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   The Alfalfa Club

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6/13/2005 12:00 pm

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Entered 6/13/2005, Updated 6/13/2005

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An exclusive Washington, D.C. club for the rich and powerful, founded in 1913. Its sole purpose is to hold an annual banquet each January to honor the birthday of General Robert E. Lee. There are approximately 200 members. Each member is eligible to bring up to two guests to the $185-a-plate dinner. The club always serves filet mignon and lobster. No press coverage is allowed inside the banquet hall and the proceedings are ostensibly secret, but the Washington newspapers always seem to get a fairly detailed blow-by-blow description anyway. Regardless, the congenial atmosphere lends itself to politically-incorrect humor. In essence the event is just another roast, providing one more showcase for Washington bigwigs to unveil their professionally-written jokes. Just for fun, the Alfalfa Club leadership nominates a presidential candidate every year (not just election years). The candidate is required to deliver an acceptance speech at the event. Past nominees include: General Glen E. Edgerton, Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson (1953), Merle Thorpe (1955), Senator Prescott Bush (1959), Richard M. Nixon (1965), Ronald Reagan (1974), George H.W. Bush, Dick Lugar (1996), George W. Bush (1998), Alan Simpson (1999), James Wolfensohn (2000), John McCain (2001), Ted Stevens (2003), and Jack Valenti (2004).


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