— -- President Obama is attending a private luncheon today at the exclusive Metropolitan Club of Washington, D.C. Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and George Mitchell are hosting the event. One source described Obama's outing as "a purely social drop-by" with former and current members of the Senate.
The club was founded in 1863 and is approximately two blocks from the White House. The president decided to take a cool autumn walk through Lafayette Park, although the motorcade followed his entourage.
The Metropolitan Club website says its primary goal of furthering "literary, mutual improvement, and social purposes” drives the club’s “tradition of social civility.” The club also boasts that it attracts “distinguished members from around the world” and is “a destination for many local, national and international leaders.”
A receptionist answering phone calls at the club refused to provide any details on the luncheon and abruptly ended the call when pressed for information.
The club enforces a strict dress code. Gentlemen must wear a suit, jacket or blazer and neck tie; ladies must wear a dress, suit or pants with jackets “of equivalent formality.” The use of electronic devices is also prohibited in dining and public areas of the clubhouse.
It’s also unclear how many guests are joining the president for lunch, or what the select group will eat.
The White House refused to comment for the record.
*This story has been updated to reflect the president's short walk through to the club.