Posts Tagged ‘Ann Compton’
The Daily Caller launch party was the place to be last night for Washington D.C.’s political party crowd.
Former Time scribe Matt Cooper and Scooter Libby, former Chief of Staff to former V.P. Dick Cheney (in the same room)
From the Daily Caller:
Tucker Carlson, Editor-in-Chief
Moira Bagley, Opinion Editor
Becca Glover Watkins, Publicist and Booker
Jonathan Ward, senior political and White House Reporter
Matt Labash (who also writes for The Weekly Standard)
Liz Glover, former TWT columnist
Juleanna Glover, host, GOP lobbyist
Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair, and wife, Carol Blue
ABC’s Jake Tapper, Ann Compton, The Note’s Rick Klein
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie
UrbanDaddy’s Jeff Dufour and wife, Jayne
CBS bureau chief Chris Isham, CBS’ Christine Delargy
CNN’s Amy Holmes
Talking Points Memo’s Christina Bellantoni
Politico’s Patrick Gavin, Kiki Ryan, Michael Calderone
Meet the Press’ Joey Bell
Yeas and Nays’ Tara Palmeri
Congress Daily’s Erin McPike
Roll Call’s Jackie Kucinich, Shira Topeitz, Emily Heil
The Hill’s Bob Cusack, Jared Allen, Christina Wilkie
Monocle’s Sasha Issenberg
The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder
Former Bloomberg scribe Tim Burger
Non-media types: Janet Donovan, Ron Bonjean, Christina Sevilla, Michael Feldman, Mark Paustenbach, Susanna Quinn, former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart.
One highlight of the party was a man dressed up in colonial wear, who, a partygoer surmised, was “what I can only assume was a “Daily Caller.” There were two French maids passing out vodka.
Fun was had by most. The only part anyone quibbled about was the coat check. One attendee remarked: “There were really long lines to get your coat to leave and just too many people to be in one house at the same time. By the time you got your coat from the coat check and your car from the valet, it was at least 15-20 minutes.”
Politico’s Gavin tweeted, “Even Joe Lockhart has to wait in line for his coat.”
Photographs courtesy of Patrick Ryan.
See more party pictures and Politico Click video after the jump…
President Obama will address the nation from West Point 8pmET tomorrow on his Afghanistan plans. TVNewser reports that all networks will carry Obama’s primetime address. And we’re beginning to hear just how the nets and cable will cover…
• CBS: Katie Couric will anchor CBS’ live broadcast at 8pmET.
• ABC: Charlie Gibson will anchor ABC’s live coverage. He will be joined by George Stephanopoulos, Jake Tapper, Martha Raddatz, senior foreign correspondent Jim Sciutto in Kabul and ABC News consultant Ret. General Jack Keane. Terry Moran will anchor “Nightline” from West Point beginning at 11:35pmET. Also at 8pmET, political director David Chalian and senior political reporter Rick Klein will anchor ABC News NOW’s live coverage on abcnews.com. Aaron Katersky, Ann Compton and Steve Roberts will cover it on radio.
• CNN: Wolf Blitzer, joined by CNN’s Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper, John King, Christiane Amanpour, Fareed Zakaria and senior political analysts Gloria Borger and David Gergen, will anchor the cabler’s live coverage beginning at 8pmET. “360″ will air live at 10pmET and “Larry King Live” will air live at midnight.
• C-SPAN: Live coverage begins at 8pmET, likely on C-SPAN2 (if Senate is done for the day), plus coverage on C-SPAN Radio and live-streaming on C-SPAN.org.
We’ll continue to update.
Notes from a briefing room press insider…
For the Afghan Speech Bingo Card: While POTUS continued to work the phone tree of world leaders to outline (without specific numbers, the WH says) the new Af-Pak strategy to be unveiled tomorrow night at West Point, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs hit on several of the speech’s points in response to briefing questions from reporters. A laundry list: relationship with Pakistan, already made “stronger” through engagement and diplomacy; cost (!)–noting that this is not an “open-ended” commitment, though RG warned not to expect specific dollar numbers in tomorrow’s address; sacrifice of the troops, which will be mentioned “early” in the speech; stability and anti-corruption efforts (rather than a focus on “nation-building”); benchmarks, of which there will be “new wrinkles” from the March announcement; the al Qaeda threat that remains (“dismantle, disrupt, destroy”–and on some occasions the WH will use “defeat” as one of the three D’s); and a “renewed emphasis” on Afghan security training.
