Former President Bill Clinton will be the main speaker at the March 20 Gridiron Club dinner where journalists wear costumes and perform musical skits in a roast of the movers and shakers in Washington, and political leaders respond with speeches that poke fun right back.
President Barack Obama will not attend for a second straight year. He will be on an overseas trip, and last year he went to Camp David.
While he spoke at the white-tie dinner of the oldest journalistic organization in Washington, D.C. when he was a senator, Obama last year became the first U.S. president not to attend in his first year of office since Grover Cleveland.
Vice President Joe Biden substituted last year and had some memorable one-liners at his boss’ expense, saying Obama couldn’t attend because he was preparing for Easter — “He thinks it’s about him.” But the veep was unable to sub again this year.
Something new this year, the Gridiron Club will match member contributions up to $10,000 to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund which is raising money to help the earthquake victims.