Obamas Woo Governors With Spinach and Soul
By all accounts, the first state dinner for the new first couple was a feast of favorites.
He got his beloved scallops; she got her creamed spinach without the cream - and, more importantly, her Earth, Wind & Fire.
"The president loves scallops," divulged first lady Michelle Obama during a pre-dinner tour of the White House kitchen yesterday afternoon.
The scallops were served with Wagyu beef, glazed red carrots, portobello mushrooms and creamed (but not with real cream) spinach.
"That is an amazing spinach, a creamed spinach without cream," the first lady marveled to an assembled kitchen of chefs, visiting culinary students and White House journalists on "pool" duty. "There is no way you would eat that and not think that it wasn't filled with cream and cheese."
Alas, as you can read here in Lynn Sweet's extensive print pool report, the creamed spinach had not a drop of cream in it, just as the first lady desired.
Several hours later, the not-really-creamed spinach took a back burner when the state dinner for the nation's governors was well underway and Earth, Wind & Fire took the stage. State dinner pool reporter Mike Madden of Salon.com reports:
The band opened its set with "Boogie Wonderland," which had various elected officials nodding their heads. The band was lively; a percussionist waved his drumsticks at the crowd, trying to get them dancing. POTUS and FLOTUS were at the front of the crowd on the dance floor, smiling and talking with guests. Your pool was ushered out of the room after about three minutes, and with the TV cameras gone, the lights were lowered. As we walked through the crowd and out the front door, Earth, Wind & Fire was starting to play "September."
Madden noted that President Obama wore a black tuxedo with a black bow tie and gold shirt studs, while FLOTUS wore a silver dress, "with a necklace that looked to be made up of diamonds and pearls."
Before the boogying began, as dinner was served, the president proposed a toast aimed at getting the governors to swallow his economic stimulus plan: "To the nation's governors, to the United States of America, and to the certain hope that despite our current travails, that we will all emerge more prosperous and more unified than we were before. And with that, I believe that dinner is served."
The president sat between Midge Rendell, the first lady of Pennsylvania whose husband, Ed Rendell, is chairman of the National Governors Association, and Carole Rome, first lady of Florida and wife of Gov. Charlie Crist.
Perhaps since she couldn't watch the Oscars, the first lady was seated next to an actor: California Gov. Arnold "I'll Be Back" Schwarzenegger.
Mary Ann Akers
February 23, 2009; 5:05 AM ET
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