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Posted at 7:00 PM ET, 01/19/2011

Who is at the president's table? Prime seating at the state dinner for China

By The Reliable Source

Getting an invitation to a state dinner is but the first test. The real status indicator may be where you end up sitting.

** See White House state dinner seating charts **

We've obtained several seating charts for tonight's state dinner for China. The best table by far seems to be the long rectangular table in the State Dining Room, where both President and Michelle Obama are to sit with Chinese President Hu Jintao, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. (The ex-presidents will take the end seats, while current POTUS claims the middle.) Joining them will be...

John and Teresa Heinz Kerry; Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and his wife Maggie; GE CEO Jeff Immelt and his wife Andrea; Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent; actor B.D. Wong and his mother Roberta; and top Chinese political leaders Wang Qishan, Wang Huning, and Ling Jihua. Also, one slightly less familiar name from the business world: Robert Roche, a top Democratic donor and head of one of China's largest TV shopping companies, who last year was named to the president's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

Another good table, in the Red Room, is headed by Vice President Joe Biden. Going around the circular table, to his left: Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D); Disney CEO Bob Iger; Jill Biden; jazz musician Herbie Hancock; model-turned-broadcaster (and Iger's wife) Willow Bay; NYT op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof; Courtney Gregoire, the governor's daughter and a Commerce appointee; Chinese political leader Ling Jihua; and journalist Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American to win a Pulitzer (and Kristof's wife).



Read more about the China state visit and state dinner for China.

Full list of expected guests for China state dinner

By The Reliable Source  | January 19, 2011; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington, White House State Dinner  
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Next: White House state dinner: For Hu Jintao's state visit, a day of pomp and ceremony

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Where was Babs? Siberia?

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