Jessica Simpson: I Want to Be Michelle Obama

"Everything she does she exudes confidence," says the singer before the White House Correspondents' dinner

Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty; Olivier Douliery /Abaca

Jessica Simpson is a singer, actress and reality star, but now she has a new goal: She wants to be Michelle Obama.

“I really do,” Simpson told PEOPLE before the White House Correspondents’ dinner in Washington, D.C., Saturday. “She’s such an incredible woman, and she’s with such a powerful man.”

What does Simpson admire most about the First Lady? “Everything she does she exudes confidence,” says the singer. “I’m really just here to celebrate her.”

Simpson was just one among many celebrities who came out for the annual event and mingled at the packed pre-party. Other starts included Sex and the City star Kristin Davis, Michael Douglas and Bradley Cooper.

“It’s sort of like Oscar night,” mused comedian Bill Maher, who joked: “It’s great to mingle with America’s real intellectual heavyweights. I saw the Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber, Jessica Simpson, Ryan Seacrest – I can’t wait to talk politics.”

Despite all the bold-faced names, the most mobbed star of the evening was teen heartthrob Bieber. “Look at that guy: He’s got more secret service than [President] Obama, quipped Entourage‘s Adrian Grenier.

Still, the star of the night was President Barack Obama, who got lots of laughs during his speech. “It’s been quite a year, ” he said. “Lots of ups, lots of downs – except for my approval ratings, which have just gone down.”

Obama also poked fun at Tonight Show host Jay Leno, who was in attendance at the event. “I am glad that the only person’s whose ratings fell more than mine last year is here tonight. Great to see you, Jay,” the president quipped to loud laughter. “I’m also glad that I’m speaking first because we’ve all seen what happens when somebody takes the timeslot after Leno’s.”

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