Wall Street Journal reporter Katie Rosman recalls witnessing party guest mistake Barack Obama for waiter at 2003 Tina Brown party in New York
In response to the President’s deeply personal comments Friday, Wall Street Journal reporter Katie Rosman reminded readers of an encounter with Obama in 2003, then a candidate for U.S. Senate, when he was mistaken for a waiter at a party at Tina Brown’s home.
By Leslie Larson / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, July 19, 2013
Douglas Graham/Roll Call
A member of NYC’s media elite reportedly mistook Barack Obama for a waiter at a 2003 shindig, when Obama was running for U.S. Senate.
Calling discrimination against black men “inescapable,” the President addressed the controversial acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case that has sparked massive outrage this week, surprising members of the press Friday during the White House briefing.
“There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. ..who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator.”
In response to the President’s deeply personal comments, the Wall Street Journal reporter reminded readers of an encounter with Obama in 2003, then a candidate for U.S. Senate, when he was mistaken for a waiter at a NYC gathering.
Some of the best and brightest of the New York literati attended the shindig, hosted by British journalist Tina Brown, to celebrate Sidney Blumenthal’s book “The Clinton Wars,” Rosman recounted in a 2008 blog posting entitled “Before He Was President.”
Rosman noticed Obama “as awkward and out-of-place…one of a few black people in attendance” at the party.
Robin Marchant/Getty Images
The embarassing encounter occured at a 2003 book party at Tina Brown’s East Side apartment.
Feeling awkward herself, Rosman struck up a conversation with the aspiring statesman, describing him as “charismatic in a quiet, solemn way.”
As she left the party, one of the intellectual invitees, identified only as “an established author,” asked about her conversation partner, admitting that he had asked Obama to “fetch him a drink” assuming the man wasn’t a guest at the party.
“In less than six years, Obama has gone from being mistaken for a waiter among the New York media elite, to the president-elect. What a country,” she commented.
In ironic twist, she also told readers that she had pitched a story to a magazine about the up-and-comer she met at the book party, though the magazine rejected a story on Obama.
Though Rosman first shared the experience on a 2008 WSJ blog, she retweeted the posting recounting the experience, simply writing “Obama was mistaken for a waiter at a book party at Tina Brown’s in 2003. I was there.”
Her message was retweeted over 270 times.