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State dinner: Who's at the head tables?

Just as it is when you finally make it past the velvet rope, only to find that there's another, more exclusive VIP room... so it is with the nation's most coveted invitation, a White House state dinner. A few hundred get to attend, but only a handful get to sit with the president and first lady. At Tuesday's dinner for India, some obvious picks for the prime seats -- the prime minister's daughters and a Nobel laureate at Michelle Obama's table -- but also some surprising ones: Hollywood titan David Geffen, and his boyfriend Jeremy Lingvall at President Obama's table.

Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, the wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass)
Ambassador to India Tim Roemer
Mary Johnston, Roemer's guest (likely a relative of his wife, Sally Johnston Roemer)
Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Paul Pelosi, her husband
David Geffen, the Hollywood titan
Jeremy Lingvall, Geffen's boyfriend

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Amrit Singh, the prime minister's daughter, an ACLU lawyer in New York
Upinder Singh, another daughter, a professor at University of Delhi
Dr. Amartya Sen, Nobel-prize winning economist, now at Harvard
Emma Rothschild, Dr. Sen's wife, economic historian, now at Harvard
Gen. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State
Alma Powell, his wife
Rep. Howard Berman, (D-Calif.)
Janis Berman, his wife

CORRECTION, added Dec. 18: Because of a last-minute seating change, the Reliable Source column in the Nov. 25 Style section misstated some of the seating arrangements for the previous evening's White House state dinner. Colin Powell and his wife, Alma, were seated at President Obama's table; Hollywood mogul David Geffen and his boyfriend, Jeremy Lingvall, sat with Michelle Obama.

By The Reliable Source  |  November 24, 2009; 6:21 PM ET
Categories:  Parties , Politics  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: White House releases state dinner guest list
Next: Quoted: Sarah Palin on meeting Ivana Trump


Regardless of one's political relations, it must be a highlight of your experiences to be included in a State Dinner @ The White House.


Posted by: buckheaddad | November 24, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Great way for Obama to tell gays they have a place at the table!

Posted by: buzzbuzzard | November 24, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

ChickaBOOMer: Watch State Dinner Live!

Posted by: StewartIII | November 24, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if they still have the kiddie table set up where Cheney had W's assigned seat...

Posted by: ozpunk | November 25, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy your dinner Mr. President...we have your back. Happy Thanksgiving...

Posted by: lindarc | November 25, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

It's telling that for all their puffery about ethics and not accepting gifts from sources--this dinner was filled with high-profile media personalities. Are we supposed to believe that Katie Couric, Brian Williams, Tom Friedman, Robin Roberts, Fareed Zakaria and others are not influenced by the chumminess of a State Dinner? It is absurd to believe the press is on the public's side. Those who aren't corrupted already soon will be.

Posted by: mclovin | November 26, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

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