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At the China State Dinner: Politico's Parnes and Marr celebrity pool report

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WASHINGTON--When actress Barbra Streisand stopped for moment before reporters gathered at a spot to watch arrivals to President Obama and Mrs. Obama's state dinner for Hu Jintao, the president of the People's Republic of China, she was asked why she was invited.

Quipped the star: "I worked in a Chinese restaurant." Said Mayor Daley when he arrived with wife Maggie: "Go Bears!"

For a load of details, below is the pool report from Politico's state dinner team, Amie Parnes and Kendra Marr.

You want more? The coverage continues ...
-- Amie Parnes and Kendra Marr

-- FLOTUS wore a fire-engine red, one-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown. McQueen died just last year.

The guests:

-- Barbara Streisand was asked why she was invited tonight. She deadpaned: "I worked in a Chinese restaurant." Babs wore a dress of "my own design" - a navy pin-striped three piece skirt suit with rhinestone buttons - plus lots of diamond necklaces. "Come closer you say?" she asks ... but doesn't budge an inch towards the press.

-- No "Who are you wearing?" questions for Sen. John Kerry. Rather, how would you tone down the political rhetoric if it were up to you? "It's up to individual senators and members of Congress to tone down the rhetoric and find compromise. ... They can't come here with a scorched-earth policy."

-- Kenneth Roth of The Human Rights Watch: "I take the reason I was invited as a statement to President Hu."

-- R is for Represent: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the only Republican at the state dinner. "It's a great night for our country," he said. "It doesn't matter if you're a Republican or a Democrat." He admitted though, that, being the only one there "makes me unique once again."

... But some others felt lonesome. The mayors of neighboring Oakland, Calif., and San Francisco arrived together. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan: "We're very honored ... This is the first time we've been here. We're like the only mayors."

-- Go for the gold. She may have won the silver medal but ... Michelle Kwan wore a gold, sparkly mini Herve Leger bandage dress. ""It's an honor, truly an honor," she said.

-- "Law & Order: SUV" actor BD Wong arrived with his mom. "It's a little overwhelming. I'm happy to share this moment with her," he said. Then he pulled out his iPhone. Asked if he was tweeting, he responded "I have to have a pic of this. I want a pic of all of you."

-- Best and only sports line of the night: "Go Bears!" said Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

-- Best Chinese-inspired outfit: Johanna Breyer, wife of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, wore a long hot pink jacket - qipao -- paired with a long black skirt.

-- Most nostalgic: Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, upon entering booksellers, exclaimed, "Feels like old times."

-- And everyone wanted to know ... Who are you wearing, Anna Wintour? The Vogue EIC walked in wearing a white zig-zag Chanel suit and no sunglasses. She said she hoped to ask the Chinese premiere whether he will "invest money in Chinese fashion."


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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 January 19, 2011 8:20 PM.

Obama China State Dinner: The entire guest list (includes Streisand) was the previous entry in this blog.

Mayor Daley mulling teaching, a book after he leaves City Hall. is the next entry in this blog.

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