The last over-the-top celebration at 1600 Penn — October’s “Love and Happiness” concert co-sponsored by BET — appeared to be a bold exclamation point on the president and first lady’s blowout bashes. Bell Biv DeVoe performed its 1990 hit “Poison,” released not long after the Obamas began dating. Janelle Monae, a White House fixture these past eight years, twirled on stage. Actress Angela Bassett delivered a heartfelt thank you to the first lady from the stage set up on the South Lawn. DJ D-Nice spun records in the East Room to rival a college basement party. In a word, it was lit.
But it also won’t be the last.
In a recent interview with People magazine, the president told a young fan, hopeful she’d get invited to their final soiree, that the first couple was planning a farewell fete but that it’d be a “grown-up” affair well after her bedtime. Maybe she’d like to check out the White House’s holiday decorations instead? That interview was conducted at 1600 Penn in December, more than a month after the BET concert, which means that between now and Jan. 19, the White House will be rocking once again.
The local VIPs hoping to score a golden ticket to this last big party have been whispering about the mysterious event since the last South Lawn soiree. With 15 state dinners (including the African leaders affair), two big birthdays (Mrs. O’s 50th and the president’s 55th), and that private Prince concert for 500 last summer all behind them, it’s going to be tough for the commanders-in-celebration to top themselves. So far no details have leaked, which is typical of their tight social ship, and a request for official comment was not returned.