The Salahis in the White House

(Samantha Appleton – The White House)

It sounded like cross between a college prank and a story from Christopher Buckley’s satire, White House Mess. Michaele and Tareq Salahi, two beltway socialites crashed into President Obama’s first state dinner, took photos with many of the prestigious guests (including the Vice President Joe Biden) and then whatelse? posted them on facebook of course.

The couple, who were desperately trying to get on a reality television show the Real Housewives of D.C., were in fact, what Maureen Dowd of the New York Times called, “trompe l’oeil Virginia horse-country socialites: a faux Redskins cheerleader and a faux successful businessman.” Although they were not on the invited guestlist, the Secret Service just waved them in, because they were reassured by the couple’s confidant manner and insistence that they were invited as well as the pressure of keeping the lines moving on that fateful rainy evening. They weren’t suspicious of the camera crew the couple tried to bring along.

From this writer at least, the Salahis won kudos for this daring, insulting yet funny episode. If I may be personal and ineloquent for a moment, I worried for his safety last year when Barack Obama was running for election–he was a politician with charisma of John Kennedy and Martin Luther King who aroused polarizing feelings among the public. Then, he was elected and I said, ‘ok, now he is at least under some Secret Service protection’. Then this happened. But it was better that the breach was done by fame-seeking 15-minuters than by some scimitar-weaving Sirhan Sirhan.