Biden to give remarks at annual Gridiron Club dinner: What to know

President Biden is slated to give remarks at the annual Gridiron Club dinner, one of the most high-profile Washington media events.

The roast will take place on Saturday night as Washington’s oldest association of journalists looks to continue traditions and its 130-year-plus history.

What is it?

The white-tie dinner brings together reporters and lawmakers, from both sides of the aisle, in a soiree that has them giving roast-style speeches and trading lighthearted barbs.

Comedy sketches and skits are included in the programming, and remarks from public officials attending the dinner are expected to be comedic.

Almost every president has given at least one speech at the annual event.

Notable guests (other than Biden)

Other than Biden, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) will be at the 139th dinner.

Vice President Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will make their first appearance at the dinner, according to Politico. Biden’s daughter Ashley will also be present too.

Two foreign leaders will be in attendance. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas. Kallas will be sitting at Biden’s table.

“This invitation from the Gridiron Club – the oldest journalist association in DC – is a great honour as well as recognition of Estonia’s steadfast support for #Ukraine,” she said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Five governors, five senators and three lower chamber members will attend. Twenty-one foreign ambassadors, along with, 12 cabinet members are also expected to attend the dinner.

Notable moments from past dinners

The dinner, normally shrouded in secrecy, has produced some notable moments in the past.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) roasted former President Trump while attending the event in 2022.

“He’s f—ing crazy,” Sununu said, lighting into Trump. “I don’t think he’s so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution,” Sununu added. “But I think if he were in one, he ain’t getting out.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2014 said, “Canadians are so polite, mild-mannered, modest, unassuming, open-minded. Thank God my family fled that oppressive influence before it could change me.”

Retiring Sen. Joe Manchin (D-V.W.), who mulled a run with the centrist political organization No Labels, said “You’d think that No Labels is the cause of every problem that we have in Washington,” Manchin said. “How did you end up with so many classified documents in Mar-a-Lago? It was No Labels.”

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