Contrary to what our livers might tell you, Team HOH survived the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner and all the corresponding festivities. And what a ride it was.
The evening was total chaos, a fustercluck of activity most easily defined as roving bands of celebrities — “Oh my god! That was the cast from ‘True Blood!’”; “Chace Crawford, we love you!” — battling against throngs of starstruck Washingtonians.
Political practitioners were also out in full force. But their inside-the-Beltway cachet was clearly diminished by the crush of A-list actors and celebvocates who freely wandered in and out of media-fronted parties, huddled together to discuss potential projects or desperately searched for somewhere/anywhere to sneak a cigarette (sorry life has gotten so hard, LiLo).
We spotted Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) mingling with a joint chief of staff, caught retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) holding court with reporters and overheard Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) discussing his Army days with a fellow grunt.
And we even stumbled upon House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) introducing himself to songstress Mary J. Blige:
A couple of lobbyists seemed pleased that former GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum was commanding at least as much attention as “Modern Family” sexpot Sofia Vergara:
“He’s taking his victory lap. Good for him!” the Santorum backers quipped. (We must subscribe to a wildly different definition of “victory.”)
Onward we trudged, cautiously advancing from open bar to open bar while watching the civilian-celebrity dance unfold. Folks cornered Gayle King and demanded to know all about Oprah Winfrey.
We pitied poor Reese Witherspoon, who was evidently being paraded around beyond reason. “I can’t walk,” the very preggers star complained to husband, Jim Toth.
We marveled at grown men blubbering about their latest Instagram pics. “How’d it turn out? Oh my god, it turned out great!” one dude assured another after pinning down Ginnifer Goodwin.
We were stunned by the amount of skin so readily on display, be it unabashedly plunging necklines:
Or prominently displayed ink:
Others opted against celeb stalking, electing to enjoy the evening with actual acquaintances:
And then there were those who seemed content to simply amuse themselves:
Once inside the actual ballroom — “Oh, they are checking tickets,” one pair of would-be dinner crashers lamented upon spotting the final security check — reality began sinking in as everyone took stock of their personal worth based on their proximity to the main stage:
“One year I sat front row … 15 feet from the president,” a clearly bummed actor commented as he slumped into a seat in the upper ring of tables.
After the main event got under way, all eyes naturally drifted toward the head table. President Barack Obama staged a “hot mic” bit where he systematically dinged attendees, including featured comedian Jimmy Kimmel, national punch line Kim Kardashian and the stars of “Glee.” Even absentee VPOTUS Joseph Biden got hit: