The unknown celebrity at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

The squabbling between political campaigns and the harrumphing of pundits were put in proper perspective at, of all places, the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — the annual Prom on the Potomac where 2,000 or so media members and movie stars gather to honor the president and admire one another…

Then there was Table 46, one of The Washington Post’s tables, to which I was fortuitously assigned. We were the un-celebrities — writers, editors, Undersecretary of State Bob Hormats, and a military officer who introduced himself as “Bill.”

He was obviously important. His dress uniform was festooned with medals and ribbons — lots of them. And he had that bearing we recognize in military elites that betrays another kind of space, a private zone where intelligence and readiness keep each other quiet company.