POLITICO Playbook: Spotteds galore as WHCD weekend kicks off in earnest


White House Correspondents’ Association dinner weekend is in full swing. If you’re in town and a little bleary this morning, you might want to deploy your best hangover cure (and let us know what it is, by the way), because the party circuit only speeds up today.

President JOE BIDEN and host TREVOR NOAH will be addressing the crowd at the official dinner this evening. Our money is on Noah to produce the most laughs, but we’re eager to see how Biden’s set lands after years of no presidential podium presence at the WHCD. (CNN’s Kevin Liptak has a curtain-raiser this morning for a speech that seeks to combine plenty of jokes with a serious message about the free press.)

On Friday night, official Washington ripped up the town from afternoon to the early hours of the morning. Administration officials, members of Congress, journalists and even some celebs rubbed shoulders and raised glasses. The Playbook team fanned out across the social scene to report back, plus readers sent in their own spotteds — keep them coming tonight! (And please, no more fake texts about congressmen getting stuck in bathrooms.) You can email tips to [email protected], or just text us: 202-556-3307.Here’s a taste of some of the crowd:

NBCUniversal News Group held a reception Friday afternoon to formally toast the opening of its new Washington bureau, which serves as home base for NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Noticias Telemundo. CEO Jeff Shell, Chair Cesar Conde and SVP/Washington bureau chief Ken Strickland offered remarks and a toast with colleagues at 400 North Capitol St. to kick off the weekend. Guests were greeted with a red-carpet entrance and an electric cellist. Sangria infusion cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres were served along with a global slider station. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) was spotted using the infamous NBC News Big Board to show off his winning numbers in his district. SPOTTED: Noah Oppenheim, Rashida Jones, Andrea Mitchell, Karine Jean-Pierre, Symone Sanders, Chuck and Kristian Denny Todd, Stephanie Ruhle, Jonathan Lemire, Jason Johnson, Joy Reid, Katy Tur, Geoff Bennett, Kelly O’Donnell, Shaquille Brewster, Jonathan Karl, Jonathan Allen, Kristen Welker, Matt Cuddy, Ken Strickland, Peter Alexander, Beau Ferrari, Mehdi Hasan, Garrett Haake, Claire McCaskill, Chris Licht, Tony Dokoupil, Jacob Soboroff and Katie Phang.

— David and Katherine Bradley and Laurene Powell Jobs hosted a dinner at the Bradleys’ home. SPOTTED: Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Cabinet Secretary Evan Ryan, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, CIA Director Bill Burns, press secretary Jen Psaki, Deputy A.G. Lisa Monaco, Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-U.S. Virgin Islands), homeland security adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Jeffrey Goldberg, Nick Thompson, Peter Lattman, Anne Applebaum, Russell Berman, Franklin Foer, David Frum, Elaine Godfrey, Adam Harris, Mark Leibovich, Jeff Dufour, Heather Kuldell, Kevin Baron, José Andrés, Enes Kanter, Mitch Landrieu, Dafna Linzer, Rachel Martin, Judy Woodruff, Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer, Jonathan Capehart, Katty Kay, Steve and Jean Case, John Dickerson and Jen Palmieri.

CNN’s Abby Phillip and the founder and CEO of ColorComm Lauren Wesley Wilson hosted Politics & Inclusion: An inaugural WHCD private dinner to bring together more than 50 people of color across the major news networks and traditional print media and politics to “celebrate the bi-partisan diverse voices in politics and media, both rising stars and established industry leaders.” Abby and Lauren said they’ve been talking about doing the event for more than three years and were finally able to take the plunge Friday night. SPOTTED: Gayle King, Sunny Hostin, Symone Sanders, Ana Navarro, Tiffany Cross, Suzanne Malveaux, Kirsten Allen, Yamiche Alcindor, Don Lemon, Weija Jiang, Tiffany Cross, Alicia Menendez, Yvette Miley, Laura Coates, Jim Acosta, Geoff Bennett, Laura Barrón-López, Amna Nawaz, Eugene Scott, Astead Herndon, Jennifer Molina, Erica Loewe, Jasmine Wright and Averi Harper.

