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White House Correspondents Dinner: The parade of celebrities begins with the pre-parties

Kim Kardashian and Greta Van Susteren, arriving at the White House Correspondents' Dinner a few hours after the reality star made her D.C. debut at the pre-dinner brunch. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

Gabourey Sidibe and Matthew Morrison at the People/Time party. (Michael Loccisano/Wire Image)

Kim Kardashian? Did we know she was supposed to be here?

Maybe. Can't remember. But there she was Saturday morning, in a Palisades backyard, sharing airspace with the likes of Rupert Murdoch and David Axelrod at a pre-White House Correspondents' Dinner brunch hosted by Tammy Haddad, Hilary Rosen and other D.C. power players.

Kardashian, in case you don't have cable-TV or an US subscription, is a reality TV star, the on-off girlfriend of NFL star Reggie Bush, and for this very special weekend, the WHCD celebrity guest of Fox News's Greta Van Susteren. Spectacularly gorgeous, in an intricate pink cocktail dress origami-folded and pleated around every curve, she stood in a corner of the yard, talking to talk-show hostess Wendy Williams, both of them touching and tossing and twirling handfuls of their long tresses as some guy in space-invading distance tried to get a photo of this remarkable sight.

Tony Romo and Candice Crawford. (Larry Bussacca/Wire Image)

Wait, did we know Wendy Williams was supposed to be here?

That's the thing about the White House Correspondents' Dinner. There's so much hype for weeks ahead about which celebrities are supposed to be there - and such a history of last minute changes and no-shows and unexpected arrivals - that it doesn't begin to come into focus until just hours before.

They first showed their faces in substantial quantities at the People/Time party at the St. Regis Hotel. It Girl Gabourey Sidibe (the star of "Precious") and It Boy Matthew Morrison (star of "Glee"), the latter besieged for photos from the minute he arrived until the minute he left, shoulder straining under the weight of a luggage-sized gift bag.

The golden-haired girl in the golden dress who looked like someone you're supposed to know turns out to be Candice Crawford, best known for being the sister of "Gossip Girl" star Chace Crawford and girlfriend of Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo, which means... that must be Tony Romo. (And no, we don't see his ex, Jessica Simpson, another guest of People, at that party.) The radiant young woman in the white sheath who looked like a starlet turned out to be Valerie Jarrett's daughter, Laura, there with her mom.

Lani Hay, with Noor-Latifah, left, and Biggie Smalls. (Amy Argetsinger/The Washington Post)

At a "First Amendment" party hosted at Georgetown's Cady's Alley by Impact Film Fund, comedy collective Funny or Die, and the Washington Post, Terrence Howard hid in a corner, and Zach Galifianakis was getting shielded from handsy fans by his cousin, Post cartoonist Nick Galifianakis, and Adrian Grenier looked like any other guy until a camera flashed and suddenly his eyes lit bright as Vince's on "Entourage."

Here's the hitch, though: If you're a regular person lucky enough to get past the velvet ropes into one of these parties, what do you talk to these people about? At Saturday's brunch we saw Lani Hay, a glamazon government contractor work the room with her two brand-new tiny teacup-sized puppies. ("This is Noor-Latifah," she said, "and this one's Biggie Smalls.") One minute she was hugging TV actor Tim Daly, of "Private Practice" and "Wings"; the next, she was in a cozy conversation with Kevin Jonas and his wife Danielle.

She jokes to us later that the Jonas Brothers (yes, all three were there) had "kidnapped" her puppies. "I didn't even know who they were!"

By The Reliable Source  |  May 1, 2010; 5:43 PM ET
Categories:  White House Correspondents' Association Dinner  
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Next: White House Correspondents' Dinner: President Obama cracks wise


Worst. Week. In Washington. Ever.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | May 1, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Huh, I must have missed all those columns by the Jonas Brothers.

Why do they call this a Correspondents Dinner? How about "Hey, Look at me Feast" or "Check Me Out Banquet"

Posted by: justanotherguy | May 2, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I am happy that President Obama is not letting the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico interfere with his fun. I am sure he had some good quips about oil spills. Why is he not in New Orleans acting like the President?

Posted by: justiceforall9 | May 2, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

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