Updated 10:08 a.m. eastern time
WASHINGTON--Here's the invite to the hottest ticket in town Tuesday night--President Obama and First Lady Michelle's first state dinner. Several news outlets are reporting that the entertainment will include Chicago's Jennifer Hudson and Kurt Elling. This is the most anticipated event yet produced by White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers--so the Chicago connections are no surprise.
Some 320 guests are expected.The invite is on a cream-colored card embossed with a gold presidential seal and black text:
The President and Mrs. Obama request the pleasure of the company of Mr. _____ at a dinner in honor of His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, and Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, to be held at The White House on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at seven o'clock.
My column with background on the Obama dinner is here. Mrs. Obama presides over a session Tuesday afternoon with girls she is mentoring on the history of White House dinners. Her East Wing will also show off the place settings at that time. Mrs. Obama will be joined by White House Curator William Allman and Tanya Turner, protocol officer for the Visits Division of the State Department.
All the Chicagoans in the White House--Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod and Susan Sher are expected. Emanuel's brother, superagent Ari, will be part of the Hollywood crowd showing up. There will also be a Chicago contingent, including business executive Penny Pritzker, the chairman of TransUnion, Pritzker Realty Group, and Classic Residence by Hyatt. She was the finance chair of the Obama presidential campaign and Obama might not be in the White House today if it were not for her efforts, especially in the first quarter of his campaign in 2007.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Biden are hosting a lunch for
Singh and his wife at the State Department. That's also a hot ticket.
Many events will be live streamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live. C-SPAN also is offering up a full plate of coverage.
Here what C-SPAN is producing: "We'll begin at 9pm by showing the Indian Prime Minister's arrival at the North Portico. Then, a conversation with Nia-Malika Henderson of Politico to talk about the guest list and other subjects. Over the course of the program we'll show some of the guest arrivals from the White House Booksellers Area, the toasts and possibly a clip of the entertainment. Also in the program: telephone conversations with Anita McBride, former chief of staff to Laura Bush; Walter Scheib, former White House executive chef (1994-2005); Melinda Bates, former director of the White House Visitors Office (Clinton Administration)."