>> Updated at 7:19 pm ET
The guest list for tonight’s black tie State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao is out, and it’s relatively light on frivolous people.
Jackie Chan will be on hand, but this may be simply to kick ass if the Salahis show. In addition, Barbara Streisand will be in the house, with husband James Brolin in tow, but that’s because she’s FABULOUS.
Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, and George Schultz have all been plucked from history to attend. Clothing designer Vera Wang will attend, possibly because word is that she put Mrs. Obama into one of her dresses for the evening.
Hillary Clinton will be there because she is secretary of state and she’s bringing Bill, who will be there because he LOVES being at the White House.
One interesting invite is Jamie Dimon, the JP Morgan chief who was supposedly Obama’s “favorite banker,” then supposedly on the outs with the president as Obama compared bankers to garbage eating rodents, and now is obviously back among the favored.
All of which also begs the question: why is one of the world’s premier human rights abusers and abettors of nuclear proliferation being feted with a State visit? Bush never gave the Chinese president one.
Obama’s supposedly getting “tough” with China, but old habits like kissing the behinds of dictators in the hope that they will behave die hard.
UPDATE: Mrs. Obama isn’t wearing Vera Wang. Vera Wang IS wearing Vera Wang. Christiane Amanpour showed up wearing Armani. And Wendy Murdoch, who is Asian, showed up sans Rupert.
Barbara Streisand on why she was invited: “I worked in a Chinese restaurant.” She enters wearing “lots of diamond necklaces,” according to the pool report.
Below please find the dinner menu. No skimping for Mr. Hu, right down to the lemon sorbet to cleanse the palette after the first course.
I asked a senior White House official about the likelihood that most Americans would not be eating lobster as an appetizer tonight. He said, “Well, let them eat crab.”
D’Anjou Pear Salad with Farmstead Goat Cheese Fennel, Black Walnuts, and White Balsamic
Poached Maine Lobster Orange Glazed Carrots and Black Trumpet Mushrooms Dumol Chardonnay “Russian River” 2008
Dry Aged Rib Eye with Buttermilk Crisp Onions Double Stuffed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach Quilceda Creek Cabernet “Columbia Valley” 2005
Old Fashioned Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream Poet’s Leap Riesling “Botrytis” 2008