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White House 2010 Governors Ball: Menu, Wines, China, Flatware

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosted their second ball for the nation's governors on Sunday night at the White House.


The menu:
French Onion Soup with Croutons
Rib Eye Roast with Shrimp Scampi
Roasted Potatoes, Carrots and Mushroom Caps
Seven Layer Salad
Baked Alaska

Wines offered:
Sugarleaf Vineyards Petit Manseng 2008
Landmark Vineyards Syrah "Steel Plow" 2006
Fenn Valley "42 Ice Wine" 2008

Governors' Dinner Table Settings 2010
SERVICE PLATES - CLINTON STATE CHINA SERVICE, made by Lenox Inc., Trenton, New Jersey, 2000. Commissioned to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the White House.

KING CHARLES SILVER FLATWARE, made by Gorham, Providence, Rhode Island, 1974; supplemented in 2006 by Lenox Inc., owner of the Gorham molds.

KENNEDY GLASSWARE, made by the Morgantown Glass Guild, Morgantown, West Virginia, 1961; supplemented in 1991 by Lenox, Inc.

CREAM SOUP CUP AND SAUCER - JOHNSON STATE CHINA SERVICE, made by Castleton China, Inc., New Castle, Pennsylvania, 1968

WATER GOBLET - FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT STATE GLASSWARE SERVICE, Tiffin Glass Co., Tiffin, Ohio; cut by T.G. Hawkes & Company, Corning, New York, 1938-1955; and later reorders



Pool report #2 Todd Gilman
2010 Governors' Ball


Governors and first spouses from around the country were in black-tie attire in the State Dining Room.

Pool was ushered in at about 7:20, just before President and First Lady were introduced and entered.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota was seated to the right of FLOTUS. Neither he nor any other guest was seen measuring drapes, though of course the pool can only attest to the 10 minutes it was in the room.

In the back row: Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida - well beyond hugging range - at Table 3 with Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mike Beebe of Arkansas, and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of Calif. sat beside Wisconsin Gov Jim Doyle, with Interior Sect. Salazar two seats to Arnold's right, and the two governors clicked glasses at the toasts.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who got a shoutout from Obama during his pre-toast remarks, was in a striking emerald jacket at Table 12 with FLOTUS and Pawlenty.

Obama opened with a joke: "This is not too stiff of an affair, because last year, Ed Rendell led a conga line. We still have photographs that we may use."

He recalled the dire economy that hung over last year's meeting. "Each of you in your own respective states saw how brutal it was on so many families... We took some swift and decisive action" to help "folks in your state" with unemployment, COBRA etc and to help governors "fill some of those budget holes that I know are still tough and I suspect we'll be talking about tomorrow" when they all return, tuxedo-less

He spoke of the "very tough choices that many of you made" in the past year, but said that governors know how to work across party lines, as reflected in the NGA itself. "One of the things I've always said about governors that Washington could learn from is that it's hard to be overly ideological as governor because the fact of the matter is, the rubber hits the road with you."

Obama's toast itself was brief. He offered it to the constituents who put up with himself and governors and "to our spouses and families who make extraordinary sacrifices." His words trailed off into laughter at some sort of spousal joke with the first lady; the transcript may lend itself to the (probably faulty) interpretation that he was alluding to the occasional gubernatorial infidelity.

After Obama, Gov. Jim Douglas, R-Vt., gave a toast. He's chairman of the National Governors Association, whom Obama lauded as an "extraordinary partner with this White House. Always constructive, always thoughtful."

"This is a challenging time for all of us to serve as chief executives at the federal or the state level. It's an economy that's still undergoing a great deal of stress... so [it's] essential that we all work together in the public interest to bring our states and the American people back to a position of prosperity," Douglas said.

Speaking to Obama he offered the toast to "you, the First Lady and the people of this great country."

Also spotted, at separate tables: Gov. David Paterson of NY, Gov. Bill Richardson of NM. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were seated together.

Vice President Biden was at the table in the middle, with a head-on view of the lectern.

Apologies to the many other VIPs. Presumably, all the governors in town for the NGA were at the dinner, but no attendance list was available. I can report that Texas' chief executive, Rick Perry, nine days from the primary and never a fan of the NGA anyway, was home campaigning today.

The room was very elegant, with candles, gilt-edged plates, gold embossed name cards and such.

The menu:
French Onion Soup with Croutons
Rib Eye Roast with Shrimp Scampi
Roasted Potatoes, Carrots and Mushroom Caps
Seven Layer Salad
Baked Alaska

Wines offered:
Sugarleaf Vineyards Petit Manseng 2008
Landmark Vineyards Syrah "Steel Plow" 2006
Fenn Valley "42 Ice Wine" 2008

Governors' Dinner Table Settings 2010
SERVICE PLATES - CLINTON STATE CHINA SERVICE, made by Lenox Inc., Trenton, New Jersey, 2000. Commissioned to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the White House.

KING CHARLES SILVER FLATWARE, made by Gorham, Providence, Rhode Island, 1974; supplemented in 2006 by Lenox Inc., owner of the Gorham molds.

KENNEDY GLASSWARE, made by the Morgantown Glass Guild, Morgantown, West Virginia, 1961; supplemented in 1991 by Lenox, Inc.

CREAM SOUP CUP AND SAUCER - JOHNSON STATE CHINA SERVICE, made by Castleton China, Inc., New Castle, Pennsylvania, 1968

WATER GOBLET - FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT STATE GLASSWARE SERVICE, Tiffin Glass Co., Tiffin, Ohio; cut by T.G. Hawkes & Company, Corning, New York, 1938-1955; and later reorders


1 Comment

Nine months on and a number of new Governors in office but the issues remain the same. Douglas commented "It's an economy that's still undergoing a great deal of stress... so it's essential that we all work together in the public interest to bring our states and the American people back to a position of prosperity".

That statement can be reused and perhaps reiterated for the next three or four Governors balls. Perhaps print it on the menu. More doing and less eating I think for our leaders for a while.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 22, 2010 7:54 AM.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, Feb. 22, 2010. Governors, Vilsack, Solis was the previous entry in this blog.

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