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A Gala's Star Attraction: Seeing Paris in Washington

Paris Hilton and Georgetown jeweler Ann Hand. (Photo by Tammy Haddad)

In a roomful of high-powered women -- including Madeleine Albright and Kathleen Sebelius -- guess who stole the show Sunday night?

Paris Hilton.

The famous-for-being-famous celebutante, 28, was the surprise hit of the Kennedy Center Spring Gala, where Washington doyennes and businessmen fluttered around her table and giggled while posing for pictures with her. Folks may have tired of her antics in New York and L.A., but in D.C.? Marvelous novelty! At her side: 23-year-old boyfriend Doug Reinhardt -- minor league baseball player, part-time player on reality hit "The Hills" -- and his stepfather, Duane Roberts, inventor of the frozen burrito and Kennedy Center board member.

It was hard to miss Hilton, decked out in a bejewelled peach gown, rhinestone headband and ginormous diamond ring she told us had been her grandmother's. Prettier in person than you'd expect, and unfailingly polite -- the party, she declared, was "amazing" -- although we were unable to determine if it was more or less amazing than the Kentucky Derby, the party she attended the day before. "I bet on every horse that lost," she said with a laugh.

Paris Hilton and boyfriend Doug Reinhardt at the Kennedy Center Spring Gala. (Photo by Tammy Haddad)

But this is her real genius: The second a camera lens homed in on her, she effortlessly adjusted her body to the most flattering pose. Uncanny, really. She cannot take a bad picture. Who says she's got no talent?

Hilton was finally forced to give up the title of Most Popular at the post-dinner performance, when the night's second surprise -- Michelle Obama -- walked into the Concert Hall's presidential box to the oooh and aahs of the audience.

Obama was accompanied by her mom, Marian Robinson, presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett, Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, and others for a celebration of women in arts. Almost every performer -- including standout k.d. lang -- gave shout-outs to the first lady. Lily Tomlin scored the best line of the night: "You didn't ask to be put on pedestal. My god, you're tall enough already."

By The Reliable Source  |  May 4, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Parties  
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Please. She probably didn't steal the show she was just most in front of the camera. Her pose always looks stupid with her arched back.

Posted by: rlj611 | May 4, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for not taking the standard "bash Paris" was refreshing!

Posted by: restonva | May 4, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I'll say it...she doesn't have talent.

Posted by: nobs4me | May 4, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Wait, so... if Michelle was there, and Michelle's mother was there... who's watching the kids? Is it sexist to suggest that it couldn't possibly be the President? (And I didn't know it was possible to "invent" the frozen burrito. Do the Mexicans know about this? Can I invent frozen peanut butter & jelly sandwiches?)

Posted by: forgetthis | May 4, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I love her make up! Did Gustavo Cosmetics do it? They do all the celebrities that come to town. It looks so much better than the other lady's!

Posted by: lmfries | May 4, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I think Paris looks pretty damn good there. Thats talent.

Posted by: sbg1 | May 4, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

What a tramp.

Posted by: barrysmith1 | May 4, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Who the F*&^%$# cares.
Why did I even start reading this article - never finished it

Posted by: 8andeight | May 4, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

hopefully they disinfected the seats she was sitting in

Posted by: WhatBubble | May 4, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

That's hot.

Am I the only one who loves the fact that Paris is dating the heir to the fozen burrito empire? There's some delicious (no pun intended) symbollism there....

Posted by: thinman1 | May 4, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Washington society falls over itself when a "celebrity" comes to this glamour backwater of a city. But I do love Paris, and I agree--she's photogenic. I also love the starpower heirarchy, with Paris getting trumped by Michelle. Our President and First Lady are superstars. More importantly, our President, I think, is proving himself to be a brilliant leader. Paris-type glamour is fun, but Obama has substance.

Posted by: aguy7 | May 4, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Stories about Paris Hilton are a waste of good internet bandwidth, or any bandwidth for that matter, and brain cells. Seriously, who cares!? I have nothing against her but, with all the other things that could be written about, why is this on the front web page of the Post? A sad and regrettable indication of the state of our society I'm afraid... that this is considered newsworthy... it's embarrassing and reinforces the rest of the worlds view of Americans as frvilous.

Posted by: Degenerate | May 4, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I just love people who purport to think articles like this are a waste of time and that Paris Hilton is too frivolous/ugly/trashy for them to even notice, and then they take the time to post a snarky comment saying so. What do you expect from Reliable Source and Paris, the cure for cancer? If you think they're beneath your notice, just move on.

Posted by: crsr03 | May 4, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Not to burst your bubble, but frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches already exist.

Posted by: Mlpthink | May 5, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

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