By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
With his new Afghanistan war strategy in place, President Obama today is dispatching his top national security aides across Washington to explain the details of the troop surge announced at West Point last night. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen are heading to the key House and Senate committees to spell it all out.
But official Washington isn't the only audience, as President Obama showed in his sales pitch to the nation last night. And that's where White House national security adviser James Jones, the retired Marine Corps commandant, comes in tonight, though by coincidence. His audience: Northern Virginia's Washington Golf & Country Club for an evening post-cocktail hour discussion in "Presidents Hall."
The event was scheduled long before President Obama set this week to sell his new Afghan policy and Jones is just making good on a promise to appear. "It is on, something he committed to" a while back, says a spokesman. Mike Hammer, NSC spokesman added, "General Jones believes it is important to present and explain the President's national security policies and participates in a number of outreach events. The General will discuss President Obama's national security council decision-making process, including the president's decision on a way forward for Afghanistan and Pakistan at a previously scheduled event at the Washington Golf and Country Club."
It's actually a nice touch to keep his commitment to appear at Washington's oldest golf club and proof that the president is eager to sell more than just Congress on his policies, says a fan of Jones, though the timing is a bit awkward.
The speech will cost $10-$15 for members and guests to attend. The announcement notes that Jones is "the first cabinet member in the Obama administration to appear before WGCC members and guests. This will be a unique opportunity to hear from a key member of the administration."
Members are being urged to arrive early to enjoy some of Chef Ted's buffet treats. And for those planning to eat in the grill and tap room, it's suggested they go after the speech because Wednesday is "Kid's Night" so the tables will likely be filled earlier.
DON'T FORGET THE WASHINGTON GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER TOMORROW
General James L. Jones, National Security Advisor to the President
Cocktails: 6:00 pm - NOTE NEW START TIME
Speaker: 7:00 pm
Venue: Presidents Hall
Cost: $10 for members; $15 for guests (does not include drinks)
Dress: Jackets required for gentlemen
WGCC is delighted to welcome Gen. Jim Jones, National Security Advisor to the President and the first cabinet member in the Obama Administration, to appear before WGCC members and guests. This will be a unique opportunity to hear from a key member of the administration. We urge you to come early and have some dinner at the Club. Please note that the parking lot will fill up quickly. If no parking is available in the WGCC lots, you can also park at Marymount University or make use of the valet parking. Chef Ted will prepare a buffet and the main dining room will also be available.
Jefferson Room - A Buffet Dinner (Cost: $16 + tax and gratuity) will be set up in the Wilson Room and tables set up in the Jefferson Room starting at 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm.
Mixed Grill and Tap Room - The Mixed Grill and Tap Room downstairs will be open for dining but please remember that Wednesday is Kid's Night so space may be limited prior to the speaker but should clear out by 8:00 pm.
The formal dining room upstairs will be open but is already completely booked.
Please call the front desk for your reservation as soon as possible (US+1 7035244600) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
WGCC Distinguished Speaker Series