The Gridiron Club Dinner—the Nerd Super Bowl—Is Tonight in Washington

From Politico Playbook by Eugene Daniels:

Today is the day. The Nerd Super Bowl. The unofficial kickoff to the D.C. version of awards season: the Gridiron Club dinner — a slimmed-down, more exclusive, white-tie version of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner — is tonight, back in person for the first time since 2019.

  • Typically, the president attends, but we’re told President JOE BIDEN is not scheduled to appear in person. (VP KAMALA HARRIS is not slated to attend, either.) According to our sources, a script for a pre-taped Biden video greeting was written up, though the White House wouldn’t comment on if the president actually shot it at some point Friday.
  • Maryland Rep. JAMIE RASKIN will be the main act for Democrats this year, while New Hampshire Gov. CHRIS SUNUNU is repping the GOP and Commerce Secretary GINA RAIMONDO is going to take the stage on behalf of the administration.
  • We’re also told that NYC Mayor ERIC ADAMS will make an appearance, as will a slew of White House officials, including press secretary JEN PSAKI.
  • Among the targets of the night’s comedy skits (many of whom will not be in attendance): An impersonator portraying former President DONALD TRUMP will be singing to his “subjects” (“Hamilton,” anyone?), ANTHONY FAUCI, NANCY PELOSI, MITCH MCCONNELL, LIZ CHENEY, MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE and LAUREN BOEBERT.

As it’s one of the last white-tie events in D.C., many of the male attendees lack the appropriate garb in their wardrobes and, in the weeks ahead of the event, make the pilgrimage to Anthony’s Tuxedos in Georgetown to get the right fit. The shop, operated by ED and GERRI SOLOMON, has been doling out tuxes for the Gridiron for more than two decades. This year, his renter’s list is once again a “who’s who” of D.C.: ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, RICK KLEIN, JAMAL SIMMONS, GREGORY MECHER (he’s Psaki’s husband) and so on.

But it is A.G. MERRICK GARLAND who called Ed on Friday afternoon with a burning question: How do you get these studs into the tuxedo shirt buttonholes?

While one of the Playbook co-authors was picking up his first penguin suit, we overheard Ed on the phone walking the A.G. through the process. It sounds like Garland has it down now. Cabinet secretaries: They’re just like us. Confused about these damn shirt buttons.

Eugene Daniels is a Playbook author and White House correspondent, with a focus on Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Gentleman and emerging power players in Washington.

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