It was the kind of party you hope you'll get invited to if you live in Washington, DC.
Somehow, we snagged an invitation to a fancy pants party for the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma. He's in town for the nuclear summit. And yesterday was his birthday. So who shows up at his birthday dinner? Besides me? The acting president of Nigeria, A young man with the most unlikely name of Goodluck Jonathan (who, by the way, has incredible personal style, sporting a porkpie hat and oversized black jacket) and most of the Congressional Black Caucus (including LA Democrats Maxine Waters and Diane Watson) plus Chris Matthews, a CNN anchor younger than my little brothers, and the Temptations.
President Zuma gave a very moving speech about how being denied a formal education during apartheid led him on a crusade to make educational opportunities available to the next generation. (Someone should pay him to make this speech at failing US high schools to kids who don't realize there are children elsewhere in the world who would do anything for the opportunity to receive a free education.)
And then a surprise guest dropped by: Stevie Wonder. He was "in the building" (apparently both the Morrocan Embassy and Indonesian Embassy had events at the same hotel that night) and stopped by to sing "Happy Birthday" to the president. Wow.
Finally, the Temptations took over. And yes, it did look a bit like a pledge drive at KCET. But even without a dance floor, the entire room was up and grooving. The birthday president and his wife were lured onstage where they danced a bit themselves.
Don't believe it? Check out the video:
South Africa President Jacob Zuma dancing on stage with The Temptations at the Mandarin Hotel in Washington, DC, on April 13.