‘Table for Three’ with President Barack Obama and HBO ‘All the Way’ Star Bryan Cranston

 President Obama with actor Bryan Cranston in the private dining room of the Oval Office in the White House. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

President Obama with actor Bryan Cranston in the private dining room of the Oval Office in the White House. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

President Barack Obama and Bryan Cranston, who reprises his Tony Award-winning role as President Lyndon B. Johnson in the upcoming HBO Films presentation of All the Way, joined The New York TimesPhilip Galanes for a Table for Three conversation at the White House on the eve of the 2016 White House Correspondents Dinner.

The candid conversation covered topics from the impact their childhood has had on their roles as parents to the experience of being a celebrity and raising a family in the spotlight.

“It was probably our biggest worry before we came here. And it’s testimony entirely to Michelle and my mother-in-law that they’ve turned out to be such terrific grounded kids,” said Obama about raising children at the country’s most famous residence. “There was a powerful sense that I wanted to get this right. Not that I was going to be perfect, but that I was going to be there, and engage, and try to figure this out.”

Cranston agreed with the need to be present despite the challenges of balancing career and family: “My wife, Robin, was from a stable family, too. There was something so attractive about that. I thought, “This is what I want.” It’s still choppy waters raising kids, but I could never conceive of not being there.”

Galanes pointed out a scene in “All the Way” where LBJ comes out of the Oval Office and bumps into his daughter. Cranston explained that he “pitched that scene. It wasn’t in the play. I wanted you to feel the father’s love and his sense of regret that even though he’s so busy with the world’s problems.”

Obama and Cranston also discussed how the ability to tell a story is important to both of their careers. “When I set out to be an actor, I just wanted to tell stories. The fact that great fortune came and allowed me to become famous is almost a distraction from what I wanted to do,” said Cranston.

On going where people are to get the message out, Obama explained that, “when I want to sign young people up for health care, I’ve got to do ‘Between Two Ferns,’ which ended up being our biggest draw. Now, the flip side of this is the Trump phenomenon, where celebrity itself becomes a credential. If you are famous, then you have merit.”

Does playing a president qualify someone to be president? When Obama told Cranston it was too late for him this cycle, Cranston quickly replied, “It could be a brokered convention. You never know.”

Obama also gave Cranston and Galanes a tour of the White House grounds and Oval Office, a setting that is familiar to Cranston from his role as President Lyndon B. Johnson: “I’ve been in a replica of this room so much I feel like I’ve been here.” Obama noted that President Johnson’s civil rights laws are credited for “ultimately leading to the election of representatives who look like me.”

Read the full article on nytimes.com: Barack Obama and Bryan Cranston on the Roles of a Lifetime

Garden Brunch Guests Share Their Advice For ‘Starting Out And Starting Up’

As guests arrived at the 2016 White House Correspondents’ Garden Brunch, they were asked to share their advice for individuals who are seeking to launch a new career and change the world.

Scroll through the slideshow for insights shared by successful individuals from business, entertainment, media and politics.

"Be bold and be fearless!" - Sheila Johnson "World is Wide and Life is Long" - Dr. Sachiko Kuno "Life is about filling your plate with everything you want. Don't push your food around. Don't take less than what you need or more than you can chew. But definitely wipe it clean!" - Rosario Dawson "In the end it will all be okay. And, if it's not okay, then it's not the end. Onward and upward!" - Robin Bronk "Always say please and thank you." - Todd Harris and Ieva Augstums "Always do your homework - be prepared!" - Betsy Fischer-Martin "Always be a sponge for more info." - Ashley Graham "No job is too small not to do well!" - Heather Podesta "Discipline / Freedom" - Jeff Goldblum "Do not argue with your boss when u are drunk - even if u are right." - Joanna Coles "Have good real friends. Listen. God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Reflect & learn." - Debbie Dingell "Work hard and follow your instincts!" - Gugu Mbatha-Raw "Don't be afraid of fear." - Helen Mirren "Don't forget who you are!" - Jazmyn Simon
"Dare to dream. Dreams do come true!!!" - Dule Hill "Work hard on yourself. Don't be hard on yourself." - Stephanie Ruhle "Perseverance!" - Sela Ward "Be yourself at all times." - Deesha Dyer "Keep your expectations high!!!" - Amy Klobuchar "Don't take no!" - Gayle King "Never give up, for every no you may receive there is someone who will say yes!" - Emma Dockery "Love God and Love One Another!" - Omarosa "Travel! See the world so that you know something!" - Greta Van Susteren "Find out if your product can sell!!!" - Kevin Plank "Trust your gut." - Bridget Moynahan "Be respectful and kind. We are all in this life together." - Jaimie Alexander "Be bold!" - Joy Behar "Believe and trust in yourself." - Anne V "Commit 100% to your dream. That will lead you to places you can't even imagine!" - Tony Goldwyn "Be a good writer. Travel. Get things done!" - Gary Knell "Remember failure is a stepping stone to success!" - Arianna Huffington
"You can bend reality but don't break it!" - Travis Kalanick "Eyes on the prize - never give up. Drink lotsa water!" - Guillermo Diaz "You may be smart, but other people may be smarter. Listen & take advantage & learn. Two heads are smarter than one." - Wolf Blitzer "Never compare yourself with the other girls (models) because like flowers we're all beautiful in our own way." - Daniela Lopez Osorio "Get up when you fall down!" - David Adler "Always say YES" - Jamie Stelter "Instead of competing with others, try to do 10% better than you did." - Neve Campbell "Embrace the moment!" - Jessie Usher "You do know that you are enough, don't you?" - Jeff Perry "It's only life!" - Scott Foley "You Are Enough!" - Constance Zimmer "Live with Love and Gratitude!" - Matthew and Renee Morrison "Don't wait for anyone to let you be what you want to be - just be it!" - Lisa Edelstein "Dream big. Pray harder!" - Candace Cameron Bure
"Life is about filling your plate with everything you want. Don't push your food around. Don't take less than what you need or more than you can chew. But definitely wipe it clean!" - Rosario Dawson

A special thanks to Microsoft for providing the interactive PPI board.

