It's that time of the year again, when all of the political, entertainment, and media worlds collide for a big shindig in our nation's capital — the White House Correspondents Dinner. First held in 1920, the annual tradition has become an increasingly visible, ballyhooed event, with ever-expanding guest lists from all different backgrounds. And this year, it'll even draw the attendance of a presidential candidate — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is in attendance, as a guest of CBS News. But what about his Democratic rival? Is Hillary Clinton at the White House Correspondents Dinner?
The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is no. It would've been a surprise if she had shown, considering that her name wasn't reported on anybody's guest list (although she'd surely have been able to attend if she'd wanted to), and that she's still right in the thick of a presidential campaign. The fact that Sanders is there, in fact, is the more unusual thing — none of the Republican candidates will be in attendance, with frontrunner Donald Trump saying he doesn't trust the media to accurately report how good a time he'd have.
In any case, you're not getting to see the former Secretary of State in the room, but rest assured, she'll still be there in spirit — as the presumptive Democratic nominee, she'll undoubtedly be the subject of more than a few jokes along the way.
Clinton wasn't at the previous dinner in 2015, as her campaign was still in its nascent stages. As it stands now, 2016 might be her last chance to appear in any capacity besides, you know, the big one — this time next year, she could conceivably be headlining the night as commander-in-chief. While it might sound like a pretty quick turnaround — slinging jokes within your first 100 days? — it's not without precedent. Freshly minted President Barack Obama headlined the first dinner of his tenure in 2009, and former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton did the same on their first opportunities.
If Hillary does indeed carry the general election, in fact, that'll make for an intriguing role-reversal within her family. Throughout her husband's eight-year presidency, her attendance at the dinner was a matter of expectation, even somewhat taken for granted — just like Michelle Obama has always been seated up front throughout the last eight years. Now, it looks like the shoe could be on the other foot, with Bill the one who'll be forced to smile for the cameras when they swing to him.
Here's hoping she's getting her stand-up set prepared! After all, she's got a pretty favorable path to the White House from here on out — unless something unthinkable happens, and a year from now we're all watching Trump headlining this thing. That would be a grim sight indeed, albeit a fascinating one.