There's no party like a White House party

Bill and Hillary Clinton, actress Kerry Washington, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and producer Harvey Weinstein were among those who joined the Obamas at the White House’s secret post-inauguration bash.

President Obama and Michelle Obama held the hush-hush, swanky, ultra-A-list party to celebrate his second term the night he took the oath of office. The party was not announced or listed on his official schedule, but a few of the guests tweeted about the event, which is what publicly revealed its existence.

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The guest list that reveals who attended was never released though the White House visitors log from January, which came out at the end of April and was examined by The Hill: a mix of rock stars, actors, top campaign donors, White House aides, Obama friends and leading Democratic politicians.

Some of the names include actor Jamie Foxx; Obama adviser David Axelrod; Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) and his twin brother, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; singer Kelly Clarkson; Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.); actress Eva Longoria; singer James Taylor; former NBA player Alonzo Mourning; Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D); and former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. Clinton aide Huma Abedin was on the list, but her husband, former New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, was not.

Obama has a voluntary visitors records release policy, and more than 3.2 million entries have been made public. There is typically a three-month delay in the release of names.


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The visitors log doesn’t give a detailed reason a guest is at the White House, but it does say who the person is there to see and where the meeting took place.

The names The Hill used to compile the guest list for the post-inaugural party were under a grouping of visitors who were at the White House to meet with “POTUS/FLOTUS” in the “residence” on Jan. 21.

Actress Ashley Judd and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) were among the list of names under that grouping, and both tweeted about the event. 



Judd wrote, “How to arrive at the White House in style? Bum a ride from a kind citizen who happens to be off duty Secret Service!”


She later wrote, “It was elegant, warm, fun, & then an amazingly joyful house party. We had such a magical night.”

McCaskill tweeted, “Now we are rocking at the WH. Happy Inauguration. #2013inaug,” along with a blurry photo of a singer. The names of singers Usher and John Mayer were also on the list.

White House officials have previously said that visitors records have limitations and were never designed for public disclosure by the Secret Service. Names are listed without titles or additional identifying information.

There were some discrepancies in the most recent list of visitors released. The release date was labeled April 26, 2012, instead of 2013, though the records clearly state the appointments were in January 2013. A White House aide told The Hill the discrepancy was likely attributable to a typo.

Other names in the grouping include Commerce Secretary nominee Penny Pritzker; longtime Obama friends Eric and Cheryl Whitaker; Obama aides/advisers Ben Rhodes, Jim Messina, Julianna Smoot and Jeremy Bird; actress Whoopi Goldberg; Gayle King; actress Jennifer Hudson; and Attorney General Eric Holder.

And the list might not be complete. 

There were some prominent names missing, such as Obama adviser and longtime friend Valerie Jarrett. She may, however, have a clearance level that does not require her to be listed as visitor to the residence. White House aides Dan Pfeiffer and Jay Carney were listed, however. 

Also, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was not listed, but her husband, Paul Pelosi, was. Pelosi was cleared for White House access earlier in the day when Obama met with congressional leaders.

Kevin Bogardus, Justin Sink, and Amie Parnes contributed.