes of Speaker John Boehner, Jersey Shore's Snooki, Sean Penn, Steven Tyler, David Byrne, and Bristol Palin.
The conversations meandered from the tornadoes that have ravaged the South to the costume party that defined the royal wedding to the expectations of the day ahead. The White House Correspondents' Dinner is not a singular event but is instead a series of gatherings throughout Washington DC that culminate in the dinner itself.
As the reception spilled out into the street, one guest quipped: "If I see Trump, I'll have my documents lined up."