Monday, November 30, 2009

Hi, we’re not as important as we think we are. Wanna party?

Six days ago, a Virginia couple was able to get past security checkpoints at the White House to attend a state dinner, without an invitation. Michaele and Tareq Salahi are regulars on the Virginia cocktail-party and polo circuit, and are often seen at fundraisers and horse shows on their side of the Potomac. Obviously they thought that would buy them some cred with the political-mover-and-shaker crowd on the other side. But as Politico.com reports, it doesn't.

The couple — prospectively cast on “The Real Housewives of D.C.” — barely register on the political landscape: They lack fundraising chops, lobbying clout or party connections. “They are so on the outer spectrum of everything that’s been familiar in both R and D circles,” said one influential D.C. lobbyist. “They’re just not part of the political or business conversation in Washington.”

The President and First Lady have faced quite a challenge as a couple, in terms of acceptance by Washington high society, but they're not unique. Even former First Lady Nancy Reagan had to prove herself to the blue-bloods in Georgetown, and she's a Smith College alumnae, for pity's sake. There's no word yet on whether formal charges will actually be filed against the Salahis. But one thing's for sure, they won't escape the wrath of the "in crowd."

Perhaps it was The Hollywood Gossip who said it best:

If you thought the Balloon Boy hoax was as far as you'd see aspiring reality TV jokers go for 15 minutes of fame, you don't know Michaele and Tareq Salahi.

After all, showing up without an invitation is ... well, it's just not cricket.

[FOOTNOTE 1: Political blog Hot Air didn't report on this sure-fire palate cleanser until Friday, three days after the event. They could be losing their touch, don't you think? Or don't you?]

[FOOTNOTE 2: Remember that story about her once being a Redskins cheerleader?]

[FOOTNOTE 3: It would appear that Tareq Salahi has some background in politics after all, according to Talking Points Memo.]
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