Crash Heard ‘Round the World: Overlapping the highly anticipated West Point details was the still-lingering WH/tabloid drama of the now-infamous, party-crashing Mr. and Mrs. Salahi. A rare outburst of simultaneously shouting reporters was further evidence that the week-old story won’t die easily. “None of that relay happened,” RG explained of the Secret Service’s lack of communication with the WH social office on the unlisted guests. RG continued to remind reporters that “nobody picked up the phone” to make the appropriate check, while reporters questioned whether the social office might assume some of the blame. “I will let the investigation put the onus on where the onus should be,” RG said. Impatience from the podium was evident as RG attempted to disrupt the momentum of shouted questions by calling on the next reporter in the first row. Declining to characterize the specifics of POTUS’s reaction to all this, RG did mention that his “concern goes greatly beyond ‘The Real Housewives of DC.’” He then noted the silliness of mentioning the reality show in the same line of questioning as Afghanistan….
No wonder there’s so many speculated cases of swine flu among the White House press corps…
“You’re screwed Ann, just FYI,” Gibbs joked with ABC radio’s Ann Compton, who sits near the sneezer.
C-SPAN has the video here (scroll to about 21 mins in).
Notes from a briefing room press insider…
Chaos in Gibbs-istan: As a skeptical tone continues to rise in the Brady briefing room, Afghanistan ruled the show today as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was forced repeatedly to bat down the premise that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has earned a POTUS-backed slap on the wrist for breaking the silence on the war’s policy review in a London speech. CNN’s Ed Henry led the charge, with RG more than once accusing him of “many caveats in your question” as he quoted McChrystal; RG, in a common podium defense, said he didn’t know whether POTUS had seen the “Chaos-istan” comment and, in response to whether the speech was appropriate, that he wasn’t in charge of scheduling for each member of the military, later repeating that POTUS is “comfortable with the way the process is and how it’s moving forward.” He chastised reporters: “I get that the Washington game is to do the back and forth,” to which Henry promptly cried: “It’s not a Washington game!” RG called the 25-minute POTUS-McChrystal one-on-one onboard AF1 in Copenhagen “a constructive meeting … not about what’s going on on cable television.” In response to whether NSA Jim Jones was rebuking McChrystal in his comments on the Sunday shows: “Far be it for me to parse the words of a four-star general.”
But What if We’re Thirsty?: POTUS is set to brief Congressional leaders tomorrow on the Afghan review process, which RG says is intended to “walk them through where we are” and “solicit their views.” In the wake of the deadly weekend attack in Afghanistan, he noted that the strategy on the table is to move from such outposts and focus more on the population centers. ABC Radio’s Ann Compton followed up to ask why that strategy had not been implemented if it had in fact been agreed upon “several months ago,” as RG said. She was referred to the five-sided building. As for the hush-hush Af-Pak meetings (a five-part series, so far), RG forewarned that “it isn’t about the number of meetings” and that the fifth meeting might not immediately precede a POTUS announcement. When CBS’s Chip Reid employed the old RG baseball analogy technique to ask what inning it is for the Afghan assessment, RG replied: “You haven’t even gone for your first beer yet.”
Tonight is President Obama’s fourth prime-time press conference, fifth overall. Each presser has lasted about an hour and averages 13 reporters’ questions. Fox did not air Obama’s 100th day press conference, the third, on the network and will not tonight either.
In his first prime-time press conference Feb. 9th, the President called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, Reuters’ Caren Bohan, CBS’ Chip Reid, NBC’s Chuck Todd, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman, ABC’s Jake Tapper, CNN’s Ed Henry, NYT‘s Helene Cooper, Fox’s Major Garrett, WaPo‘s Michael Fletcher, Helen Thomas, HuffPost’s Sam Stein and NPR’s Mara Liasson.
