Inside Last Night's State Dinner
Head table included actor BD Wong, everyone ate apple pie
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2011 8:59 PM CST
Updated Jan 20, 2011 7:56 AM CST
Former President Bill Clinton greets President Obama as Obama arrives.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – Sure, everybody who is somebody got an invite to last night's state dinner, which 225 people attended. But who got seated at the head table with President Obama and guest of honor Hu Jintao? Gawker has the list, which includes:

  • Law and Order star BD Wong
  • Bill and Hillary, along with Jimmy and Roslyn, and John Kerry and Teresa
  • GE's Jeff Immelt and wife Andrea (who's next to President Obama)
  • Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and wife Maggie
  • Communist Party bigwig Ling Jihua

Other tidbits:

  • The main course was "Dry Aged Rib Eye with Buttermilk Crisp Onions," and dessert was all-American apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Click for the full menu.
  • Jazz dominated, music-wise, notes NPR, with a lineup featuring Herbie Hancock, trumpeter Chris Botti, and Grammy Award-winning vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater and Dianne Reeves.
  • Michelle wore a red petal-print silk Alexander McQueen gown, reports Stylist, which notes that it was designed by McQueen successor Sarah Burton; and that red signals happiness and prosperity in Chinese culture. Anna Wintour wore Chanel, and Vera Wang wore ... Vera Wang.
  • The toasts were "warm fuzzy" filled, notes the Washington Post: Obama spoke of shared values regarding family and hard work, then got even fuzzier, announcing that: "Under a new agreement, our National Zoo will continue to dazzle children and visitors with the beloved giant pandas."
  • Oddest comment of the night goes to Barbra Streisand who, when asked why she thought she had been invited, quipped: "I worked in a Chinese restaurant."

 

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