Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kind of a Big Deal

I had dinner with President Obama last Wednesday.

Well, not dinner in the "traditional" sense. We weren't at the same table-- or in the same room while he ate. But I did make sure the table, chair and tablecloth he used were just right. And I did ask him (via White House staff) what he wanted to eat (the sirloin steak au poivre, medium rare). In my mind that qualifies as dinner with the leader of the free world.

Barrack was in town for a couple political fundraisers: one Tuesday at Anna Wintour's house and (the important) one Wednesday at the very restaurant where I run around as an event planner. Fifty of the president's top donors gathered for dinner in one of our private rooms. They ate gazpacho with smoked salmon, maple peppercorn glazed duck and saffron peach pudding (prepared by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.) But Mr. President- after mingling with the party guests- ate separately off of our restaurant's menu in a smaller private room.

His visit lasted just a couple hours but the planning and security clearance started weeks ago. Every employee was background checked. Every person who step foot in the restaurant got metal detected. We're fairly certain all the office phones were tapped (which forced me to hang up on my always tactful Rush-Limbaugh-loving mother who called on the big day to ask if "Barrack HUSSEIN Obama!" had arrived.)

At least 70 Secret Service agents invaded the restaurant. And when Obama pulled up, through a tent and tunnel that was built off of the closed New York City block, every inch of the restaurant throbbed with energy. He came, schmoozed, ate quickly and left but I can't help but feel like it was well worth all the hoopla.

It was one of my proudest professional moments- second to last year's lunch with the Dalia Lama (and Bethenny Frankel peeing in one of our wine buckets, of course.)

I felt especially lucky to do what I do.

And it didn't hurt that one of the Secret Service guys asked me out.


  1. Ok woa woa woa, you can't just casually drop that BF peed in a wine bucket and then not say anything else about it. I wanna hear that story.

    Side note, no matter what you say about work being unglamorous, you still have the coolest work-related stories of anyone I know.

  2. I love your mom! Barrack "Hussein" Obama! that's the best...haha