Barack Obama threw an exclusive "backyard bash" on the Fourth of July, with hot dogs, Stoudt's American Pale Ale, and entertainment by the Foo Fighters. Politico's Mike Allen rated an invite, but he doesn't really want you to know that.
Allen is Politico's White House correspondent. According to the pool report of the event sent out to the White House press corps by the Baltimore Sun's Paul West, who spent about 40 minutes observing the party—confined to a pen so he couldn't mingle—before being escorted out, Allen was there:
Faces spotted at random in the crowd included AG Eric Holder, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, press secretary Robert Gibbs (gamboling with his son on the big West Wing play set), social secretary Desiree Rogers, Obama chums Martin Nesbitt and Dr. Eric Whitaker, and Mike Allen of Politico.
Allen must have been doing what we usually do at Fourth of July parties—drinking himself into patriotic oblivion. Because he totally forgot he was there! When he mentioned the the bash the next day in his Playbook column, he pasted-and-quoted the pool report, conveniently deleting his own name:
A source in the White House press corps tells us that invites to the event were very hard to come by—reporters who tried to cadge one were told that the guest list was limited to staffers and their families. Allen's claustrophobic, minutiae-obsessed manner of covering the White House—sniveling and attention-seeking one minute, petty and vicious the next—kind of reminds us of our own family sometimes, so it makes sense he'd rate an invite.
West, the pooler, confined to his little pen, tried bravely to ask Obama some questions during the portion of the party he was permitted to be there:
After the Marine musicians marched off, Obama and the First Lady descended the steps and worked a rope line for almost 20 minutes, carefully skipping over your pool and ignoring shouted attempts at questions.
We've e-mailed Allen to ask him if he had a chance to ask Obama any questions as he mingled with the guests. Though we imagine that if he did, he would have written about it by now, no? We've also asked the White House what other elite members of the press corps they deemed worth spending their Fourth of July hanging out with. We'll let you know when we hear back.