White House defends private party

The White House is defending a private concert held over the weekend featuring Prince and Stevie Wonder, saying the Obamas paid for it themselves.

While it is estimated that 500 were in attendance, many are surprised by how little publicity and social media activity the event generated.

Attendees included Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, singer Ciara, Rev. Al Sharpton, Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, American Express CEO Ken Chenault, entrepreneur and philanthropist Connie Milstein, and former White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard.

Read more via nytimes.com: Invitations to a White House Party: Signed, Sealed, Delivered, but Private
Read more via thehill.com: White House defends private Prince party

Meet-Up for Childhood Freedom

2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Kailash Satyarthi, is joining supporters to celebrate freedom for the world’s children — freedom from slavery, labor, childhood hunger, trafficking and illiteracy. This peaceful gathering will honor the collective work being accomplished combined with a reminder of the significant work ahead to make childhood freedom a priority on both national and international agendas.

The meet-up will take place Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 4 pm at the Lincoln Memorial. All are welcome. More information at lincoln.satyarthi.org.

Taylor Swift’s Washington Concert Is Becoming a Political Fundraiser

“The Washington Post reported that several politicians are selling tickets to Taylor Swift’s upcoming show at Nationals Stadium in July.

“For just $2,500, you can shake it off next to Democrats like Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) or Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.). If you’d rather go Republican, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) is apparently offering a ticket for only $1,500. (A pair of tickets to Stivers’ suite runs $2,500.)”

Read more via time.com: Taylor Swift’s Washington Concert Is Becoming a Political Fundraiser

Arsenal of Democracy Flyover

To honor our nation’s heroes, a diverse array of World War II aircraft flew above the skies of Washington, D.C. on Friday, May 8, 2015, the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, as part of the Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Capitol Flyover.

via ww2flyover.org: “The flyover will include dozens of World War II aircraft flying in 15 historically sequenced warbird formations overhead. The formations will represent the War’s major battles, from Pearl Harbor through the final air assault on Japan, and concluding with a missing man formation to “Taps.” Never before has such a collection of WWII aircraft been assembled at one location, to honor the large assemblage of veterans gathered at the WWII Memorial for a ceremony.”

Grasshoppers over the @WhiteHouse for the #VEDay70 celebration. #ww2flyover #VEDay

A video posted by WHC Insider (@whcinsider) on

2015 White House Correspondents Garden Brunch Coverage

‘House of Cards’ star defends WHCD as Washington’s ‘fun night’
“Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) proved to be quite the busy social butterfly. Donning a Memphis Grizzlies cap, sunglasses and a tan jacket, Cohen buzzed around an indoor buffet area and chatted up “Game of Thrones” actress Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on the HBO show. Then it was on to Sports Illustrated model Hannah Davis, with whom a smiling Cohen was seen having an extended conversation. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was eyed politely ducking out of the way of model Chanel Iman, as the 24-year-old snapped a photo with some gal pals.”

Journos, Stars Descend on DC for WHCD Garden Brunch, Meet Jane the Virgin and House of Cards Stars
“And who’s the star everyone wants to meet? Katie Couric tells me she can’t wait to shake hands with Gina Rodriguez, Golden Globe winning star of “Jane the Virgin.” Couric, who’s been doing great reports for Yahoo News and ABC, says, “She’s hot right now. Everyone is interested in her.”

White House Correspondents’ Dinner Attracts Celebs, Politicians
“(Vice CEO Shane) Smith would also make an appearance at Tammy Haddad’s brunch the following morning, and later at the Vanity Fair/Bloomberg after party. When asked why he was in D.C., he said he was there to secure White House accreditation for Vice, which plans on opening a bigger office in the city in preparation for coverage of the 2016 elections.”

WHCD Diary: What it’s really like to attend
“WHCD day starts off with a lavish brunch at the beautiful Georgetown home of Mark & Sally Ein — if you’re lucky enough to score an invite, that is. It’s a real who’s-who of Washington rubbing elbows with many of the celebrities in town for the dinner.”

My Weekend in Washington by Constance Zimmer
“There’s always a beautiful brunch hosted by Tammy Haddad with food, drinks, great causes like Dog Tag Bakery and of course more politics. The scene at the brunch is always a mixture of hungover people from the night before blended with an air of excitement about the night to come — a more casual setting where you can get yet another chance to have some interesting conversations with people who don’t cross your path everyday, like Chris Matthews.”

White House Correspondents’ Weekend: More Mindful of Journalists, Still Fun
“The annual Garden Brunch on R Street in Georgetown benefited Dog Tag Bakery and Blue Star Families.”

The Hangover: WHCD Weekend in Review
“Best Brunch: Tammy Haddad‘s Garden Brunch”

Norman Reedus and Lauren Cohan attend 101st White House Correspondents’ Dinner
“In addition to the big event on Saturday night, Cohen and Reedus also attended Capitol File’s WHCD Weekend Welcome Reception with Cecily Strong at The British Embassy and the 22nd Annual White House Correspondents’ Garden Brunch on Saturday afternoon.”

Anne V Flaunts Small Baby Bump at Garden Brunch
“The 29-year-old pregnant supermodel was joined by Hannah Davis, Gillian Jacobs, Darby Stanchfield, Norman Reedus, Carla Gugino, Alfre Woodard, Kelly Rutherford, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, his husband Justin Mikita, J.C. Chasez, and House of Cards‘ Michael Kelly.”

