Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

German State Dinner arrival pool report

| No Comments

Welcome to the fourth state dinner arrivals pool by Abby Phillip and Amie Parnes.

No big celebrity guests, except James Taylor. (But we learned some German in the process!)

For all you wondering, first lady Michelle Obama, donned an ivory sleeveless gown by one of her favorite designers, Naeem Khan. White House aides say.

Now onto the guests:

The best (and only) celeb: James Taylor, who will be performing later. Despite the hot, "singing" weather, Taylor was happy to be at the White House once again.
"I'm just excited to be in this company and perform at the White House for this president," he said. Taylor said he has five or six songs prepared. "No surprises." Anything hints? "They specifically suggested 'You've Got a Friend," he said.

"He's been practicing his German," said his wife Caroline Taylor, who was dressed in an electric blue Armani gown. He learned in boarding school and his father was also German, she added. Taylor practiced a few lines for the cameras.

"Use it or lose it," his wife translated.

Most thrifty: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who sported a blue dress and jacket that she says she spent $170 on. "And the shoes," she boasted, "$29!"

Fastest slow entrance: The Geithners, who grinned at the press and then proceeded forward. (No talk about the debt ceiling, for all you wonks out there.

Going stag tonight: Karen Mills, head of the small business administration. Also, Tom Corbett, the governor of Pennsylvania.

Best non-answer/ biggest dodge of the night: Congresswoman and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was asked, "Who are you wearing tonight?" Her reply? "Thank you very much."

Most coy: a tie between Justice John Roberts and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. When asked "How do you feel about being here tonight?" both men strolled by with their wives and gave no response.

Surprise entrance: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who was so anxious to make her way inside that she beat her official announcement. Asked if she was wearing her usual Armani, she shook her head. "Thierry Mugler," she said noting the French designer with a laugh. "Very old."

Oddest dinner accessory: The bandage on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's nose.

German connection: a tie between Sen. Dan Coats, (who said he was probably invited because he served as ambassador to Germany for four years under the Bush administration) and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, an early Obama supporter.
What's his German connection?
"Wisconsin has the second highest German population in the country," Barrett said. He's also 1/4 German in addition to his Irish roots.

Most popular color on the gowns: electric blue (by far!)

One of our own: E.J. Dionne, beaming as he made his entrance.
Silent on his way (and, well, out): CEA chair Austan Goolsbee.

Maestro for the night: Christoph Eschenbach, conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. Guests will be entertained by the music of Beethoven, Handel, Mendelssohn, although no Wagner tonight. "Wagner needs a full orchestra and we cannot seat a full orchestra here," Eschenbach said. He'll also be reunited with an old friend. "I know James Taylor!" Eschenbach exclaimed. The two met at Ravinia, a long-standing outdoor music series on the outskirts of Chicago.

And the state dinner sprint award goes to Deputy social secretary Sam Tubman, who flew by, in a flowing white frock.

Amie Parnes

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

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

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 7, 2011 6:31 PM.

Rahm Emanuel, Blagojevich, political plotting on wiretap. Transcript was the previous entry in this blog.

Chicagoans at Obama's German Chancellor Merkel State Dinner. Guest List is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.