Obama Star Alan Krueger is Celebrity Tennis MVP at Kastles Charity Tournament


Alan Krueger

With Redskins superstar Darrell Green and tennis great Ilana Kloss, it was hard to imagine that a former Princeton economics professor would be the breakout star of the first annual celebrity tennis match to benefit the American Red Cross on the final night of the Washington Kastles season.

Alan Krueger, Assistant Treasury Secretary for Economic Policy, impressed his team and his media/political opponents — including Senator Evan Bayh, Fox’s Brett Baier, CNN’s Ed Henry and ABC’s Jonathan Karl. Coaching on the sidelines: Billie Jean King and the GEICO Caveman.

Caveman Green

GEICO Caveman with Darrell Green

Bloomberg’s Al Hunt and Margaret Carlson called the game in a Washington version of the Wimbledon voice over. Celebrity ball kids included Patrick Henry (8), David (8) and Rachel (10) Greenberg, Betsy Fischer’s daughter Ella (8), and Jonathan Karl’s girls Anna (9) and Emily (12).

Insiders were disappointed that Washington fav Gene Sperling had to cancel his appearance due to meetings, but Kreuger was the tournament’s MVP. Kastles owner Mark Ein has expanded the reach of the franchise, only in their second year, and with this first-ever charity celeb match has created a new Washington tradition.

Check out all the photos …

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and check back later for video highlights.

Serena Williams Aces Washington, On Court and Off

Serena Williams played for the Washington Kastles last night, after after spending the afternoon at the White House.

She wowed the crowed, which included: NBC’s Betsy Fischer and Luke Russert, Bloomberg’s Al Hunt and Margaret Carlson, Newshour’s Judy Woodruff, Larry Summers from the White House NEC, and venture capitalist and Kastles’ co-founder Mark Ein (those are the Fenty boys next to Mark).

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And Serena showed everyone what they came to see — some great tennis. Serena won her Singles match 5-2 (against Marie Eve-Pelletier), she and Rennae Stubbs won their Doubles match 5-1, and Serena and Leander Paes ran away with the Mixed Doubles match 5-0.

RTCA Evening Picked up the Pace at MSNBC's Neon After-Party

By Neil Grace and Catherine Hill

MSNBC threw a memorable Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner after-party that stood apart from parties past.  Held directly across the street from the main event at the Washington Convention Center, MSNBC turned the traditionally staid Historical Society of Washington, D.C. into a brightly-lit fete of themed cocktails, glowing neon necklaces and comfort food.

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As guests walked down the blue carpet entrance, we asked them the question of the night: are you a nerd or a jock? Politico’s Mike Allen said he was “all of the above!” and Patrick Gavin thought he was a hybrid of the two.  NBC’s Andrea Mitchell exclaimed she was a “total jock.” John “I’m a PC” Hodgman discussed the modern cultural divide at length during the dinner.

Inside the party, the scene downstairs included a Starbucks-sponsored coffee bar where guests ate ice cream sundaes and desserts.  From the main bar, guests walked outside to a large outdoor patio, where dance music had the party-goers on their feet for “Don’t Stop Believing.”  Faces and heads glowed in the light of neon necklaces and headbands.

Upstairs, special guest bartender Rachel Maddow was mixing up cocktails at her heavily-branded “Rachel Maddow’s Bar”– complete with MSNBC napkins and “Rachel’s Bar” menus.  Maddow’s signature cocktail was listed as a Hearst: a mix of gin, sweet vermouth and bitters (though she told us she actually served more of her cava drink, “Airmail” which mixed rum, fresh lime juice, honey and the bubbly cava on top).  Afterwards, Maddow relinquished her bar duties to catch up with Ana Marie Cox and John Hodgman.

Later in the night passed treats included mini-pancakes and mini-ham, bacon and cheese croissants.  As the bars began to close, guests went out back. Among the last to leave at 3:00 a.m. were MSNBC Morning Joe’s Willie Geist, Luke Russert and many of the cable network’s junior staffers.

Media heavy-hitters spotted at the party: Steve Capus, Tamron Hall, Norah O’Donnell, Contessa Brewer with Matt Ackland, Joe Scarborough with Mika Brzezinski, David Shuster, Carlos Watson, Chris Matthews, Lynn Sweet, Margaret Carlson, and Eugene Robinson.

Politicos rounded out the guest list, including Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Obama economic adviser Larry Summers, as well as Hilary Rosen, Alex Castellanos, Brad Dayspring, and Kevin Madden.