'Twas the night of the White House dinner, when all through the House
Not a guest was stirring, not even a spouse;
The Secret Service were standing by the White House with care,
In hopes that the President would soon be there;
The media were nestled all snug in their heads…[screech]…BUT WAIT! A couple appeared, with camera in tow and even got a photo with Joe.
You know the story and it's not the one about St. Nicholas. A Virginia couple apparently crashed the White House dinner last Tuesday, November 24, 2009, which included 320 guests — “a potent mix of politics, diplomacy and glamour.” Later identified as Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the couple managed their way past the Secret Service and into the star-studded state dinner, where they mixed and mingled, shook hands with President Obama, warmed up to Vice President Biden twice, had a photo op with Rahm Emanuel and others, posting their exploits on Facebook. Busted?
First, where was Joe Biden’s wife? From the looks of this cozy photo with Joe, if I were Mrs. Biden I would have chased that Michaele woman right out of the dinner and with one of my Callaway golf clubs –– maybe my nine iron. Speaking of golf, you can’t even gain access to a private golf course without a membership or a guest pass. In fact, a while ago and guest approved, I was unable to play golf or have lunch at The Olympic Club in San Francisco because my pants were inappropriate –– they had belt loops. Furthermore, the odds of penetrating certain night clubs without being on a list is grim.
So, how did this happen? This story reminds me of the song “Who Let the Dogs Out?” and would be funny if it didn't reflect a breach in the security of the White House and our President. Maybe they should do what Santa does –– check the list twice. What is bizarre is that we are the most powerful nation in the world and we can’t seem to figure out who let this star-struck, fame-seeking couple into the White House dinner in the first place.
The Salahis recently appeared on the Today Show where they told Matt Lauer that they were “shocked and devastated” to discover they were labeled as “party crashers.” Lauer also pointed out that they had been kicked out of another event on September 26, the Congressional Black Caucus Dinner –– where they were also uninvited — and they denied it. When asked by Lauer, “Who invited you,” the interview progressed or should I say, regressed. The couple had a pity party, portraying themselves as victims, claiming they were invited and that at the end of the investigation, they will be exonerated. At the center of this obscurity is Michele Jones, a special assistant to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and she had this to say on the matter: "I specifically stated that they did not have tickets and in fact that I did not have the authority to authorize attendance, admittance or access to any part of the evening's activities. Even though I informed them of this, they still decided to come."
So, who let the Salahis in? At this point, with all the coverage, confusion, and rumors, it still remains a mystery. While the Secret Service have launched an investigation into the security breach, the preliminary probe has already thrown them under the bus, yet this couple is free to crash the next party and maybe a party near you. In the meantime, a Congressional hearing is forthcoming, to which the Sahalis do have a formal invitation.