Over the weekend, President Obama skipped out on the annual Gridiron Dinner, a move that has garnered him criticism, but for which he deserves mad kudos. You see, the Gridiron Dinner is an annual gathering of North American scum: grasping, hypocritical politicos and the political press that flounces in their wake, gorging on their attention and rolling on the ecstasy of feeling like part of the supra-powered Beltway clique. Everyone gets wasted, and they sing idiotic songs, and basically they get up to a bunch of cornpone dinner theater shenanigans.
Who knows whether Obama skipped it on principle, or pride. In the excellently acid-tipped report, the Washington Post's Dan Zak observes and reports:
Now, a quick peek backstage, where the Gridiron Club's members are donning costumes, downing drinks and simmering over the president's absence. They're "very upset" and "dissed." Not since Grover Cleveland has a president skipped the dinner in his first year in office. Obama cited family commitments, but it's entirely probable that he didn't want to be seen in white tie and tails at a $300-a-plate dinner of lobster panna cotta, yukking it up with Beltway insiders, while the economy bottoms out.
And yes, it would have been truly embarrassing for the president to have witnessed the horror visited upon the work of Edward Kleban and Marvin Hamlisch by MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell:
Here's NBC's Andrea Mitchell in a bear costume introducing a number that lampoons her husband, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, to the tune of "What I Did for Love" from "A Chorus Line."
"Kiss the Dow goodbye . . .
And let the markets tumble."
Ho ho, ha ha! Garcon, more champagne!
Yes. No doubt the wife of the Maestro who pulverized our economy at the urgings of a press who applauded his genius at every turn returned to work today to worry about whether all the "populist outrage" was misdirected!
At the same time, it's possible that Obama just skipped the event because he was personally cheesed at the fact that after having been constantly scolded for attempting to do two things at once, it was now required of him to eat, drink, and be merry with those very scolds. So maybe he was just feeling sulky! Joe Biden went, anyway, presumably because he missed the train to his Delaware-based blue-collar redoubt.
Perhaps we'll know if it's a principled stand if Obama skips the White House Correspondent's Dinner, which is typically a Masque in dire need of a little Red Death. On the other hand, there's always the possibility that special guest Wanda Sykes will burn the whole place to the ground by displaying the quality that's made her such a beloved comedienne, "honesty."
Skewers, but Not Much Sizzle, At Obamaless Gridiron Dinner [Washington Post]