WASHINGTON--Mayor Daley and wife Maggie have been invited to their first Obama White House state dinner--on Wednesday, honoring China's president Hu Jintao--with Chicago's trade ties to China a good a reason to include them--as well as having a Chicago president and top aides from the city.
I confirmed the state dinner invitation with the White House. Daley's visit here next week will also include him being honored at the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a group he has been very active in during his tenure as mayor, which ends next May. Daley will receive the groups "Distinguished Public Service Award."
The day after the state dinner Hu heads to Chicago, with several hundred Chinese business executives for meetings on Thursday and Friday aimed at promoting trade with the U.S. in general and the Chicago area and Midwest in particular. Mayor Daley is hosting a dinner for Hu on Thursday night.
The state dinner for Hu will be the first for mayoral brother Bill Daley in his role as Obama's new chief of staff and one of the last major events for senior advisor David Axelrod, who will return to Chicago in a few weeks to oversee Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. The East Wing, overseen by First Lady Michelle Obama, runs state dinners and this will be the last one for Mrs. Obama's chief of staff Susan Sher, who is also moving back to Chicago.
Bill Daley replaced former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who left to run for mayor of Chicago. Taking over for Sher will be Tina Tchen, a Chicagoan already in the White House working for Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
The glue that holds every name mentioned so far is that they all have long-standing relationships with Mayor Daley--in various political or governmental roles.