Susan Zirinsky Holds Court at a Packed CBS-Politico WHCD Pre-Party

By A.J. Katz Comment

Last year, it was The Atlantic. This year’s it’s Politico. It doesn’t seem to matter who CBS News’ partner is for an annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner pre-party, the result is the same: A high energy, slammed room. Probably too slammed.

CBS News and Politico held a joint pre-White House Correspondents’ Dinner event earlier this evening inside a massive tent at Heights Courtyard on the property of the Washington Hilton.

Lawmakers, past and present, mingled with TV newsers, political and media reporters.

We spotted CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor, CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid chatting with CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett on his podcast. Garrett brought his podcast to the party this year, as was the case last year.

We spotted Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan working the room, and chatting with her ep Mary Hager.

CBS This Morning executive producer Diana Miller attended the soiree, but none of the CTM co-hosts Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell and John Dickerson were present. Not sure why.

Diminutive in size, but definitely not in energy or stature, CBS News president Susan Zirinsky was perhaps the most popular figure at the party.

In addition to the aforementioned CBS Newsers, we also spotted CBS News Washington bureau chief Chris Isham, CBS News political correspondent Ed O’Okeefe, CBS News correspondent/CBSN anchor Vlad Duthiers, CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano, CBS News D.C. correspondent Errol Barnett, CBS News Radio White House correspondent Steven Portnoy, CBS News White House correspondent Weija Jiang, CBS News political director Caitlin Conant, CBS News legal analyst Jonathan Turley, CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave, and CBS Evening News ep Mo Oinounou, CBSN’s Tanya Rivero and Caitlin Huey-Burns.

We spotted Fox News national correspondent Ed Henry chatting with former New Jersey governor-turned ABC News contributor Chris Christie. We spotted CNN Newsroom anchor Kate Bolduan chatting with MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle in a quieter place outside of the tent.

CNBC had a nice presence at the party. We spotted Mad Money host Jim Cramer and Halftime Report host Scott Wapner. 

Henry wasn’t the only Fox Newser at the party. We spotted Fox News’ Jerusalem-based correspondent Trey Yingst, as well as the network’s svp of event marketing and host of on-air entertainment programming Michael Tammero.

A number of lawmakers stopped by as well, which one would expect when you have Politico co-hosting a party with CBS.

Former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright, 2020 Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld, DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Texas Congressman Will Hurd, DNC chairman Tom Perez, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorium.

Credit: Chris Usher