According to reporter Katherine Rosman, the incident happened at the home of Daily Beast journalist Tina Brown and husband Harold Evans. A group of elite journalists had gathered in the garden behind the couple’s Manhattan apartment. They were celebrating the publication of Sidney Blumenthal’s”The Clinton Wars,” a re-telling of former President Clinton’s White House years.
(Blumenthal was Clinton’s aide)
Though not invited to the event, Rosman attended as a guest of invitee and political columnist Eric Alterman. Here, she met then-Senator Obama:
“Standing by myself I noticed, on the periphery of the party, a man looking as awkward and out-of-place as I felt. I approached him and introduced myself. He was an Illinois state senator who was running for the U.S. Senate. He was African-American, one of a few black people in attendance.”
Though she was charmed by Obama’s charisma and even wanted to do a profile on him, Rosman said the waiter incident stuck out most:
“But what I will always remember is as I was leaving that party in 2003, I was approached by another guest, an established author. He asked about the man I had been talking to. Sheepishly he told me he didn’t know that Obama was a guest at the party, and had asked him to fetch him a drink. In less than six years, Obama has gone from being mistaken for a waiter among the New York media elite, to the president-elect.”