Why I'm Rooting for the Salahis

Nov. 24, 2009: President Barack Obama greets Michaele and Tareq Salahi during a receiving line in the Blue Room of the White House before the State Dinner with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.

Nov. 24, 2009: President Barack Obama greets Michaele and Tareq Salahi during a receiving line in the Blue Room of the White House before the State Dinner with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.  (White House)

In the little town where I’m from, Asbury Park N.J., there were no fewer than 3 men who billed themselves as celebrity party crashers.  And they were good at it.  People would go to their homes to ogle at the hundreds of photographs of these guys standing with every celebrity imaginable, from New York parties they snuck into.

Did they get their picture with presidents?  Easy peasy. They all had pictures with presidents.  The best “get” I ever heard about was from the master of celebrity party crashers – a cop named Billy Dello.  Billy once crashed a birthday party for Dean Martin that was attended by only 12 people and he sat right at their table and had dinner.

Would these guys be impressed with Tareq and Michaele Salahi, who party crashed the White House state dinner?  No they wouldn’t, for this reason:  The Salahis got caught.  Their party crashing days are over. One of the secrets to being a successful celebrity party crasher is to be a familiar face and nothing more – when they learn your name and background is when the host throws you out. 

I’ve watched supposed legal pundit after supposed legal pundit on TV address whether the Salahis should be charged with an offense. I laugh at the experts who say “yes” then watch them struggle to say exactly what the Salahis should be charged with. 

No crimes were committed by the Salahis.  These people didn’t sneak into the building.  They didn’t break a window and jump in. They walked right up to the front door and asked to be let in.  Then they were let in.  The people in control of the property eventually INVITED them in.

Did they lie at the door about having a previous invitation? Probably, but here’s a newsflash: Lying isn’t a crime unless you do it under oath or you are giving a statement to a criminal investigator, and neither was the case here. 

Trespass? Give me a break.  They were eventually invited in by the people in control of the property. 

If some overzealous prosecutor charges them with anything, I dub that person the dumbest prosecutor on the planet.  They only way a prosecutor will get a conviction is to play the “overcharge game” -- by telling the Salahis, “You can go to trial on Count 1 and risk 10 years in jail, or plead guilty to Count 2 and pay a $50 fine.” Everybody chooses Count 2.

America loves an underdog, and that’s what these people were when they went to the White House door with no invitation and they beat the system. Let’s not forget the White House is the people’s house, so I’m not going to get upset that two non-celebrities got to party with the president.

It’s also hysterical to watch political and media muckety-mucks get so appalled about mere commoners having eaten at their table, that they would spend the next week discussing whether to arrest them.  Royalty much?

I understand the safety implications for that president and the fear of copycats. The fault there lies not with the Salahis -- that’s the Secret Service’s problem. Embarrassing the Secret Service or the administration is not a crime. 

The party crashers may have done the Secret Service a favor by making them reassess their procedures.  The administration is promising to keep New Yorkers safe during the upcoming terror trials, but they can’t keep that pretty blonde lady from sneaking into a party?


This story is nothing but fun.  The Congressional hearings today (good grief!) over the incident are a waste of my tax money. I think it would be hysterical if the Salahis donned disguises and sneaked in!

Read more Tommy De Seno at www.JustifiedRight.com

Tommy De Seno is an attorney in New Jersey and contributor to Ricochet.com.