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Obama splashy, elegant State Dinner honors Mexico President Calderon

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052010sweet_cst_feed_20100520_01_31_06_13743-105-150-1.jpg(AP)
eva.jpegActress Eva Longoria Parker (photo by Lynn Sweet)

WASHINGTON--President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted a splashy, elegant state dinner Wednesday night for Mexico President Felipe Calderon and his wife, Margarita Zavala, and Chicago Olympic speed skater Shani Davis was on the invite list.

"I am just proud to be here," said Davis. Each guest can bring a guest, and Davis picked short track coach Jae Su Chun. Davis was wearing a Ralph Lauren suit and a light green tie he bought at Men's Wearhouse in Skokie.


State Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) served with Obama when he was in the Illinois state Senate and she said as she walked into the dinner, "I am just really honored, really happy and honored to be here with my former colleague."

The dinner menu was created in part by guest chef Rick Bayless, founder of Chicago's Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, which had been a regular stop for Mrs. Obama when she lived in Chicago. The four-course meal featured Oregon Wagyu beef in Oaxacan black mole as the entree.
state dinner plate.jpegState Dinner place setting (photo by Lynn Sweet)

The second state dinner of the Obama administration brought together 200 guests in the ornate East Room for dinner, seated at round and rectangle tables with tablecloths in three hues of Mayan blue. The color scheme, the White House said, was supposed to resemble "ripples of water."

Another 100 were invited for dessert and entertainment in a magnificent temporary structure built on the far end of the South Lawn, decorated as a very, very ritzy nightclub, complete with a stage, places to dance, dessert bars and stunning floral arrangements. Star singer Beyonce performed as well as Rodrigo y Gabriela and the U.S. Marine Band. Glorious Monarch butterfly decorations hung from the ceiling.

The Monarchs migrate between Mexico and Canada, passing through the United States, and were the perfect symbol of the cross-border relationship that Calderon and Obama want to develop. The Monarchs migrate from Michoacan, Calderon's birthplace.

The visit comes as the controversial immigration issue has gotten hotter with the new Arizona law that allows local law enforcement authorities to ask people for papers to show they are in the United States legally.

The guest list included a hefty helping of celebrities. Actress Eva Longoria Parker, speaking to reporters in the White House, said that with the Arizona law, the dinner happened to be well-timed "because of the temperature regarding immigration reform. ... It's a hot button issue ... so much reform is needed. Immigration is a federal issue," she said, "and you can't have states" doing their own laws.

Comic George Lopez had a great wisecrack when he entered. "I'm sitting with the president. They didn't tell me which country."

For comedian Whoopi Goldberg -- who used to be in the White House "quite a bit," she said, in the Clinton years -- returning after eight years was "kind of like a homecoming after a long drought."

The Obamas' first state dinner, for the prime minister of India last year, was overshadowed by party crashers; right after the event, security was tightened for people attending White House social events. Martinez said she passed through three or four checkpoints. No crashers surfaced.

12 Comments

how come mexico does not tighten it's boarders.? because then they would have to pay for all of thier own people which they dont want to do where else you cant scam there goverment like you can ares. if we think arizonas law is to harsh let's read mexico's immigration laws

I think a 'temporary structure' on a lawn is more accurately described as a TENT - probably put up by some Mexican workers.

I am a decomocrate and foremost an American in N.C. I am disappointed that our President would not meet with the leader of Israel but throws this big bash for the leader of Mexico. Obama sit there and listen to the insults of Carderon about our immagrations laws. Scientists should study Obama and how he walks because he has no SPINE.

All is very nice, the interpreters job was pathetic, I am amazed being an interpreter myself, how far can you get by knowing people, and being incompetent. And, I am puzzled; first why did President Calderon do his speech in Spanish when he speaks fluent English; and second being as puzzled as he visualy was, why didn't he stop and clarify with the interpreter. That would of been the first!! Now, I wonder how many times have I been misinformed when other country's leaders have spoken to our nation. Luckily I was able to understand his message but it bothers me the message that was given to all non Spanish speakers.

