We think the President said it best- “The jokes may not be as good, but neither is the guest list.”
There were no TomKat or Ashton and Demi sightings. The biggest star (and highest dress slit) in the room was former Miss California Carrie Prejean, followed in star power by actor Tate Donovan and Angelina Jolie‘s brother James Haven.
But the 2009 RTCA dinner did light up the Washington Convention Center with DC journo star power- those attending included Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, Lara Logan, Chip Reid, Major Garrett (check him out with Prejean in a photo after the jump), Chuck Todd, Jonathan Karl, Bill Plante, Savannah Guthrie, Ed Henry, Bill Press, Contessa Brewer, Luke Russert, Maureen Orth, Willie Geist, Mika and Joe, Judy Woodruff, Lawrence O’Donnell (and Norah and Kelly), Nancy Cordes, Steve Capus, David Bohrman, Robin Sproul, Heidi Collins, Carl Cameron, John Harwood, Mike Allen and Mark Whitaker to name a few.
As well as Robert Gibbs, Bill Burton and Laura Capps, Michael Steele (actually seated at a CBS table with Burton), Dana Perino, Samantha Powers, Ken Salazar (donning a cowboy hat), Austan Goolsbee, Gordon Johndroe, David Axelrod, Eric Holder, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Leon Panetta and Rep. Glenn Nye.
The dinner was a little unconventional than most. Before dinner was served, there were various performances by JibJab, the Onion News Network and Sweet Honey on the Rocks (a favorite of Michelle Obama, though she did not attend). RTCA chair and the evening’s emcee Heather Dahl introduced President Obama, who left soon after this remarks. The date of the dinner actually changed a few times to accommodate the President’s schedule.
The Joan S. Barone Award was presented by CBS’ Bill Plante to NBC congressional correspondent Mike Viqueira for his coverage of the bailout story on the Hill. Viqueira dedicated his award to Mary Dorman, the NBC Washington bureau’s longtime assignment desk manager who died early this year of cancer. The Bloom daughters also presented an award in their father David Bloom‘s memory. BBC’s Rome Hartman accepted on behalf of Orla Guerin. A video tribute to Bill Headline, Tony Snow and Tim Russert, all who passed this year, was also shown.
More photos after the jump…