The White House Correspondents' Dinner has been attended by every president stretching back to Ronald Reagan — and he only skipped because he was recovering from a gunshot wound. Well, not this year. President Donald Trump announced in February that he would not be going to the event, even creating a conflicting event for the entire press pool with a planned rally in Pennsylvania that same day. So given the opening for a headliner, there's many wondering who will take President Trump's place at the black tie affair in Washington, D.C. In his stead, is Hillary Clinton at the White House Correspondents' Dinner? That's highly unlikely.
Of course, we live in an unpredictable time, so never say never. But there's really no precedent for such a thing. In years past there have been adversaries of the president in attendance. Back in 2011, for example, Trump himself was in the audience when former President Barack Obama spoke. At the time, Trump was carrying out his birther campaign against the commander-in-chief, and Obama didn't let it go. Instead, he roasted Trump for several minutes.
"No one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald,” Obama told the audience. “That’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like: Did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?" The audience went wild, but it may have permanently soured Trump on the event — though he did go again in 2015.
Clinton's attendance would be a similar situation in that she and Trump were publicly running against each other for an entire election season — and an ugly one at that. Last year Bernie Sanders was in attendance, which was a bit of a surprise given that none of the other candidates were there, and that Obama was likely to endorse Clinton (as he did when she won the Democratic nomination).
She did have a presence, though — and it wouldn't be surprising if she were mentioned this year, too. Obama made some jokes about Clinton having a bit of trouble appealing to young voters (which in retrospect is not quite so funny). Pretending to be Clinton on Facebook, Obama had said, "Dear America, did you get my poke? Is it appearing on your wall? I'm not sure I'm using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary."
Bill Clinton invited his SNL impersonator to the White House Correspondents' Dinner while Trump can't even deal with a joke pic.twitter.com/5Eur811J3e— diane (@katerodham) March 24, 2017
The last time Clinton attended the event regularly was during her husband's administration. Much like Michelle sat by Obama's side as First Lady during his eight years in office, Clinton was by Bill's.
It would, without a doubt, be interesting to see Clinton show up and roast Trump for his treatment of the press corps, but don't hold your breath.