The Washington Post

Obama celebrates the big 5-0 in Rose Garden

by Al Kamen

The Rose Garden Obama birthday bash Thursday night — a sit-down buffet of chicken and hot dogs and steak and wine and salads and sides and wine — featured a sprinkling of some of the usual glitterati — Stevie Wonder, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Charles Barkley, Grant Hill, Emmitt Smith.

There were very few White House staff and Cabinet and Hill folks — including Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Brennan, Bill Daley, Valerie Jarrett and Cecilia Munoz — gathered at the three dozen or so round tables covered in white linen with yellow sunflower centerpieces.

Some funders — Andy Spahn from the Spielberg crowd — and a couple of former governors — Tim Kaine and Bill Richardson — were also there.

First lady Michele Obama was there with the kids, Malia and Sasha, who was sitting with Chris Rock. Wellington Wilson and his wife, the girls’ godparents from Chicago, were spotted.

The crowd, said to be from a list of about 300 Obama himself drew up, was overwhelmingly buddies, mostly longtime Obama pals from Chicago and college and law school days, our spotters said.

Follow In the Loop on Twitter: @AlKamenWP

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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