Hollywood on the Potomac

'The First Family Detail'

July 29, 2015

All eyes have been on President Obama for the last few days as he traveled to Kenya and Ethiopia; some more than others. “Close to 100 Secret Service agents and uniformed officers go with The President on overseas trips traveling either on Air Force One or cargo planes for vehicles.  While nothing untoward has happened on this trip, agents tell me it’s just a matter of time before the Secret Service’s laxness and corner cutting lead to another debacle such as the intrusion at the White House last September,” best-selling author Ron Kessler told Hollywood on the Potomac.  His book, The First Family Detail, is available in paperback today with a new epilogue.


The President is there to attend the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and “to meet with leaders from government, business, and civil society,” according to the official White House website. “The trip is reinforcing the U.S. commitment to expanding economic growth and trade, strengthening democracy on a global scale, and investing in the next generation of African leaders; some more than others.”

Because we get the updates from the White House website, Instagram and other social media outlets, we couldn’t help but notice that the daily agenda is posted.  We asked Kessler if that was a matter of concern. “It’s always a quandary, but they nod to potus’ wishes,” he said. Here is a sample of a partial agenda – the events have already taken place:

3:30 AM: The President participates in a welcoming ceremony

3:50 AM: The President holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia

5:15 AM: The President meets with President Mulatu Teshome of Ethiopia

6:20 AM: The President joins Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn for a press conference

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'This is CNN'

July 26, 2015

Hollywood on the Potomac loves CNN: It’s like having a ‘friend with benefits’ – although not that kind.  Take the CNN Grill at the conventions, for example, where drinks and food flow as freely as political gossip; or the private documentary series screenings at the Newsuem; or being the first to receive the CNN Politics Nightcap NewsletterThe latter was the case for guests who attended the launch party at SILO for the ‘nightcap’ newsletter which dutifully arrived in our inbox during the festivities. 

“Welcome! You’ve been selected to receive the CNN Politics Nightcap,” it read.  ” — a nearly nightly cocktail of breaking news, dispatches from the campaign trail and a splash of fun. We hope you’ll give Nightcap a shot but if you’d rather cash out, click here. Your bartender is Eric Bradner. The tip jar: nightcap@cnn.com.”

The celebration included a viewing of S.E. Cupp’s Outside with Insiders: Shooting with Scott Walker, a kind of home on the range interview that took place at a shooting facility where both engaged in some target practice, both literally and figuratively considering the Governor has tossed his hat into the presidential race.  “For this episode, I went to Waukesha, Wisconsin, just a half hour outside of Milwaukee — importantly, not to “interview” the state’s governor and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker, but to shoot sporting clays with him,” she says of the political series.  “I wore my favorite pair of boots, which have been hunting and fishing with me on four continents. There just happened to be cameras there, and we just happened to talk a little politics. We spent nearly two hours on the clays course, and in that time I learned a lot. Because when you’re trying to blast a true pair flying straight up in the air, you tend to let your guard down. And that’s the whole point of “Outside with Insiders” — to get to know political influencers in a way you never have before. It’s also to celebrate our love of hunting, fishing and shooting.”

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Girl Up!

July 21, 2015

If you’re going to tackle a global issue, you want to have as many loud and powerful voices on your side. In the case of access to education for women around the globe, there’s no more powerful voice than First Lady Michelle Obama, who served this week as the keynote address for the Girl Up Leadership Summit, a three day event hosted by Girl Up, the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign, which engages girls from around the world to stand up for each other and address issues that impact their lives. The Summit gathered celebrities, industry leaders and 225 youth from 29 states and 11 countries, all uniting a global mindset of doing good around the world in the name of women.

From the second she took the stage, the First Lady was getting the type of attention that would make a rock star jealous; a sea of cell phones burst upward with cameras flashing as she neared the podium, all hoping to get a glimpse of the chief advocate.

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