The White House Guest List

The White House Guest List
ESSENCE.COM Nov, 11, 2009

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The talk maven was at the White House from Day One, when the President and First Lady hosted a private Inauguration Day party with close friends. She also met with the First Lady in February, for their O Magazine interview.

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The director had a front-row seat at the White House’s “poetry jam” in May, enjoying coffeehouse vibes in the East Room with slam poets and jazz musicians, and a performance from Shakespeare’s “Othello” by James Earl Jones.

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President Obama invited the Wimbledon champion over in July. “He seems to be so normal,” she told reporters later, before a tennis match, “And he noticed my shoes. I think that was the highlight of the whole day, that he liked my shoes.”

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The singer was among a group of 21 women, hand-picked by the First Lady, to dine with local high school girls at the White House and talk about career goals. Other guests for the event included Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross and Phylicia Rashad.

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The golf pro took a tour of the White House in April, guided by an Obama aide who once caddied at the Georgia golf course that was the site of this year’s Masters Tournament. Woods also met the President at the Oval Office.

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Just missing the President after he left to give an Earth Day speech on alternative energy in Iowa, the R&B singer visited the White House in April for a meeting with staff on malaria in Africa and other health issues.

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A personal friend of the President’s, going back to their days together at Harvard Law School, the actor and author visited the White House twice in May. “He’s completely the same, completely on a mission,” Hill told OK! Magazine. “He’s a hard worker and he stays on task and that’s what I really like about him.”

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One of the presenters at a Lincoln Memorial concert during inauguration weekend, the Oscar-winning actor visited the White House for two group tours in May.

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The percussionist and “Glamorous Life” singer performed at the White House’s “Fiesta Latina” concert, held on the South Lawn in October. Also in attendance were Jimmy Smits, Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria Parker.