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Opinion: Who made the cut for Obama’s big White House birthday party?

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President Obama and about 200 celebrity friends set aside the economic fears and concerns of others to really celebrate his 50th birthday in the White House.

Burgers, bare feet and lots of dancing is the report from multiple sources.

Those who made the pre-recession invite list Thursday: Al Sharpton, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Charles Barkley, Emmitt Smith, Ledisi, Steve Harvey, Gayle King, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Grant Hill and Jay-Z.

Also, of course, Tom Hanks.

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And the usual political suspects: Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Valerie Jarrett, Bill Richardson, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tim Kaine, Bill Daley and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Also, the First Mother-in-Law Marian Robinson and her Chicago friend ‘Mama Kaye’ Wilson.

Obama reportedly paid for the affair.

However, the political optics of less than healthy BBQ feasting and shoeless East Room dancing until after midnight while the nation teeters on the brink of renewed recession caused the White House to close the event to the media.

The president left this afternoon on his helicopter for a weekend mini-vacation at Camp David.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

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