November 27, 2009

Who are these people? The climbers at the gate

Posted: 02:57 PM ET

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
From The Washington Post

Michaele Salahi spent seven hours in a posh Georgetown salon getting ready for her big night out. She was going to the White House for the Obamas' first state dinner. Creating the perfect hair and makeup for the glamorous blonde for such a special occasion would take time, of course. But then there were the cameras, the takes and retakes.

The Northern Virginia socialite was being taped by a production crew for Bravo cable channel's forthcoming "The Real Housewives of Washington."

"It was a lot of schmoozing with the staff," James Packard-Gomez, CEO of Erwin Gomez Salon, said Thursday, explaining why the hair and makeup session lasted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The salon was abuzz because Michaele and her husband, Tareq, were among the 320 VIPs invited to join the president and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "They were asking, 'So, what do you think of them getting invited to this?' "

The stylist doing Michaele's hair asked to see the White House invitation, Packard-Gomez said. "She starts rummaging through her purse, and then said, 'It must be out in the car.' "

Would the film crews get into the White House, too? " 'We tried,' " he says she told them, " 'but they wouldn't let them in.' "

But the White House says there never was an invitation. Somehow the aspiring reality-TV stars managed to get themselves in Tuesday night and were photographed with Vice President Biden and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, causing an international uproar about security at the executive mansion.

The Secret Service said the Salahis crashed the party and that the agency is investigating how the couple penetrated presidential security. The Salahis' attorney, Paul W. Gardner, posted a statement on the couple's Facebook page: "My clients were cleared, by the White House, to be there. More information is forthcoming."

((Read moreā€¦))

Filed under: Larry King Live • Politics • President Obama

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Jo   November 27th, 2009 4:03 pm ET

Please don't let these people be on your show – don't give them their 15 minutes of fame. You're becoming a tabloid show rather than a news show and it's getting harder and harder to watch you anymore.

A. Smith, Oregon   November 27th, 2009 4:12 pm ET

Contrary to Hollywood hype, the US Secret Service routinely operates in a very heavy handed manner. The public disclosure on the threats against a siting president going up some 300-400% are likely accurate, given the Christian wing-nuts and Republican Tea-Baggers.

Suggestions that the US Secret Service is not in hyper-vigilant mode is simply not accurate.

While the Public Secretary of the President is likely being told to look for another job, I'm very skeptical in regards to blaming the Secret Service for dropping the ball on admitting this couple. Perhaps it's simply a ploy in their attempts to get some armed Christian wing-nuts to try crashing the next public appearance by President Obama.

Why do I use the derogatory term, 'Christian wing-nuts'? Christian organizations have begun selling thousands of Teddy-Bears and Bumper stickers with bible verses which call upon their 'god' to murder President Obama and make First Lady Michelle Obama a Widow!!

helen moed   November 27th, 2009 4:35 pm ET

the salahis couple should not be getting further publicity, something they crave. The Larry King Show should cancel this opportunity for more celebrity status.criminal charges and silence is more appropriate.

Janet Walker   November 27th, 2009 6:05 pm ET

I don't think you should give any more publicity to this couple. What they did set a very dangerous precedent. It may be discovered that a member of the press who had been cleared to attend had already arranged to photograph the couple for a reality series. This is not the legitimate role of the press. It trivializes the respect being shown to a head of state, and the purpose of the dinner has now been compromised because of a couple of wannabees. The penalty for them should be that no photos of them appear again on any public forum, and that they be prosecuted if any laws were violated. This is urgently important, given the overboard and trivial nature of reality shows in the country at present. Larry King should not be legitimizing these people, I really can't believe he is having them on – free publicity!! Instead of educating the public about the importance of India as an ally at a crucial time in history, Larry will be presenting an incentive to more useless and foolish diversion.

robert   November 27th, 2009 8:32 pm ET

so many astute people looking for jobs...& this one person/or people making mistakes that could have resulted in a tragedy ..sad..

william   November 28th, 2009 12:28 am ET

NO WAY should they be appearing..go to jail !

Susan - Canada   November 28th, 2009 7:40 pm ET

How disrespectful to the office of the President of the United States. They should be ashamed of themselves. Now they will go on the Larry King show and laugh about this and be even more disrespectful. I agree with other posts here....they should not be given any air time.

joseph   November 28th, 2009 8:23 pm ET

the Congressman who yelled "you lie" should have gone to jail also,,what is this world coming respect...

george..   November 29th, 2009 9:28 am ET

if they were NOT invited..then there were no seating arrangements for them? no place cards? sounds fishy...they just in sit down & have dinner ? strange..

jojo   November 29th, 2009 9:36 am ET

I agree with those they should not be giving any more air time

Norma   November 30th, 2009 10:27 pm ET

They are only guilty of making the secret service look ridiculous!

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