Forgotten Hero?

John McCaslin

4/24/2008 10:27:53 AM - John McCaslin

Ratio of the total donations Barack Obama received from U.S. military personnel last year to those John McCain received: 10:9

— Harper's Index, May 2008

Washington Oscars

The 2008 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner is almost upon us to present George W. Bush in his last appearance as president of the United States.

"I am not hosting it. President Bush is," remarked Saturday evening's featured entertainer, the Scottish-born Craig Ferguson, on his CBS program "The Late, Late Show."

"I thought as soon as I become an American you know what is going to happen, I am going to get jury duty or the CIA will get in touch and have me assassinate a foreign head of state. Anyway, my first job as an American citizen I can exclusively reveal tonight is performing at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

"It is a big fancy party in D.C. It is like the Oscars for politicians. There are 2,800 journalists in attendance, Congress, military brass, Cabinet. I sit at the top table with the president and first lady right there."

Distinguished guests at this year's dinner include Chinese Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong; Iraqi Ambassador Samir Sumaida'ie; Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Christopher R. Hill; National Security Council senior director for defense policy and strategy William J. Luti; undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics John J. Young Jr.; assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs Mary Beth Long; former Virginia Sen. George Allen; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn; Barack Obama campaign director of advance Emmett Beliveau; John McCain campaign national adviser Steve Duprey.

Catholic University President the Rev. David M. O'Connell; D.C. Council member and Chairman Pro Tempore Jack Evans; former Virginia governor and now Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder; former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr; Harvard law professor and "The Terror Presidency" author Jack Landman Goldsmith; Townhall.com/Salem Communications vice president and general manager Chuck DeFeo; House Republican Study Committee staff director Paul Teller.

Bull shooters

We grabbed the bartender's list of inventive cocktails that Reuters will be mixing up for its annual pre-dinner party at the 2008 White House Correspondents' Association gala honoring the three leading presidential contenders: "Hillary's Bosnian Bull-Shooter," "Barack O'Bomber," and "The Senior Moment."

And not to leave President Bush out of the mix, the news agency is serving "the Tongue Twister," the president's "personal pre-speech drink."

Support democracy

The Creative Coalition is back in Washington today to encourage members of Congress and the White House to support federal funding for art and arts education.

"It is not just an investment in this generation, it is an intrinsic asset in the future of the United States — the positive impact of the arts in a citizen's life is vital to a thriving democracy," says executive director Robin Bronk.

A few of the recognizable faces passing through the hallowed hallways on their rounds today are Tim Daly ("Private Practice," "The Sopranos," "Grey's Anatomy"), Lauren Holly ("CSI," "Chicago Hope," "Dumb and Dumber"), Tyne Daly ("Judging Amy"), Laura Innes ("ER"), Tim Blake Nelson ("Syriana," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"), and Richard Schiff ("The West Wing," "I Am Sam," "The Lost World: Jurassic Park").

Top grades

After a five-year hiatus, School Night, founded in 1990 by business and civic leader Joseph E. Robert Jr., returns this evening to the Washington Convention Center to award $100,000 to three deserving D.C. public schools.

This year's event is chaired by Washington philanthropist Sheila Johnson. Look for performances by Grammy-winning rhythm-and-blues singer John Legend, with special appearances by chef Todd Gray of Equinox and Septime Webre of the Washington Ballet.

D.C. Public School Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and state Superintendent of Education Deborah A. Gist will be on deck to congratulate the winning schools.