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Tony Snow Makes Surprise Appearance at WHCA Dinner Tonight

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Tony Snow Makes Surprise Appearance at WHCA Dinner Tonight

Article excerpt

The woman in charge of tickets for People magazine was ready. "Is Sanjaya here yet?" someone asked outside the magazine's party area on the lower level of the Washington Hilton. "No, but I've got his ticket," the woman said with a smile. "You'll know by the scream of girls that goes up when he comes." That was one of the many questions circulating during the pre-dinner parties prior to tonight's White House Correspondence Association Dinner. A warm, calm night led the events as the famous, infamous and powerful roamed two floors of receptions that annually kick off the star-studded affair.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow made his first appearance since taking leave for a prostate cancer battle. Pulled along by incoming WHCA President Ann Compton, Snow said he was feeling well. "I thought that I could get back out in time to be here tonight and I did," he told E&P. "I am feeling fine."

A little later, at the dinner, as guests at the head table were introduced, the head of the group, Steve Scully, welcome Snow back and he walked to the front to loud cheers, waving (looking a little thinner) and sitting next to his boss, the president. Along with the location of American Idol's most famous hair-styled failure, attendees discussed the recent trio of news; The Virginia Tech shootings, Alberto Gonzales' testimony and, of course, Imus. "It is fairly solemn," said Jon Meachem, editor of Newsweek, as he greeted the likes ofDavid Geffen and Henry Kissinger at that magazine's party. "You lose 32 people who commit the sin of going to class, we have troops in harm's way. I have noticed a difference between the Clinton evenings like this and all of the Post-9/11 evenings. It is a little more grown up." John McLaughlin offered the political impact of the Virginia Tech shootings when asked about the incident, saying it would help Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. "Because I think security will be very much on the national mind," he said. "And they will be looking for decisive, strong and reliable leaders." Later, when Fred Thompson was asked if anyone was NOT asking if he planned to run for president, he said "the question's not allowed." But that did not stop well-wishers as he shook hands in the warm, outside court area. …

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