Booker, Pawlenty to Keynote Gridiron Dinner

Newark’s tweeting mayor Cory Booker has landed the coveted Democratic slot to keynote the Winter Gridiron Dinner in December. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be the Republican speaker. The news is being dispatched to members today.

From USA Today Washington Bureau Chief and Gridiron President Susan Page:

We’re ready to announce that the Democratic speaker at the Winter Gridiron Dinner in December will be: Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Who is not only a grad of Stanford and Yale Law School, and a Rhodes Scholar, but also a member of the USA TODAY All-American football team when he was in high school in New Jersey. He’s a rising star in the Democratic Party, which is a traditional sort of speaker for our Winter Dinner. (Unlike the Spring Dinner, which has 600 guests, the Winter Dinner is limited to Gridiron members and their Significant Others.) John F. Kennedy spoke at a Gridiron Winter Dinner when he was a senator, and Barack Obama spoke at one when he was a senator-elect. Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was the Democratic speaker at last year’s Winter Dinner, which was before she became Democratic national chairman.

Our Republican speaker, which we announced a few weeks ago, is former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, late of the GOP presidential campaign trail. We hope he’ll bring us tales from behind the scenes at those early debates.

I’m writing, of course, in my role as Gridiron president this year. The Gridiron boilerplate: We’re the oldest association of journalists in Washington, D.C., founded in 1885, and now comprised of 65 active DC reporters and columnists – including, recently, TV and radio journalists. We perform satiric songs and skits at the Winter Dinner, as in the Spring.