From Annie Groer, Columnist for PoliticDaily.com

It took Caressa Cameron four tries to become Miss Virginia, but once she nailed the state title last year, it’s easy to see how she went on to capture the glittery Miss America crown in Las Vegas on Jan. 30.

This was one poised, smart, candid and effervescent young woman who sat down to lunch in Washington Monday with a bunch of strangers, including several reporters and TV producers. Sure, she’d been in D.C. before, to sing the National Anthem at the Washington Nationals’ season opener, where she shook hands with President Obama, and to serve as grand marshal of the Cherry Blossom Parade earlier this month.

But Monday’s lunch was meant to showcase her in a far more intimate setting — Cafe Milano’s private dining room in Georgetown, and to once again remind those new to the world of Miss America and all its state and local pageants that it is not, not, not a beauty contest, because it provides $50 million a year in scholarships for women.

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