Washington Secrets

GOP lawmaker: Celebrating 'President Romney'

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

One of the most talked about Inaugural events of the last three days was the North Carolina Society of Washington Ball at the Washington Nationals baseball park.

About 700 mostly Democrats flooded the stadium, eating formal food along with dogs and drinking beer, and generally relishing having the park to themselves.

At one point, the North Carolina congressional delegation was invited onstage to speak. One was Rep. Patrick McHenry, just named vice chairman of recruitment for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

McHenry decided to have a little fun: "We're here to celebrate to the inauguration of our new President Romney." After a bit of awkward silence, he added, "I mean President Obama."

One Democrat told Secrets that the joke fell a bit flat among the Obama crowd. "Everyone was sort of looking around like, 'Did he really say that? Where's the taste?'" said the source.

An aide said that McHenry was just joking around and meant nothing critical of the president. The proof of that occurred at Monday's ceremonial swearing in which showed McHenry applauding the president, posing for pictures, and ogling the celebrities. He even tweeted about singer Beyonce's husband, writing, "I'm a little jealous of Jay-Z's fur coat."

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