One of the good things about being a media loudmouth is that occasionally you get invited somewhere you actually want to go. This year, I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the White House media holiday party which would have been called a Christmas party if U.S. Grant was still president.
Anyway, this is the fourth time I’ve attended the annual event, and I count myself very fortunate. I love the White House; it symbolizes the greatness of America. The courage and goodness that has been displayed inside this residence ever since John Adams moved in has dramatically changed the world for the better.
Last year, President and Mrs. Bush hosted their final party, and it was fairly extravagant. This year, the crowd was much smaller and the atmosphere toned down a bit, perhaps because of the government spending controversy and the recession.
My brief meeting with President and Mrs. Obama went well. Even though I have challenged the president on a number of occasions, I believe I have been fair to him. We chatted briefly and he said that I looked to be in better shape than the last time we saw each other. I said that’s because he’s keeping me on my toes.
Michelle Obama, whom I had never met, was stunning. She was warm and kind to my ten-year-old daughter and gracious to me. My quick assessment of her: Strong, charismatic, and beautiful.
After seeing the Obamas, I ran into the president’s cadre of advisors and gave them some jazz about the war on Fox News, a campaign that did not go well for the White House. Basically, I told the president’s men and women that Americans love spirited conversation, and that if they have a beef with something on Fox News, they should come on my television program and hash it out. Look what happened to Al Sharpton. His appearances on Fox News have helped his image immensely. You may not agree with what the Reverend says, but at least he has the guts to debate the issues.
At Christmastime we should all put politics aside. And that’s what the Obamas did. There were a number of Republicans at the party and everybody I talked with had a great time. I was pleased with the event and, again, feel privileged to have had the vantage point.
I wish everybody could visit the White House in December. There is something about seeing all the portraits of past presidents, hearing the Marine Corps choir sing Christmas songs, and seeing each White House room perfectly decorated for the season that is invigorating—even thrilling.
So, I received my Christmas present early. Thanks for the party, Mr. President.