But it's hard to keep meetings secret in Washington, especially with an exquiste, definitely-not-rubber-chicken, menu, so soon we were joined by Wolf (Blitzer), Arianna (Huffington), Haley (Barber), Candy (Crowley), Jon (Huntsman) and Janet (Napolitano)...
...and 600 of their closest friends.
The 127th Gridiron Club Anniversary Dinner had begun.
I'd like to post lots of photos of the speakers and comedy skits. Unfortunately, the dinner is off the record. No photos, videos, recordings or tweets allowed. (A man at our table started to video Secretary Panetta with his phone. He was hit over the head with a gridiron, and dragged away by security officers. Don't tell Gridiron members there's no such thing as off the record!) I do have a photo of me and a family member before entering the ballroom, but she would be most unhappy if I posted the photo.
So for the best coverage of the event, read the Washington Post's Story.
And look for Rick Perry on Comedy Central after he leaves the governor's mansion. His writer(s) was great and his delivery flawless. Really. I've seen lots of politicians attempt humor. Many are good (Panetta, for example), but Perry is a pro.
A special thanks to Patrick J. Sloyan, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, former Washington bureau chief of Newsday, and a Gridiron member, for inviting me.