Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: White House “gate-crashers” say they’re suffering

December 1, 2009

They passed through layers of White House security to attend a lavish state dinner, got themselves photographed with the president and vice president and posted pix on Facebook. 
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It was supposed to be an experience to last a lifetime. But now, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the couple at the center of one of the most embarrassing White House security breaches of all time, say their lives have been destroyed by falsehood and gossip.
    
“Devastated. Shocked,” is how beautiful, blond, former NFL cheerleader Michaele recalls her reaction to the morning-after headlines in an interview with NBC’s Today show. And Tareq? “Very saddened,” he says.
    
According to the White House, the Salahis were not on the invitation list. But they insist they were invited and predict that e-mails now in the hands of the Secret Service will exonerate them in the end. 
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In the meantime, their lives are a one-syllable word for perdition.
    
Tareq: “Our lives have really been destroyed.” 
    
Michaele: “Everything we’ve worked for — for me, 44 years — destroyed.”
    
The U.S. media have made the Salahis out to be self-promoting social climbers who crashed the White House dinner while Michaele was auditioning for a new reality TV show called “The Real Housewives of Washington.” There have even been reports they tried to cash in on their exploits by demanding big bucks in exchange for media interviews.
    
A camera crew from the cable-TV channel, Bravo, did follow them to the edge of the White House grounds on the night of the dinner. But the bit about paid interviews is dead wrong, says Michaele: “At no time … have we ever even talked about doing that with anyone.”
    
Whether the Salahis are charged depends on a Secret Service probe to figure out just what happened. The Salahis tell NBC they hope to clear their name by sharing those e-mails as soon as the Secret Service says they can. When might that be? “We hope within the next several days,” Tareq says. 

The First Draft: Talk shows help drive Palin’s popularity

November 30, 2009

If Sarah Palin were elected president of the United States, would conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck wind up in her cabinet?

Christmas at the White House begins with arrival of THE tree

November 27, 2009

OBAMAWASHINGTON - Thanksgiving is over, President Barack Obama has pardoned one turkey (and eaten another), and now a giant Christmas tree has arrived at the White House.

The First Draft: White House “gate crashers” to tell their own story

November 27, 2009

She’s blond and beautiful. He’s debonair. Together, with irresistible charm and a voracious appetite for self-promotion, they penetrated White House security to attend this week’s state dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and got close enough to kiss Vice President Joe Biden.

The First Draft: Palin for President?

November 16, 2009

Is she running for president? Seeking a coffee summit with Hillary Clinton? Or just selling her book?

Is swine flu vaccine going to Guantanamo? Define “going”

November 3, 2009

GERMANY/Conservative politicians and commentators got up in arms this week after the Pentagon said it would send doses of hard-to-get H1N1 swine flu vaccine to terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay.

Darth Vader, as played by Robert Gibbs

November 2, 2009

OBAMA/We saw a lot of photos over the weekend of President Obama and his wife, Michelle “Catwoman” Obama, handing out Halloween treats at the White House on Saturday night.

Obamas turn White House into Halloween central

October 31, 2009

The White House glowed pumpkin orange on Saturday when the Obama family turned 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue into Halloween central, complete with a giant stuffed spider dangling from a web above its front door.

Is Palin’s fee too steep for Iowa?

October 30, 2009

Iowa Republicans have differences over the propriety of a conservative group’s effort to raise a $100,000 fee for former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to speak at a banquet next month,  according to Politico.com.

Schwarzenegger swears F-word in veto letter ‘wild coincidence’

October 30, 2009

USA/California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger swears that the profanity spelled out when looking at his veto letter a certain way was pure coincidence.