NAME CHECK White House Guest Log: Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg & More (Photos)
If you’ve ever wondered who comes calling at the White House, wonder no more after a glance at the now online guest log: in Obama’s first term, everyone from Oprah to Bono has put in one or more appearances.
In conjunction with an investigation of the
influence lobbyists have on the Obama administration, The Washington Post has released a database that registers the more than 2.2 million guestbook entries that have been made by those passing in and out of the White House between January 2009 and January 2012. The massive trove gives a keyhole look at what it’s like to live, work, and socialize in one of the centers of American power. The White House is part office building, part residence, and part stage on which the drama of national and global politics is played out. From state dinners to powwows with corporate titans to movie screenings with Steven Spielberg, this easily searchable database allows anyone to cast a magnifying glass over the comings and goings around the nation’s president.
The Daily Beast collects the highlights from the White House guest book.
Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images 1. Lloyd C. Blankfein
To those who fret over the ties between government and the financial industry, the multiple visits paid by the
Goldman Sachs CEO to the White House have long been a sign that the tentacles of the vampire squid have too tight a grasp on the executive branch. And while its reputation may have been somewhat dimmed with the rest of the banking industry, the chief of what is still fairly called the Street’s most venerable firm clearly has an ear in the Oval Office. Blankfein has been to the White House 14 times, according to the logs, visiting with Lawrence Summers and Valerie Jarrett, as well as the president. Blankfein most recently popped by in January 2011. Mark Wilson / Getty Images 2. Jamie Dimon
2. The JPMorgan chief executive was considered more or less lily-white among Wall Street, and the Democrat has been called Obama’s “favorite banker.” But Dimon fell from grace recently when it came to light that his bank had lost some $2 billion in a series of trades that went bust, making it clear to many that Wall Street truly is incapable of self-regulation.
“Jamie Dimon” appears in the White House logs, but the majority of the banker’s visits—more than a dozen of them—can be found under “James Dimon.” 3. George Clooney
It’s well known that the Kentucky gentleman is an Obama pal and supporter, and the
Ocean’s Eleven star recently hosted a reelection fundraiser at his Los Angeles home that netted $15 million for the president’s war chest. George T. Clooney has logged two visits to the White House, one of which included a stop in the Oval Office.
David Levenson / Getty Images 4. David Remnick
The New Yorker editor and former Washington Post reporter has impeccable Obama credentials, even if his decision to run a satirical cover that caricatured Barack and Michelle Obama’s sharing a terrorist fist bump had him making explanatory talk-show rounds back in 2008. The author of the minutely reported The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama seems to have made his peace with the president, however. Remnick shows up on two dates in the guest book, including a March 2011 “Lunch With POTUS.” 5. Paul D. Hewson
We don’t know what Obama calls Hewson, but most of the world knows him as Bono. The Dublin rocker has collaborated with the president on his AIDs activism and other social issues, and rose to Obama’s defense in the
opinion pages of The New York Times in 2009 after Obama was awarded a Nobel Prize. Bono has checked in at the White House four times according to the logs. The color of the sunglasses he was wearing on each occasion was not recorded.
6. Cardinal Timothy Dolan
The archbishop of New York and prince of the Catholic Church talked regularly about his visits to the White House after a contretemps over birth control put him at odds with the president earlier this year. The avuncular Dolan has been to the White House on
five occasions, according to the guest logs. 7. Stefani J. Germanotta
She probably didn’t wear her meat dress to this appointment. Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, stopped by the White House on
Dec. 6, 2011, in the company of her mother, Cynthia B. Germanotta, according to White House records. Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images 8. James Cameron
After plumbing the
ocean’s deepest depths, taking a trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue probably seems a little blasé. The Canadian director and explorer said in a recent interview with The New York Times that he feels “a sense of disappointment in Obama that promises were not kept.” The Titanic director made an “Oval Office drop-by” in April 2010. Pete Souza, The White House / AP Photo 9. Oprah Winfrey
The media mogul, talk-show host, and philanthropist seems to have seen more of
Michelle than Barack, logging two of her five White House visits with the first lady. After rumors swirled that Winfrey wouldn’t endorse Obama—or any candidate—for fear it may cause viewers of her own network to tune out, she told reporters in January 2012 that she was “proud” of the president and backed him “100 percent.” Yuriko Nakao, AFP / Getty Images 10. Mark Zuckerberg
The Sultan of Silicon Valley hosted the first official “town hall” gathering for Obama’s reelection push in April 2011 at Facebook’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters, and Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes was a key figure in shaping the Illinois senator’s new-media campaign leading up to the 2008 election.
The Zuck and vice president of communications Elliot Schrage stopped by the White House in July 2008 for a meeting with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. 11. Shawn Carter
Hova’s been in the building. In a 2008
New York Times article that reported on the president’s relationship with his body man Reggie Love, Obama said that the aide had uploaded some of Jay-Z’s rhymes onto an iPod that Love gave Obama as a birthday gift, and that since then he’d “gotten pretty fond of Jay-Z.” The Brooklyn-born rapper has been to the White House at least once, and was joined by wife Beyoncé Knowles. Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images 12. Roger Ailes
Sadly, Rupert Murdoch doesn’t appear to have visited the White House during Obama’s tenure. Fox News president
Roger Ailes has, however, stopping by in December 2011.
Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images 13. Cory Booker
The Newark mayor, Obama surrogate, and amateur fireman has maintained close ties with the Oval Office’s current occupant, and has made
seven appearances at the White House between May 2009 and January 2011, according to the logs. 14. Warren Buffett
Obama seems to have taken advantage of the Omaha investor’s famously oracular insight, hosting the Berkshire Hathaway founder at the White House
four times between July 2010 and July 2011, according to the logs.
Kris Connor / Getty Images 15. Armando Iannucci
The Scottish satirist who in 2008 described candidate Obama as “
a little bit dull” stopped by the boring old White House in December 2010, perhaps in preparation for his new HBO series, Veep. Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images 16. Anna Wintour
The famed fashion editor recently teamed up with Scarlett Johansson to plan a
celebrity-studded show in support of Obama’s reelection. She’s been to the White House three times, according to the logs.