A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, November 23, 2009

Obama gathers his A list for first state dinner

Heard the expression "jockeying for position"? That's a mild expression for what's going on in Washington right now. It seems the race to be invited to President Obama's first state dinner is becoming something akin to the Gaderene Swine rushing for the clifftops. India's prime minister is being honoured. Possibly feted and fauned over in equal measure too. The Americans are very keen to make sure that the Indian government is made to feel very welcome and secure in its worldwide ascendency. It will be all posh poppadoms and rose-scented finger bowls!

In a departure from the traditional venue, the elegant State Dining Room, the Obamas will gather with a few hundred VIPs in a huge, heated tent on the South Lawn. I doubt though that Manmohan Singh is the man the tented diners will be there to see, though. No, they want to be seen there at the dinner by the TV and the loser B-Listers. To show that they are the pukka lot. It's the hottest ticket item in town. Dee Dee Myers, who served as President Clinton's press secretary, said the lobbying by people seeking an invite had probably been relentless. "The first [state dinner] is always the most dramatic," she said. "First impressions are important. That's your A list, that's your top game right there. By the time you get to the eighth state dinner, it'll be a lot less important." Those left off the shindig's list will be venting on the airwaves the very next day!

So, there we have it. Whoever gets to be at the eighth state dinner, either as guest or C-list attendee, it will be a very lowkey affair. The Indians must be wondering if being first has all the advantages. Hope the tent doesn't overheat. Might as well be back in Bombay!


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