The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Even Oprah has to stand in line to get into the White House

President Obama speaks at a reception for the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Sept. 23. Next to him is Lonnie G. Bunch III, director of the museum. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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Now this is democracy: Getting into Friday night’s reception at the White House in honor of the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture wasn’t easy — no matter who you were.

A long security line included media queen and friend-of-the-Obamas Oprah Winfrey; her longtime partner, Stedman Graham; Winfrey’s bestie, CBS anchor Gayle King; actress Phylicia Rashad; choreographer/actress Debbie Allen; and actor Samuel L. Jackson.

Per a spy, after cooling his heels for a bit, Jackson (who maybe didn’t notice the august company he was in?) asked, “Where’s the VIP line?”

From her place a few spots ahead, Oprah turned around. “This is it,” she said.

And while it might be hard to get into his house, President Obama struck a humble note during the reception — once everyone was inside — as he paid tribute to his guests. “This room is like a living museum of its own,” he said. “Right now, Madame Tussauds would be very jealous.”