Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Welcome To The White House, Honored Guests

It's hard to believe, but after eleven months in office, President Barack H. Obama has taken a recess in his global surrender tour to have his very first official State Dinner. The honored guest is the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh. The rest of the guests will be the usual suspects, but they'll all enjoy the refurbished White House where the dinner will be held (see photo).

As long as he's finally going to have a formal dinner for the ally he's going to insult next, Obama decided to have the lavish affair in, yep, a tent. No White House State Dining Room, which holds 130 to 140 guests. No East Room, which can hold up to 200 guests. Not good enough for our president and his guests. The tent can hold up to 400 guests, thus allowing Obama to make up for lost time. Two dinners for the price of one, as it were. Double your pleasure, double your fun.

Now just who will get invited to this exclusive affair? It's a big game with the press. They're handicapping the possible participants. Most agree that Obama doesn't have much choice and will have to invite Vice President Biden and his wife. All the troops of the socialist left of the party will be there, including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. You can bet you'll see David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel. Probably new White House Counsel Bauer and his wife Madame Mao Dunn. Probably not Van Jones and his merry band of communist revolutionaries.

The danger for Obama is that by expanding the guest spots by nearly double, he risks offending the celebrities who would not have expected to be invited to the more intimate indoors of the White House, but become miffed by not being invited into the big tent. And celebrities feed the Democratic coffers in disproportionate sums compared to their numbers. Remember, after feeling snubbed by the Kennedy White House, Frank Sinatra threw the support of the "rat pack" behind Richard Nixon.

Naturally, Hillary Clinton will be there with her husband, old what's his name. Hillary, as Secretary of State, hand-delivered the invitation to the Indian prime minister. And she is an expert at tent meetings. She and the guy she is married to once gave a traveling tent extravaganza for another Indian prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee. But the Clintons had even grander numbers in mind. They were able to crunch nearly 700 guests into their revival tent.

Still, one would have expected the pinky-finger dilettante of a president to hold his first official state dinner under more formal conditions, like inside the house. And this isn't the crown prince of lower Congogeria he's entertaining. India is a crucial democratic ally and trade partner with the second largest population of any nation on earth. In fact, it's not really just a country--it's a subcontinent.

Latin comedian George Lopez attended an earlier presidential tent event, and commented that "he appreciated the president inviting everyone over to his yard." A little less-slyly, the Times of India seemed a bit confused as to why an important state dinner would be held on someone's lawn, but graciously allowed "it called to mind a shamiana, a decorative circus-style tent used for outdoor weddings."

The Washington Post was reluctant about pointing out the weirdness of the tent, and had to take a shot (deserved) at George Bush for having one of these affairs for the president of Ghana which highlighted a performance of The Lion King, an African tale. Their comment: "Highlighting Disney's version of the story seems a bit like asking Olive Garden to cater lunch for a group of Italian diplomats." Nevertheless, even they found the tent meeting to be a strange first choice.

Given Obama's notorious ignorance of foreign affairs and international history, it's hard not to wonder if he thinks Indians live in tents. Worse, it's hard not to worry that he will get the whole concept wrong and have some harem dancers perform, followed by the beheading of a couple of infidels. That should liven up the festivities.

So, Obama will discuss serious state matters with the prime minister. Trade, global warming, India's immense contribution to air pollution, and relations with the Islamic nations surrounding her. But first, the elephants, the high-wire acts, the peanuts, and the clowns (or is that all the same thing?).

20 comments:

StanH said...

Lawhawk, is this for real? Where did they put the damn tent? But in further thought it makes perfect sense, the circus has definitely come to town, …just wow!.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: Somewhere on the South Lawn, I believe. I hope they remember to clean up the dog poop first. LOL

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I can smell the aroma of fresh-roasted peanuts already. Brother Love's traveling salvation show should be quite the extravaganza. I wonder which table they'll put Rev. Jermiah Wright at. He's no longer radioactive, right?

LawHawkSF said...

HamiltonsGhost: I don't think the good reverend has been taken off the "toxic assets" list quite yet. But who knows? If he doesn't wear his self-created clerical drag outfit, he might sneak in. But of course if that means that Madonna is denied a seat, the spit will hit the fan.

AndrewPrice said...

No doubt they'll work out how to solve that whole nuclear proliferation problem that Obama expected them to help him with.

Writer X said...

Can't wait to see photos of the Presidential Outhouses. Very classy, Mr. President.

I wonder who he'll bow to at this event? Maybe the lion tamer?

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: Maybe they'll discuss an alternate fuel source--elephant dung. LOL

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: I was wondering if someone would think of that. Let's hope they did.

The lion tamer will have to be wearing a turban that looks like a crown, or he'll just be ignored.

CalFederalist said...

Is the president going to hold a feather with his nose and fly over the crowd? Apologies to Dumbo and his mom, Jumbo.

LawHawkSF said...

Oh, Cal: If this were only a Disney cartoon with a happy ending. I'm afraid it's real life, and Dumbo, er, Obama is not going to give us a happy ending.

CrispyRice said...

Feeding 150 people in a formal dining room is hard enough. Can you imagine what the food is going to look like for 400 in a tent?! Blah!

Maybe they'll do a buffet.

LawHawkSF said...

CrispyRice: I'm trying to picture it as well. The service would be a nightmare, and it's quite possible to do a semi-elegant buffet, so that seems most likely. The Indians will handle a buffet quite nicely, but I'm wondering about the celebrities who demand six servants per setting.

CrispyRice said...

Michelle's got those strong arms - she can carry fully-loaded plates around a buffet, lol!

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Can you use that in a nuclear reactor? Yuck!

LawHawkSF said...

CrispyRice: Add a couple of plates balanced on her head, and they could do this with a minimum of servers.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: I'm sure the leftover food would account for a toe on Al Gore's carbon footprint. Which reminds me. I wonder if he was invited. They'll need more food.

patti said...

wlll there be cotton candy and elephant rides? and law: a dumbo happy ending?!?! ~snort~ i'll never be able to watch disney again...

DCAlleyKat said...

No need to send in the clowns, they are the clowns.

LawHawkSF said...

Patti: I know. I almost wish I hadn't said it. Now I get the giggles picturing those flapping ears and the dropped feather, and no Timothy Q. Mouse to tell him the feather's just a prop.

LawHawkSF said...

DCAlleyKat: I wonder how many Obama clowns they can stuff into the clown car. And which one wears the big floppy shoes?

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