In the spirit of the season, Michele Bachmann shelves partisan politics for White House holiday party
'Tis the season for political infighting and holiday parties, both on the same day.
Monday's White House reception for Congress came after a grueling battle over tax cuts. All members of Congress were invited for the bi-partisan festivities and most of them showed -- including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Reps. Charlie Rangel and Michele Bachmann.
"We were thrilled to be there," Bachmann told us Tuesday. The Republican firebrand was accompanied by her 20-year-old daughter, Elisa, who flew in from college to attend; they wore their Election night dresses for the occasion.
The White House, said Bachmann, "looked magical;" mother and daughter stood in the receiving line for an individual picture with President Obama and the first lady ("We wished them a 'Merry Christmas' ") and took photos of everything else, then e-mailed the "virtual experience" to Bachmann's younger daughter Sophie back in Minnesota.
But -- per White House request -- no Facebook updates, tweets or blogs from the off-the-record event. And no shop talk: "This was an evening for celebration," said Bachmann. "It was a great joy, very collegial."
And so it goes for the next couple weeks. The celebrations kicked off Dec. 1 with a party for to celebrate volunteers and, on the following night, Hanukkah. The White House will host a total of 20 holiday parties and receptions for White House staff, Secret Service, reporters who cover the administration, as well as seven events for non-Washington insiders such as military families, reports our colleague Perry Bacon.
Some guests (but not at every party) will get the chance for the coveted brag-wall photo with the Obamas.
"Be patient in the line," the president joked with guests at the Hanukkah gathering. "And I just want to let everybody know that yes, they will be able to Photoshop my lip for the picture."
Others will only get a chance to mingle with the couple. Which brings us to the tweet/blog ban.
Everyone was snapping pictures of the president and first lady. And the president's remarks at the Hanukkah party was covered by reporters, photographers. . . and everyone in the room with a cell phone or BlackBerry. Off the record? Not for the guests, their friends, or anyone who can finagle a peek.
But that holiday glow only lasts a few hours. Just after the party, it was back to work for Bachmann:
"Obama didn't want to stop tax hikes on all, but #GOP stood firm. Resulting compromise is 2-year timetable," she tweeted at 9 p.m. Monday night.
The Reliable Source
| December 7, 2010; 10:35 PM ET
Categories: 44: Obama's Washington, Parties, Politics
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