Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Obama: First State Dinner

The Obamas hosted their first state dinner on Tuesday, Camelot II.

Don't expect to find any criticism in the liberal media of the Obamas throwing this lavish affair with so many people around the country out of work.

Don't expect the libs to find fault with the Obamas inviting a slew of Hollywood celebrities and friends to the White House while military families across the U.S. wait for word on what Obama plans to do in Afghanistan.

The Obamas weren't exactly feeling the pain of Americans last night. They couldn't be bothered.

I guess they just had to throw an extravagant, glamorous event to remind Americans how much we have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, even if many of us are out of work or underemployed and struggling to keep up with the bills.

From the New York Times:

It is an old tradition, a White House dinner governed by ritual and protocol that happens to be this city’s hottest social event. But at their first state dinner on Tuesday night, President Obama and his wife, Michelle, made sure to infuse the glittering gala with distinctive touches.

They hired a new florist, Laura Dowling, who bedecked the tented outdoor dining room with locally grown, sustainably harvested magnolia branches and ivy. They selected a guest chef, Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit in New York, an American citizen who was born in Ethiopia, reared in Sweden and cooks up melting pots of flavors and cuisines.

They invited local students to witness the arrival of the guests of honor, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and his wife, Gursharan Kaur, and presented a mélange of musical entertainment, including the National Symphony Orchestra; Jennifer Hudson, the singer and actress; Kurt Elling, the jazz musician from Chicago; and A. R. Rahman, the Indian composer who wrote the score to the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.”

And at the tables, the meatless menu included a mix of Indian and American favorites, including some African-American standards. Collard greens and curried prawns, chickpeas and okra, nan and cornbread were served to the 320 guests — including some well-known Republicans and prominent Indian-Americans — who started off with arugula from the White House garden and finished up with pumpkin pie tart. (After a tasting at the White House on Sunday, the Obamas gave the dishes their stamp of approval, Mr. Samuelsson said.)

And don’t forget the dinner plates. For an administration that publicly prizes bipartisanship, what could be finer than an eclectic mix of Clinton and Bush china?

Bipartisanship? An eclectic mix of Clinton and Bush china?

Good grief. That's a joke, right?

That's the only show of bipartisanship Obama has managed to pull off so far in his presidency.

The Obamas' guest list lacked diversity.

Although the New York Times notes that Mitch McConnell, Senate minority leader, and Representative John A. Boehner, House minority leader, were invited but did not attend, no mention is made of the fact that Obama's 2008 election opponent John McCain was not on the guest list.

Obama didn't even give him an invite.

“He wants to set a tone that’s different,” Vishakha N. Desai, a dinner guest and the Indian-born president of the Asia Society, said of the president. “Obama’s celebrating not just his African-American heritage, but the cultural diversity of America. And that’s a powerful message to send to the world.”

Obama was just trotting around Asia sending a powerful message to the world and it didn't go over too well.

He's weak. He wasn't received as a towering, transformative figure.

Mr. Obama greeted his guests in Hindi and hailed the contributions of Mohandas K. Gandhi and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., saying that such “giants” are “the reason why both of us can stand here tonight.”


Did Obama bow? I'm sure everyone wanted to get glimpse of one of his signature bows.

Mr. Singh responded, “Your journey to the White House has captured the imaginations of millions and millions of Indians.”

Yeah, I'm sure they're thrilled.
The evening was a potent mix of politics, diplomacy and glamour, with the administration’s favored donors mingling with lawmakers from Congress, cabinet secretaries, Indian dignitaries and Hollywood celebrities decked out in tuxedos and designer dresses. The first lady wore a golden sleeveless gown created by Naeem Khan, an Indian-American designer.

For Mr. Obama, it was also a rare break from the bruising business of governance, allowing him to showcase his role as a world leader (and a gracious host) at a time when he is managing battles over health care legislation and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — all while watching his standing falling in the polls.

Good God!

"For Mr. Obama, it was also a rare break from the bruising business of governance, allowing him to showcase his role as a world leader (and a gracious host)...."

That is positively sickening.

World leader and gracious host Obama got a rare break from the bruising business of governance.

Give me a break!

In eight years in office, did President Bush ever get that sort of treatment in the press?

The guest list included the actors Alfre Woodard and Blair Underwood, the directors Steven Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan, the writer Jhumpa Lahiri, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a Republican, and Indra Nooyi, the chief executive of PepsiCo.

“It does allow him to stand above the current squabbles in politics, to assume that role of head and state and remind people of the stature of the presidency,” said Doris Kearns Goodwin, the presidential historian, who noted that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s most famous state dinner — for the king and queen of England — occurred during the Depression.

“It’s a break from the daily concerns,” Ms. Goodwin said. “This is our moment for that kind of ceremony, for that pomp and circumstance, and that’s nonpartisan.”

Yes, by all means drag out Goodwin to explain that this extravagance is appropriate. Sure.
...So as Washington buzzed in recent days about who was invited and who was not, many wondered how the country’s first African-American president and first lady would put their personal stamp on the occasion.

The Obamas promptly distinguished themselves from their immediate predecessors by holding their dinner under a grand tent on the South Lawn to allow for a more expansive guest list. (President Bush held his dinners indoors, which sharply limited the numbers of guests.) And they emphasized some of their favorite themes, including bipartisanship, diversity and a focus on healthy meals.


Washington was buzzing about the personal stamp the first black guy to be president would put on the occasion?


I thought Obama was supposed to be post-racial. There sure is a lot of emphasis on race. The Left can't seem to stop talking about it.

And of course the Obamas held the event "under a grand tent." President Bush, the elitist, held such occasions indoors "which sharply limited the number of guests."

That is stunningly lame.

The Obamas emphasized their favorite themes: bipartisanship, diversity and a focus on healthy meals.

This article is priceless. It's nauseating but also entertaining. It's so silly that it's funny.

...Mrs. Obama made a splash by showcasing deep, rich colors — apple green for the tablecloths and varying shades of plum, purple and fuchsia in the hydrangea, roses and sweet peas in the centerpieces.

There was White House honey and sage from the garden and a menu that gave vegetables and beans — including eggplants and lentils — top billing. (For a White House keen on promoting fresh fruits and vegetables, what could be more serendipitous than a guest of honor who happens to be a vegetarian?) And the Obamas shook things up by serving, among other dishes, Indian food to an Indian delegation, typically a no-no.

The stars aligned and the guest of honor happened to be a vegetarian!

What luck for the health conscious Obamas! Pure magic!

Now that the first state dinner for the Obamas is over, the Leftists have to let go of the magic and face reality -- like the reality of war.

Time to think about Afghanistan. Let's not forget Iraq. Let's not forget our troops separated from their families this Thanksgiving. They're waiting for Obama to make a decision and act like the commander in chief.

And let's not forget about the millions and millions of Americans struggling because of the economy.

No "honey and sage from the garden" for them.

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