The Motion Picture Association held an indoor/outdoor reception at its D.C. HQ where guests mingled with both members of Congress and Hollywood stars and observed some movie memorabilia — including the glass slipper from the live-action “Cinderella.” (We didn’t see any pumpkins turn into carriages, though.) SPOTTED: Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Monaco Ambassador Maguy Maccario Doyle, Charles Rivkin, Fran Drescher, Sir Alan Parker, Jeff Shell, Susan Fox, Melissa Moss, Jonathan Silver, Don Baer, Juleanna Glover, Richard Siklos, Mike Castelano, Kira Alvarez, Kim Harris, Sena Fitzmaurice, Cesar Conde, Caitlin Conant, Marc Adelman, Nicole Elkon, Sarah Kate Ellis, Gail MacKinnon, Emily Lenzner, Urmila Venugopalan, Mike Allen, Christa Robinson, Mathias Döpfner and Ali Dukakis.

CAA hosted a delightful indoor/outdoor cocktail party at the Viceroy. SPOTTED: Amy Schneider, Jon Karl, Andrea Mitchell, Peter Alexander, Susan Rice, Jonathan Lemire, Tony Dokoupil and Katy Tur, Ari Shapiro, Ashley Biden, Sophia Bush, Audie Cornish, Peter Rice, George Cheeks, Noah Oppenheim, Cecilia Vega, Kate Bolduan, Jacob Soboroff, Phil Rucker, Weijia Jiang and Luther Lowe, Phil Rucker, Leigh Ann Caldwell, David Fahrenthold, Ashley Parker and Michael Bender, Pam Brown, Brian and Jamie Stelter, Olivia Nuzzi, Bryan Lourd, Rachel Adler, Ali Spiesman, Alan Berger, Mark McGrath, Craig Gering, Rebecca Kutler, John McCarthy and Kasie Hunt.

Voto Latino hosted the 14th annual “Our Voices” reception at the National Archives Museum. María Teresa Kumar presented the “Truth in Journalism” Award to CBS’ Ed O’Keefe, who joked that a lot of people wouldn’t understand why “an Irish guy” was getting an award from the Voto Latino Foundation but went on to talk about how as a child with a Guatemalan mother, he and his sisters were the only Latinos he knew growing up in upstate New York. SPOTTED: Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Reps. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-N.M.) and Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), Rosario Dawson, Maria Cardona, Rashida Jones, Ingrid Duran, Catherine Pino, Adrian Saenz, Julie Rodriguez, Estuardo Rodríguez, Eve O’Toole, Henry Muñoz, Lalo Alcaraz and Karen Finney.

Media startup Semafor threw a party hosted by Justin Smith, Ben Smith, Gina Chua, Steve Clemons and Rachel Oppenheim at Justin’s Kalorama home. SPOTTED: Lynda Carter, Mathias Döpfner, Matt Kaminski, Lindsay Peoples, Joanna Coles, Marc Adelman, Senay Bulbul, Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Belgian Ambassador Jean-Arthur Regibeau, Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang, Michael LaRosa, Jesse Rodriguez, Margaret Carlson, Linda Douglass, Jan Bayer, Mike Castellano, Lucy DoCanto, Jesse Salazer, Bob Cohn, Audie Cornish, Gloria Dittus, Elizabeth Falcone, Joe Hack, Edward Luce, Niamh King, Eric Kuhn, Nicholas Logothetis, Eric Fanning, Jason Miller, Melissa Moss, Craig Newman, Alejandro Roark, Patrick Steel, Neera Tanden, Omar Vargas, Leana Wen, Karen Knutson, Lisa Grimes and lots of D.C. journos.

