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McDonnell invited to attend GOP retreat, Alfalfa dinner

Anita Kumar

Gov. Bob McDonnell will spend his weekend a few hours north at two national events -- speaking to Republican members of Congress and hobnobbing at the exclusive Alfalfa Club dinner in Washington.

On Saturday morning, he will talk to U.S. House Republicans who wll gather for their annual retreat, titled "Winning Back America," in Baltimore. He will attend a day after President Obama.

Republicans are eager to duplicate McDonnell's success in the 2010 midterm elections. He was chosen to speak at the event two months ago just after his 18-point win over state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds.

"He has recent, first-hand accounts from the American people about how they are frustrated with the out-of-control spending and big government mentality in Washington,'' said Mary Vought, a spokeswoman for the House Republican Conference. "He will speak to us about his on-the-road experience and help us strategize how we can best fix the Democrats' failed policies."

On Saturday night, McDonnell will be the guest of major Republican donor Fred Malek at the black-tie Alfalfa Club dinner, an annual gathering of inside-the-Beltway elite usually attended by the president.

Malek donated thousands of dollarsto McDonnell, attended his Jan. 16 inauguration and made headlines when he invited his friend Sarah Palin to Alfalfa Dinner last year.

The dinner has been a Washington institution since 1913 with members gathering each year on the anniversary of Gen. Robert E. Lee's birthday for an evening of lobster and drinking.

By Anita Kumar  |  January 27, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Robert F. McDonnell  
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