Google/HBO White House Correspondents’ Weekend Party

Google, HBO and the Smithsonian American Art Museum partnered on Friday night for a White House Correspondents’ Weekend party to celebrate HBO Films’ “All the Way.” Actor Bryan Cranston and Director Jay Roach were the featured guests.


And if Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren are having this much fun, you know it was a great party. Thank you, HBO and Google!

Mirren Cranston

CNN’s Reliable Sources: WHCD Dinner and Presidential Campaign Coverage

The morning following the 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, CNN’s Reliable Sources featured Betsy Fischer-Martin, Ron Fournier and Tammy Haddad in a roundtable discussion with host Brian Stelter to talk about the relevance of the annual event. The conversation also included an analysis of this year’s presidential campaign coverage.


Fischer-Martin commented on how the tone of the dinner has evolved over the past 15-20 years, stating that media used to “invite our own sources” and “had one-on-one access,” which has changed as the Hollywood presence has increased over the years.

Defending the dinner, Haddad stated, “how bad can it be bringing all these people together? It’s getting more people involved in the process.”

Tammy Haddad and Brian StelterDiscussing how presidential campaign coverage has also changed over the years, Haddad said, “what we should also talk about is how reporters covering the Trump campaign have no access. The other thing about Trump is that he calls into shows…he’s so smart because he has figured it out, he can control the show. You have to listen to him until he finishes.”

Fournier commented that reporters need to “stop writing about what he says and how it affects poll numbers, and dig into what he’s really saying,” further suggesting that the media, “needs to hold him (Trump) accountable.”

“Scrutiny is what’s lacking. Candidates no longer do hour long interviews,” explained Fischer-Martin. “Investigative journalism costs money, it’s expensive to produce. A lot of news organizations don’t have those resources anymore.”

Responding to a question about the level of coverage the Trump campaign receives, Haddad said, “this man is running for president. Millions of people are following him. We’re not supposed to carry coverage? Isn’t that our responsibility?”

2016 Garden Brunch Celebrates ‘Starting Out and Starting Up’


This weekend’s annual Garden Brunch in honor of White House Correspondents’ Weekend will celebrate the next generation of ‘starting out and starting up.’

On Saturday, April 30, members of the media, Hollywood celebrities and studio heads, business executives, and non-profit leaders will come together to support causes that reflect issues facing our society today.

The brunch will raise awareness for Halcyon Incubator, an organization that supports early stage social entrepreneurs “seeking to change the world” through an immersive 18-month fellowship program.

Dr. Sachiko Kuno, who was recently recognized on the Forbes list of self-made women, was the first woman to receive an Industrial Biochemistry Ph.D. from Kyoto University. She is now CEO of S&R Foundation and has been widely recognized for her contributions to the pharmaceuticals industry. Her “entrepreneurial mind and deep desire to empower social change” is what drives her to support initiatives such as the Halcyon Incubator. The organization supports “talented individuals with great potential and high aspirations in the arts, sciences, and social entrepreneurship, especially those who are furthering their cultural celebration.”

Dr. Kuno’s latest project is to develop the Fillmore School in Georgetown into an arts incubator, which will serve as “a platform to grow talented artists in the fields of fine, visual and performing arts, maintaining the educational use of the building and its place as part of the vibrant arts landscape in the nation’s capital.”

Also in the spotlight will be #PlayfieldInThePark, an initiative supported by Yellow Ribbons United that serves approximately 500 children and teens attending the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Good Grief Camp and Honoring Our Heroes Camp over Memorial Day Weekend.

The 2016 Garden Brunch is hosted by Tammy Haddad, Kevin Sheekey, Hilary Rosen, Sachiko Kuno, Fred Humphries, Mark & Sally Ein, Constance Milstein, Anita Dunn, Bill Knapp, David Adler, and Franco Nuschese.

Watch the video from the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Garden Brunch below.

White House Correspondents’ Association Announces Winners of 2016 Journalism Awards

The Boston Globe, CBS News, InsideClimate News, the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post each took home the top prizes in this year’s WHCA awards.

The White House Correspondents’ Association reported the following winners earlier this week:

The winner of the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for excellence in White House coverage is Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal. Carol is also president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, which hosts the White House Correspondents Dinner (#WHCD) every year. Lee was not a judge for the awards.

The winner of the Merriman Smith Award for outstanding White House coverage under deadline pressure is Matt Viser of the Boston Globe.

The Winner of the Merriman Smith Award for broadcast journalism is Norah O’Donnell of CBS News.

Last but not least, the Edgar A. Poe Award which recognizes excellence in coverage of events or investigative topics of regional or national interest will be shared this year by Terrence McCoy of The Washington Post and Neela Banerjee, John Cushman Jr., David Hasemyer and Lisa Song of InsideClimate News.

Full list of winners and their bios on the WHCA website.

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.”

WHCD Garden Brunch Supports Veterans

The 2015 Annual Garden Brunch on the morning of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner once again brought a parade of Hollywood elite and celebrities to gather and mingle before primping for the dinner, but all for a good cause. This year’s beneficiaries, Dog Tag Bakery and Blue Star Families are both groups created for the benefit of veterans and their family members. Video courtesy of Hollywood on the Potomac.