President Obama’s trip to Afghanistan, which lasted just 6 hours and 5 minutes, ended with birthday cake for the President and the White House press corps even as Kabul erupted in violence, according to the pool report.
The impromptu party occurred during the flight last night from Bagram Airfield as the president led the press cabin in a round of "Happy Birthday" after serving birthday cake, complete with a lit candle, to Bloomberg reporter Julianna Goldman, according to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, who was aboard Air Force One.
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Goldman, who moderated a Republican primary debate in October, belongs to a family that has been prominent in Democratic politics and fundraising for some time. Her ex-husband is David Shuster, the former MSNBC daytime host who used to guest-anchor Keith Olbermann’s Countdown.
Her parents are Democratic donors and power-players in Washington.
Her mother, Barbara Goldberg Goldman, sits on the Executive Committee of the National Jewish Democratic Council. The NJDC, a 501c4, is an arm of the Democratic Party tasked with liaising between the party and the Jewish community. Goldberg Goldman frequently hobnobs with Democratic power players like DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and in 2008 was co-chair of the Obama campaign’s Jewish Community Leadership team. She is also a frequent reader and Facebook commenter of the Washington Free Beacon.
Goldman’s father, Michael, contributed at least $2,250 to Obama in 2008; Barbara Goldberg Goldman contributed at least $1,000 to DSCC in 2010, $714 to DNC in 2010, and $500 this year to Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine’s Senate campaign. The Huffington Post reports that her donations to Democrats in 2008 totaled $5,425.
As Obama celebrated with the press pool, Kabul erupted into violence after the president’s departure at the end of a secretive trip yesterday to sign a Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Afghan officials reported seven dead and 17 wounded in a suicide attack on a compound that houses Westerners. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.