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Ex–Copley News Service Washington bureau chief George Condon is taking the fall for the failure of Washington, D.C.’s Gridiron Club to line up Barack Obama for its annual banquet. Obama is the first president since Grover Cleveland not to appear at the white-tie-and-tails dinner, and some speculate it’s because the club’s aging membership full of print reporters has become increasingly irrelevant in the internet age. Condon told the Politico website that he repeatedly lobbied Obama news chief Robert Gibbs about persuading the president to do the gig, to no avail. “There was a lot of back and forth between me and Robert. I would pop in and ask, and he was trying to find out.” Since being laid off after Copley shuttered its bureau last year, Condon has been writing for CongressDaily, a website.

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monaghan March 25, 2009 @ 12:33 p.m.

Obama's made a lot of missteps lately: reneging on appointing highly qualified Thomas Saenz to the office of civil rights; clinging to Wall Street operative Tim Geithner; allowing Clinton-era deregulator Lawrence Summers to speak on George Stephanopoulos' ABC "Sunday Morning;" appearing on Jay Leno while stiffing the Gridiron Club banquet. Should I be worrying or should I keep on hoping?

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politicky March 26, 2009 @ 1:39 p.m.

He skipped the Gridiron dinner to spend time with his daughters while they were on Spring Break.

His priorities are being questioned?

Puhleeeeeeeeeeze.

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monaghan March 27, 2009 @ 2:19 p.m.

Definitely politicky. Spare me the "daughters on Spring Break:" what's your source for that particular spin? At last week's news conference, Obama also skipped calling on correspondents for all mainstream newspapers and called on Univision, Ebony magazine and other outlets that represent specific ethnic enclaves. I have no problem with that, officially, but it makes me wonder -- and worry. We depend on the mainstream press for our information and if there's some strategy afoot to stiff 'em, I don't like it. You don't need to defend Obama to me, but blind allegiance got us into a world of trouble over the last 35 years, and I'm done with it.

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