President Obama Wrong To Miss Tonight’s Gridiron Dinner

I am sure that I am the only one in the blogsphere to feel that President Obama should have decided to attend the traditional Gridiron Dinner in Washington this weekend, instead of taking a family trip to Camp David.   Yes, I am sensitive to the needs for family time, and am aware that children require nurturing and bonding.  But I am also one that believes in traditions and the continuation of events in Washington that are aimed to bring people together during times of heated political rancor.  The Gridiron Dinner is such an event, and I feel that the President should have observed this long and wonderful tradition.  Granted, this journalistic affair has a soft spot in my heart each year, and will inevitably produce snippets for pundits on the news shows.  But the main reason I feel so strongly about this is that it is just one of our great traditions, and too manyof them are slipping away.  President Obama was wrong to have missed this event.

At last, President Obama can say he is following in the footsteps of Grover Cleveland. He is skipping the first Gridiron Dinner of his presidency, the first president since Cleveland to do so.

The Gridiron Club, for those unfamiliar with Washington’s traditions, is the city’s oldest and most exclusive journalistic organization. Its annual dinner is one among the few white-tie events in official Washington, and features campy song-and-dance numbers and, typically, remarks by the president of the United States.

This year’s dinner is March 21, one week from Saturday. But Mr. Obama, who attended the dinner as a senator in 2006, has a conflict: his daughters, Malia and Sasha, will be on spring break and the family is expected to be at Camp David that night.

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