On Thursday night the president–well at least according to ABC–christened the White House Correspondents’ Association weekend at Devex and Foreign Affairs magazine’s “Global Beat” party at the U.N Foundation, co-sponsored by Washington Life.

“I’m not sharing him,” shouted one attendee as she elbowed her way to the center of the women with their iPhones at the ready when someone suggested they take a picture with Tony Goldwyn, the actor who plays President Fitzgerald Grant on “Scandal,” ABC’s addictive soap opera about the White House.

During a brief interview, Goldwyn, who’s attending his second dinner as the guest of the network, told us he’s most excited about meeting the real president and first lady. When we asked who his favorite White House correspondent was, Goldwyn laughed. “I didn’t know it was a competition,” he answered diplomatically. Fitz has taught Tony well.

But once the celebrity left the building, the night belonged to the folks who are supposed to be at the center of this weekend’s celebrations–journalists, and we’re not talking about the cast of “Newsroom.” Just ask the swag bag, which was filled with copies of Foreign Affairs and a free one-year subscription.

According to Jonathan Tepperman, the magazine’s managing editor, the champagne was for “the incredibly brave, intrepid, brilliant reporters that have risked repeatedly their liberties and their lives. If not for them none of us would be able to do the work that we do.” Then a bottle popped and people went back to partying Washington-style, which meant exchanging business cards over beats.

“Oh, this is very serious,” one foreign policy lobbyist told us about the affair. “Usually during this weekend Washington feels like all the cool people from other cities. But this is very D.C.” But is that a bad thing? With three more nights and three times as many parties to go, the fact that one seemed dedicated to the District could combat all the celebrity-takeover backlash.

Then again, this weekend had just begun.

“It’s gotten to the point where you offend people if you don’t go,” said Steve Clemons, an editor at the Atlantic. 

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