Sarah "Palling Around" at Alfalfa Dinner

Ericka Andersen
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Posted: Feb 01, 2009 9:13 AM

The exclusive, elite Alfalfa club hosted their annual dinner last night, snagging the ultimate guest of honor, President Barack Obama. Also in attendance was conservative political rockstar Governor Sarah Palin – who refused media interviews after traveling from Alaska “to have dinner with the President.” The club reportedly serves $200 a plate filet mignon and lobster and offers a stage for the political roasting so common among formal Washington dinners.

The 200-member club, first started to celebrate the birthday of Gen. Robert E. Lee, welcomed incoming club president, Sen. Kit Bond and said goodbye to the outgoing Sen. Joe Lieberman. As star speaker of the evening, Obama poked good natured fun at his Republican counterparts, asking Palin what she was doing “palling around with this crew” of Washington elites.

Each year, the club informally nominates someone to run for President. Past nominees include Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. and George W. Bush – proving the possible influence club members have in shaping future leaders. This year’s nominee was Vernon Jordan, a lawyer and former advisor to Bill Clinton. While that doesn’t seem a likely success story, Palin’s presence might prove otherwise.

CNN reports Palin “brushed past” reporters on her way into the dinner and that she was in Washington “to lobby senators to approve certain infrastructure projects for Alaska in the economic stimulus package.” The recent commencement of SarahPAC – “dedicated to building America’s future, supporting fresh ideas, and candidates who share our vision for reform and innovation” – calls for attention, but it’s no wonder Palin is wary of how her project will be construed through the eyes of the treacherous media.

It seems she is focused on beefing up her political resume and fighting for causes important to Alaska and conservatives. Rubbing shoulders with Washington superstars isn’t a bad idea on occasion, and axing the interviews for a bit gives her leeway to develop projects and ideas without minute by minute scrutiny. Staying connected with the right kind of media (bloggers, talk radio and fair-minded journalists) is the way to go.

Who knew this time last year that she would be one of the most gossiped about guests at the -- mostly -- boys club dinner?