Hollywood and Washington went on a date Saturday night in the basement ballroom of the Washington Hilton, where more than 2,000 politicians, celebrities, journalists and hangers-on dined on crabmeat terrine and chocolate truffles and belly-laughed at remarks delivered by President Obama during the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
"My fellow Americans, we gather during a historic anniversary," Obama said during his after-dinner speech, seeming to allude to the killing of Osama bin Laden. "Last year at this time -- in fact, on this very weekend -- we finally delivered justice to one of the world's most notorious individuals." At which point a photo of an orange-faced Donald Trump -- who spent much of last spring questioning Obama's citizenship -- flashed on giant screens in the ballroom.
The dinner is perhaps the only venue on the planet where erstwhile presidential candidate Rick Santorum would snap a photo of eternally addled starlet Lindsay Lohan. Which he did. Lohan, whose date appeared to be her attorney, sat at Fox News's table with Kim Kardashian, who's famous because the media keeps her famous.
"I have the nuclear codes," Obama said in a voice-over that lampooned his hot-mike moment with Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev this month. "What am doing telling knock-knock jokes to Kim Kardashian?"
Pundits and politicians seemed to drop their adversarial role-playing in favor of buddy-buddiness. The Gingriches were mobbed by well-wishers at a pre-dinner reception hosted by the Washington Post.
"It's fun," Newt said of the event. "It's our first night out" since reports that he was suspending his presidential campaign.
"It's date night," wife Callista clarified.
"Newt, there's still time, man!" Obama yelled to Gingrich during his speech, encouraging him to keep running.
The White House Correspondents' Association was founded in 1914, and the dinner became an annual tradition in 1920.