In his second prime-time press conference March 24th, Obama called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, NBC’s Chuck Todd, ABC’s Jake Tapper, CBS’ Chip Reid, Univision’s Lourdes Meluza, Stars and Stripes’ Kevin Baron, CNN’s Ed Henry, Fox News’ Major Garrett, Politico‘s Mike Allen, Ebony’s Kevin Chappell, ABC Radio’s Ann Compton, TWT‘s Jon Ward and AFP’s Stephen Collinson.
In his third prime-time press conference April 29th, the President called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, Detroit News‘ Deb Price, ABC’s Jake Tapper, CBS’ Mark Knoller, NBC’s Chuck Todd, Reuters’ Jeff Mason, CBS’ Chip Reid, CNN’s Ed Henry, NYT‘s Jeff Zeleny (“surprised, troubled, enchanted and humbled”), Telemundo’s Lori Montenegro, BET’s Andre Showell, Time‘s Michael Scherer and WaPo‘s Jonathan Weisman.
President Obama’s fourth presser was during the day, in the briefing room June 23rd and he called on, in this order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, HuffPost’s Nico Pitney (remember this?), Fox’s Major Garrett, USA Today‘s David Jackson, CBS’ Chip Reid, NBC’s Chuck Todd, ABC’s Jake Tapper, McClatchy’s Margaret Talev, EFE’s Macarena Vidal, Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols, American Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan and CNN’s Suzanna Malveaux.
RELATED: From US News & World Report: Press Getting More Adversarial With Obama: Some expect Obama’s news conference to take on a more negative tone.
When “Two Minutes” Equals Two Minutes: A prompt Press Secretary Robert Gibbs took the briefing room’s first row off guard today as network and wire bigwigs trickled into their seats. “I feel like we’re running out of a tunnel at a big football game,” Gibbs joked. “Is the Huffington Post here?” CBS’s Peter Maer jabbed. (Maer would later trigger a lengthy classroom debate about the “designated hitter” in yesterday’s presidential newser.) RG countered: “You’ll have to get someone else to ask that question.” More on that topic on FBDC in a little bit…
Cabinet-Level Show and Tell: To complete the WH’s continuing energy-healthcare-education trifecta, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman joined Gibbs today to discuss a new initiative to trim the student financial aid application process. Apparently the Secretary had been through some mean arts and crafts time, as he brought two giant posters for Show and Tell. “This form itself was a huge barrier for entry,” he said of the old FAFSA, explaining that the new system achieved a 20% reduction in questions and 50% reduction in web pages. “This thing’s a little bit more friendly,” he said, showing off the second of his “before and after” visual aids.
“No Fourth For You!”: Gibbs clarified that invitations issued to Iranian diplomats for social gatherings surrounding July 4th are officially revoked in the wake of the current post-election turmoil. “Not surprisingly… nobody’s RSVP’d,” he said of the outreach. Gibbs said the other unanswered invitation to Iran — to join talks about its nuclear programs at the upcoming P5+1 meeting — still stands.
Of Note: In a heavy response to a question from ABC Radio’s Ann Compton, Gibbs maintained POTUS’s pledge that Americans wishing to keep their healthcare will, in fact, be able to do just that under a new system. Of course, we’re all still arguing about what the various proposals to that new system will look like…
Most of DC wakes up to him, even more of DC wonders if and when he ever sleeps, Politico’s Mike Allen never seems to stop.
So last night, co-hosts John Harris and Ann O’Hanlon, Jim and Autumn VandeHei, Mike Feldman, Betsy Fischer, Hilary Rosen, Jonathan Karl, Greta Van Susteren and John Coale thought it was about time for Mikey to let loose with a “surprise” birthday party at the home of one of DC’s best hosts Tammy Haddad.
And how do you go about surprising someone who knows everything going on in this town? Tammy and co. posed the party as a celebration of “President Obama’s 160 Days of Media.” The surprise was spoiled just a little before the party- Tammy had to fill Mike in to ensure his attendance.
Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn, Ann Compton, John Dickerson, Rita Braver and Bob Barnett, Suzanne Malveaux, Nia-Malika Henderson, Savannah Guthrie, Judy Woodruff and Al Hunt, Debbie Dingell, Sam Feist, Steve Chaggaris, Querry Robinson, Roger Simon, Ann Schroeder Mullins, Lauren Vicary, Mark Murray, Sasha Johnson, Juleanna Glover, Janet Donovan, Edie Emery, Adam Verdugo, Carol Lee, Alex Burns, Michael Feldman, Ron Bonjean, Lynn Sweet, Bill Burton and Laura Capps, Gordon Johndroe and Austan Goolsbee, among many others, all donned “I Like Mike” campaign-ish buttons.
Harris and VandeHei each toasted their all-star, each saying that Mike had a bigger heart than any guy they’ve ever met.
Mike also gave a really gracious speech, joking that the party was sponsored by Starbucks and thanking Tammy and others for their friendship and hospitality, and God, quipping VandeHei thinks that’s a reference to him. VandeHei called him a “guy who will break more news before I’m done with this toast than I will in my career” and very appropriately, the “guy who gets up in the morning and reads all the papers so the rest of us don’t have to.”
Always the intrepid reporter, Mike even included a pool report in this morning’s Playbook:
POOL REPORT from Washington’s true bipartisan DMZ — TAMMY HADDAD’s YARD. Tammy (the one carrying two cameras, as well as throwing the party) had a few friends over to “Celebrate! President Obama’s 160 DAYS OF MEDIA, Hosted By John Harris and Ann O’Hanlon, Jim and Autumn VandeHei, Mike Feldman, Betsy Fischer, Jonathan Karl, Greta Van Susteren and John Coale, Hilary Rosen, Jonathan Martin, and Tammy Haddad.” Aided and abetted by the magic of Kim Kingsley. (hat tip: Mom)
THE CARTOON SPHYNX SAYS: Thank you for the love and amazing time, and for taking the time to appreciate and enjoy each other.
More party photos after the jump. Also, find out where Mike’s friends read his Playbook, courtesy of Politico‘s Patrick Gavin. We have to agree with Margaret Carlson- “Doesn’t everybody read it in bed?”
Sorry, we’re a day late due to some technical difficulties…
To Release or Not To Release: WH took a 180 in announcing they’ve drawn new battle lines in a FOIA-initiated lawsuit to release photos of detainee abuse by U.S. personnel. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who had previously (see: late April) painted the release as a lost cause, now said he would not “get into blame for this or that” before noting that there was “significant legal momentum” from the previous administration to allow the photos public showing. The original lawsuit, the appeal, and additional court rulings had discouraged the Obama team from fighting the inevitable, but Gibbs said today that the president initiated the new move because he believed the “strongest case” was not being made to the court, in the interest of national security. As for what this new “strongest case” might be, Gibbs added that research to his lengthy to-do list.
Huh?: The abrupt shift in policy left more than a few reporters scratching their heads as Gibbs struggled to provide figurative language examples to illuminate the reverse decision. He compared the detainee abuse issue and pending investigations to a murder case, noting that crime scene photos don’t move the investigation forward; he argued that the OLC torture/enhanced interrogation memos release was “not analogous.” The relative importance/damage of photo release reached a particular murky point earlier when Gibbs said they “provide a disincentive for detainee abuse investigation.” “Try that again. I don’t follow,” CBS’s Bill Plante replied. Gibbs’s answer — seeming to argue that the photos only inflamed the issue and inhibited proper investigation — left ABC’s Jake Tapper unsatisfied, who shook his head in unison with Plante.
More Homework: In response to ABC Radio’s Ann Compton, Gibbs clarified that POTUS had not seen the photos at the time of previous focus on the issue in April. While he’s not seen the entire collection, Obama has seen a “representative” grouping. Gibbs pledged to check on whether that was the “trigger” for Obama’s change of heart.
Asker/Askee Reversal: In a press secretary tactic is used sparingly but usually finds success (if not simply self-satisfaction), Gibbs used the ole Ask-the-Reporter to catch CNN’s Ed Henry off his game by turning the tables to challenge the network’s use of waterboarding imagery. “Why do you do a graphic on CNN?” he drilled the correspondent, which led to a meek “We’re trying to show people–”