It would be nice if Obama would just once defend the United States. Perhaps Obama, Calderon, and dear Miss Eva should read The State of Arizona Bill before bashing it because it follows our Federal Law. The People want the Federal Law enforced!

How did Calderon get through Juarez without getting shot?

The taxpayers are tired of the mexicans coming
here for a free meal.

HELLO! IS THERE ANYONE LEFT IN THE WHITE HOUSE. CALDERON IS A PUPPET FOR THE CARTELS. SHAME ON YOU OBAMA FOR ALLOWING CALDERON TO OPEN HIS MOUTH IN CRITICISM OF OUR COUNTRY. HIS COUNTRY IS RUN MY DRUG CARTELS AND THAT IS WHY HIS PEOPLE ARE RUNNING NORTH. SHAME ON YOU!

I THINK WE SHOULD HONOR MEXICO & PRESIDENT CALDERON BY ADOPTING THE SAME LAWS AS MEXICO REGARDING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. THE LAWS OF MEXICO ARE MUCH STRICTER THAN ANYTHING ARIZONA HAS DONE!
HOW DARE OUR PRESIDENT ALLOW THAT MAN TO COME TO OUR HOUSE (AND THE WHITE HOUSE IS THE PEOPLES' HOUSE) AND INSULT US. PRESIDENT CALDERON HAS NO BUSINESS GIVING US INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING IN THIS COUNTRY! WHEN MEXICO IS A WELL-RUN COUNTRY, FREE OF CORRUPTION AND LAWLESSNESS - THEN MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, WE WOULD LISTEN TO HIS ADVICE.
WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO IS PROUD OF HIS COUNTRY AND WILLING TO DEFEND IT. NOT A WEAK PUPPET WHO GROVELS AT THE FEET OF THIRD WORLD DICTATORS!

I think the statement that President Obama used in his speech was ridiculous. He stated that no American, illegal aliens , citizens of mexico , or any law abiding citizens should be basically targeted by the law in Arizona. He again I stress said no law abiding citizens, if they are illegal they are not law abiding citizens. He has become such a tool. I cannot even stand to hear him speak. He has become someone I do not even recognize. If he is speaking then you know its a lie. I am discussed that he was elected as president and I know when or if he runs for a second term , he will not have my vote. When Mrs. Obama gave a speech for those school children it was so staged with that hispanic girl who was upset because her mother did not have papers, IE: there's one illegal alien we could find, Mrs. Obama had the nerve to say that then we should make sure she gets papers. When are we as a nation going to realize we are broke and cannot support everyone. If China called in its markers right now , we would all have to go back to school to speak Chinese. We are writing checks we cannot cover and maxing out credit cards we cannot afford. The gravy train has to stop at some point and Washington is so busy patting themselves on the back and giving out raises to themselves they think it will be status quo forever. Wake up and smell the roses boy's one day we will have to pay the piper. Unfortunately all the corrupt good ole' boys running the network will be dead and gone and my grandchildren who are infants will pay the price. Shame on all of you who gamble with our lives.

Mexican do not work cheap they will do job that american people will not do. American are lazy people are lazy people.They will work in fields and take jobs no one esle.Before you talk about people you to there counrty to see how they live.I have mexican son-in-law he is very hard worker.He do not ask no one for anything.They have three children and another one on the.My husband and I have to mexico to see how they live and they do not have all the stuff we have.There water goes off at 8:00pm at nigth until 8:00AM the next day.So before you talk about people go to there counrty.

TO Janet,
It doesn't matter if they work for cheap or not, Illegal means illegal. They are breaking the law if they are in this country illegally. But you can bet your life it is not cheap for us. We pay their doctor bills, pay for them to have babies, free handouts, free college, when out own people get turned down at every turn. I don't know how most of them ( the ones that are making it hard on everyone else) can sleep at night. What about your friends and neighbors that have been waiting in line for years? They can not get citizenship because of the illegals.

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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 May 20, 2010 4:57 AM.

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