Star-Gazing at the 2015 White House Correspondent’s Dinner!
“The legendary White House Correspondent’s Brunch focused on two veterans-focused non profits: Blue Star Families and Dog Tag Bakery. “Jane The Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez, supermodel Chanel Iman, figure skater Tara Lipinski, *NSYNC’s J.C. Chasez, and “Community” star Gillian Jacobs were just some of the famous faces seen mingling at pre-party of all pre-parties.”

White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner: Inside the Weekend’s Biggest Media and Tech Events
“Here are a selection of some of the most creative and inspiring brunches, receptions, after-parties, and more from the weekend.”

The White House Hits Its ‘F**k It’ Phase
“Katie Couric couldn’t move an inch without yet another photo request, and had to be led by this reporter through the mob to the bar—a prominent Washington political activist admitted that support of Hillary is more dutiful than enthusiastic this time around.”

Ellen Tauscher receives Commander’s Cross of the Legion of Merit

A reception and award presentation was held in honor of the Honorable Ellen O’Kane Tauscher on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at the residence of German Ambassador Wittig. The Ambassador thanked Ms. Tauscher for her long, successful work in U.S.-German relations, adding that the world needs more “Tauscherism,” a more moderated approach for successful outcomes.

Tauscher gave a history lesson on the arrival of Irish and German immigrants to the U.S. and tickled the crowd by talking about how Germany got it right with Angela Merkel and how wonderful it will be with another woman leader of a country, President Hillary Clinton.

Guests included House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, General Jim Jones, Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley, Hilary Rosen, Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe, Franco Nuschese, and members of the Tauscher family.

Bloomberg Vanity Fair Party at 2015 WHCD

The conversations continued into the very early morning at the Bloomberg Vanity Fair party at the French Ambassador’s residence. Attendees included Elon Musk; Obama administration cabinet officials Ash Carter, Shaun Donovan and John Brennan; stars of Washington inspired TV shows, Carla Gugino and Aasif Mandvi from the upcoming HBO comedy series, The Brink, and Constance Zimmer and Michael Kelly from House of Cards; and television stars Connie Britton and Gina Rodriguez.

Washington guests were Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and husband Paul, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus and wife, Sally, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and speechwriter David Litt, and former Obama speechwriters Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett. Media guests included Andrea Mitchell, Ronan Farrow, Maureen Dowd, Fred Ryan, and Bret Baier. Also in attendance were Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Heather Podesta, Tammy Haddad, Marc Adelman and Liz Robbins.

View photos of all the action at the Bloomberg Vanity Fair Party after the 2015 White House Correspondents Dinner.

Variety: Hollywood to Mix with D.C. at ‘Nerd Prom’

“This week a new podcast and video was launched called Washington Insider, billed as featuring content on “how money, power and celebrity drive politics and power in America’s capital city.”

It’s no coincidence that the launch of the site — from producers Tammy Haddad, Simon Marks and Julianne Donofrio — comes the same week as the annual White House Correspondents Assn. dinner.”

Read more via Variety: White House Correspondents Dinner Preview: Hollywood to Mix with D.C. at ‘Nerd Prom’

Today’s WHCD 2015 Round Up

CBS nabs real, fictional secretaries of State for WHCD
“Two secretaries of State — a real-life former one, Madeleine Albright, and the Hollywood version, Téa Leoni, — will attend the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner this weekend. Albright and Leoni, who plays the fictional title role on “Madam Secretary,” will both be guests of CBS News at the April 25 festivities in Washington.”

Gov. Kasich takes flirtation with White House run to next level, creates ‘New Day for America’ fund
“Kasich will be traveling to Washington, D.C. later this week for a number of stops including the White House Correspondents Dinner and an appearance Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.””

Listen Up, D.C.! Here Comes the White House Correspondents’ Jam.
“Leavell recruited five correspondent-fronted bands — Fortune Senior Editor-at-Large Brian Dumaine, Esquire scribe Tom Junod, CNBC Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman, New Yorker Editor David Remnick and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Mark Rozzo are all slated to play with their respective outfits — to blow the doors off the Fairmont Hotel (2401 M St. NW) on April 24 from 7 to 11 p.m.”

Téa Leoni, Gina Rodriguez, Tim Daly Join WH Correspondents’ Guestlist
“The network is also bringing actress Gina Rodriguez and her actor boyfriend, Henri Esteve; “Madam Secretary” actor Tim Daly; Virginia Sen. Mark Warner; former CBS newsman and now NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counter-terrorism John Miller; Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro; Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro; Lebanon Ambassador to the U.S. Anotine Chedid; and former U.S. Ambassador to Italy David Thorne.”

Funny Girl Gig: Cecily Strong Fourth Female Entertainer at White House Correspondents’ Dinner
“Strong follows Wanda Sykes (2009), Elayne Boosler (1993) and Paula Poundstone (1992).”

How To Stream The White House Correspondents’ Dinner Live, Because It’s The Hottest Place To Be Saturday Night
“The cast of Modern Family is expected to attend, as well as Michael Kelly, Gina Rodriguez, Gabourey Sidibe, and Naya Rivera. We’ll see you Saturday night.”

‘SNL’s’ Cecily Strong Promises Hard Laughs at White House Correspondents Dinner
“She said that it “felt like the right year” to do the dinner as President Obama also has Chicago-area roots. “It was really sort of like, ‘Well, it’s now or never,’” she says of taking the gig.”