Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning, we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: The president attended the off-the-record dinner for the first time since 2009 this weekend, Michael Vick is struggling to land a New York Fashion Week invitation, and Robert Gibbs, and the Weinstein Brothers are planning a star-studded Giants pep rally.
President Obama gave a very funny speech at the Alfalfa Club Dinner on Saturday night, which is not to be confused with the Gridiron Club Dinner and Alfred E. Smith Dinner, which are similar -- but completely different -- events for politicians and Beltway-insider types to let their hair down in a ballroom full of people. It was Obama's first appearance at the dinner -- held at the Capital Hilton -- since 2009, and he delivered the kind of banter that goes down like mother's milk at these things when he joked: "One of my big goals this year was to get out and be among everyday, ordinary Americans — like the men and women of the Alfalfa Club.” (That joke, like one outgoing club president Sandra Day O'Connor made about Mitt Romney being a Mormon and Newt Gingrich being a polygamist -- one of the "best-received lines of the night," per sources who attended -- were recreated after the fact by attendees since the dinner is off the-record.) Anyway, three cheers for the president's knowing zinger! The event was also attended by George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, John Kerry, John McCain, Steny Hoyer, Valerie Jarrett, Pat Leahy, Cal Ripken Jr., Jose Andres (of course), Sally Field, Madeline Albright, and Joe Lieberman and Mark Warner, both of whom were glitter-bombed by the stray Occupy protesters lurking outside the Hilton. Obama and the First Lady bolted the Hilton immediately after his speech was done, which apparently "left some guests grumbling and some speakers scrambling to jettison jokes that needed POTUS in the room to work." [The Reliable Source]
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and former dogfighting impressario Michael Vick has apparently been "asking around" for invites to this year's Fashion Week in New York, but has been struggling to come up with one. Vick, it seems, wants to follow in the footsteps of New York Knicks center Amar'e Stoudemire, who went to the event last year and later signed a deal with designer Rachel Roy to develop his very own line. Along with the dogfighting Albatross, Vick "Isn't known for his sartorial sense," which also isn't helping him on his quest to score an invite. [Page Six]
Harvey Weinstein -- who earlier in the month rented out a restaurant in St. Bart's to let vacationing, bold-face New York Giants fans watch their team clinch a playoff spot -- is going to be hosting a pep rally for the team on Wednesday at Michael's in Manhattan. He and his brother Bob are co-hosting the bash with Giants co-owner Steve Tisch. Apparently the Weinsteins are going to be attending Sunday's game in Indianapolis, but a source says the event "is about giving the Giants a New York send-off from Michael’s." Brian Williams, Matt Lauer, John McEnroe, and Lorne Michaels have all agreed to be "co-hosts" for the party, while Jonathan Alter, Frank Gifford, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Time's John Huey have confirmed they'll be in attendance. Organizers still have their fingers crossed that Bill Clinton, Anna Wintour, Michael Douglas, Howard Stern, Barbara Walter, Rudy Giuliani, Donna Karan, John Mayer, and noted Patriots fan Jon Bon Jovi will attend as well. [Page Six]
Campaign sources that former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs "is back on the Obama payroll as a roving surrogate." Gibbs, it seems, has had an "informal relationship" with Obama reelection campaign since May, but now it's official, though we won't find out how much money he's making until quarterly filing time. Per a campaign source, ""one of the reasons he was being brought closer to the campaign is his willingness to deliver tough messages to the president" [Politico]
The Chelsea Hotel lives -- and it reportedly has an asbestos problem. According to the president of the Chelsea Hotel Tenant Association, new owner Joseph Chetrit has been "to clear out asbestos from the landmark’s shaft space." 34 tenants have already sued Chetrit over the dust and debris created by the extensive renovations to the property. Earlier this month, tenants pressured Patti Smith into canceling a scheduled performance at the hotel, because it was being sponsored by Chetrit. [New York Daily News]
Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson stepped down as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on Friday. In his resignation letter, Isaacson explained that he's "taking on another big writing project, so I won't be able to give the BBG the time it needs and deserves." No word on whether that "big writing project" is the biography of Lord Byron daughter's Ada Lovelace that he hinted at last month. [In The Loop]
Gayle King is pushing back against the rumor that Oprah Winfrey is going to be the godmother to famous baby Ivy Blue Carter, saying that it's "news to Oprah." It should be noted, that parents Jay-Z and Beyoncé were only rumored to have decided to ask Winfrey about her willingness to play godmother, and that no formal offer had been made This dream can live, if you want it to. [Page Six]