The U.S. Secret Service is promising a thorough investigation today, following the embarrassing disclosure that a pair of uninvited publicity seekers succeeded in entering last Tuesday’s White House state dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.
Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Boehner, the leaders of the Republican minority in the Senate and House respectively, made it past White House security and mixed with politically relevant people.
Photographs posted on their Live Journal page — Boehner in black tie, and McConnell attired in a beautiful, red Indian style gown with gold trim — show the lawmakers chatting with other guests including the First Dog, Bo, and being served cocktails by Vice President Biden.
Security concerns were further raised by photos showing them in the receiving line, greeting the President, First Lady Michelle Obama and Prime Minister Singh. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said there was never any danger to the First Family or their guests. “All guests were screened at the front gate for metal objects and teabags,” said Gibbs.
“The only direct interaction was when John Boehner asked the President directions to the little boys’ room,” Gibbs said, adding
that McConnell and Boehner were not seated at dinner in the main tent. Rather, they had sandwiches at a card table, set up for them in the historic White House Rec Room.
The party crashers are drawing extra media scrutiny due to their being among the subjects of an upcoming reality TV program, CSPAN’s Unreal House Members and Senators of Washington DC. “Our camera crew followed them as they shopped and got dressed to go to the dinner — but we didn’t think they’d actually get in,” said Byron Sheep, CSPAN spokesman.
“We intended for this to be a comedy show about a couple of people who oppose everything the president stands for and want him to fail. Yet still want to be part of the pomp and circumstance, and whine about not being invited,” Sheep said.