Thursday, November 26, 2009

How They Crashed President Obama's State Dinner

If you haven't heard, Tareq and Michaele Salahi gatecrashed President Obama's first White House state dinner. They have the pics to prove it. From Michaele's Facebook page:

The San Francisco Chronicle's Zennie2 has the best take on how they likely pulled it off: write there was a "breach in security" is really culturally irresponsible. I can speculate with some accuracy how the Salahi's got into the dinner: they knew someone and perhaps Vice President Biden himself.

Look, a little research will show this is a well-connected couple. A November 4, 2008 Washington Post article reveals as much. In an report on a winery sale dispute that involved the Salahi's, the Post reveals...

Tareq Salahi, 39, also a co-owner, and his wife, Michaele, a former Washington Redskins cheerleader who is now a Richmond lobbyist. The son, a member of the Virginia Tourism Authority, is hurrying to team up with investors to buy what he views as his heritage before someone else steps in.

She's a lobbyist and a former Redskins Cheerleader; he's co-owner of a winery. What happened was they knew someone within the chain of people who was assigned to vet who was to come into the event and they got them in.

Once at the State Dinner they were able to see a number of people they knew. In other words, invited or not, they belonged there because their network of informal connections got them in.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. It's also a good lesson for anyone to follow and comes from "How to win friends and influence people". They are in a business where knowing people and maintaining relationships is vital and its obvious they do a great job of keeping ties with a good network of the Washington elite.


  1. For a picture of President Obama with the gate crashers:

  2. Let us admit it - she did look divine in that sari.

    As the 19th century Indian intellectual B.C. Chatterjee once said, Beauty triumphs everywhere.