Elle Magazine and Chief hosted a private reception at Versus’ Ceil social club featuring Chief members from New York and D.C. Elle executive editor Sara Austin spoke about encouraging more women in leadership roles and praised D.C.’s many powerful women. Guests huddled around a venue decked in cherry blossoms, St. Germain cocktails and cheese plates and enjoyed the outdoor views. SPOTTED: Nikki Schwab, Christina Sevilla, Rachel Palermo, Kiki and Tim Berger, Meredith Fineman, Anchyi Wei, Kate Michael, ​​Madison Feller, Jondle Roder, Zaina Javaid, Helena Andrews, Olivia Peterson, Kelly Collis, Vinoda Basnayake, Jessica Powers, Dannia and Maha Hakki, Courtney Gazaleh, Haley Dorgan, Carolyn Childers, Ali Dukakis, Teddy Duvall and Jessica Hoy. 

Funny or Die and People Magazine hosted one of the late-night party options at The Reach at the Kennedy Center. Billy Eichner — whose popular “Billy on the Street” series was produced by Funny or Die for a time — addressed the crowd and spoke out against the various anti-LGBTQ bills being passed across the country. Guests were served specialty margaritas along with churro and milkshake stations and passed hors d’oeuvres. SPOTTED: Brooke Shields, Harry Hamlin and his daughter Amelia Gray, Julian Casablancas, Kevin McHale, Henry Muñoz, Gayle King, British Ambassador Karen Pierce, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison, W.H. chief of staff Ron Klain, Steve Ricchetti, Andrew Bates, Ned Price, Liz Allen, Ana Navarro, Ashley Parker and Michael Bender, Jay Carney, Kyle Dropp, Sarah Kate Ellis, Holly Harris, and Alyssa Farah.

United Talent Agency put on “A Celebration of America’s Journalists” at Fiola Mare, hosted by UTA co-president Jay Sures. In honor of the weekend’s festivities, UTA made a donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists. SPOTTED: DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, press secretary Jen Psaki, Karine Jean-Pierre, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Brooke Shields, Sophia Bush, Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy!), Pat Sajak, Dafna Linzer, Norah O’Donnell, Don Lemon, Bret Baier, Baratunde Thurston, Dan Abrams, Molly Jong-Fast, Doug Heye, Symone Sanders, Stephanie Ruhle, Kurt Bardella, Tammy Haddad, Pam Brown, Adam Wright, Ali Vitali, Lindsay Peoples, Susanna Quinn, Erik Smith and Edith Gregson, Howard Fineman and Amy Nathan, and Jan Crawford. (Sures also hosted a dinner at Bourbon Steak with a number of guests, including Mayorkas, Lemon, O’Donnell, Baier, Brennan, Abrams, Kaitlan Collins, Kara Swisher, Matt Dornic and Peter Rice.)

Good Saturday morning. Thanks for reading Playbook. Drop us a line: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza.

Here’s a rundown for the rest of today:

  • 11 a.m.: The 27th Annual White House Correspondents’ Weekend Garden Brunch. A reminder from the hosts: “Aside from designated press areas, the event is off the record. We ask that you follow the same rules established by the WHCA for the dinner: No professional cameras or audio/video recorders are allowed inside the Party. Interviews are not permitted inside the event. Reporting on ‘overheards’ is strongly discouraged.” 
  • 5:30 p.m.: ABC News reception.
  • 6 p.m.: POLITICO-CBS reception.
  • The main event — 7:30 p.m.: The White House Correspondents’ Dinner at the Washington Hilton.
  • 9 p.m.: Vice News’ “Break the News” party.
  • 9:30 p.m.: Modern Luxury DC party.
  • 10:30 p.m.: theGrio’s “A Seat at the Table” party celebrating Black media and APRIL RYAN’s 25th anniversary covering Washington.
  • 10:30 p.m.: An Evening of Magical Realism, hosted by the ambassador of Colombia.
  • 11 p.m.: The Paramount After Party.
  • 11:30 p.m.: The NBCUniversal After Party.

WATCH: What should Noah not do tonight? We have a Punchlines and Playbook collaboration with Matt Wuerker and Ryan Lizza talking about the most cringeworthy moments from past White House Correspondents’ Association dinners. Check it out here