March 15th, 2012
04:30 PM ET
Alongside notable figures from Hollywood to Washington at the State Dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday night, there were also 47 so-called bundlers, or mega-fundraisers, for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign that made the exclusive guest list. A bundler is a fundraiser who bundles donations from others on behalf of the campaign. Combined, this group of fundraisers has raised at least $10 million for the president – and likely much, much more.
The Obama campaign provides a list of these “volunteer fundraisers” on its website, but rather than reveal exactly how much they have raised, they simply place the donors into tiers. Thirteen of the dinner attendees raised more than a half a million dollars for the president, 24 raised between $200,000 and $500,000, eight raised between $100,000 and $200,000 and three between $50,000 and $100,000.
Here’s a full list of the bundlers who attended and how much they’ve raised: FULL POST
March 14th, 2012
11:08 PM ET
Concluding the official visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Washington D.C., the president and first lady hosted Cameron and his wife at a State Dinner on the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday evening. As yet another signifier of the importance of the so-called special relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain, the White House opted for a full State Dinner despite the fact that the dinner’s honoree is the head of the British government and not its head of state.
During the toasts, both leaders mixed humor with sincerity in expressing the importance of their friendship and the close relationship between the nations they lead.
“In all of our interactions, including today, I've learned something about David,” President Obama said. “In good times and in bad he's just the kind of partner that you want at your side. I trust him. He says what he does and he does what he says. I've seen his character, and I've seen his commitment to human dignity during Libya. I've seen his resolve, his determination to get the job done, whether it's righting our economies or succeeding in Afghanistan.”
For his turn Cameron also pointed to Obama's foreign policy successes in killing Osama bin Laden and aiding opposition forces in Libya to commend the president for his “strength, moral authority and wisdom.”
“Barack, it is an honor to call you an ally, a partner and a friend,” Cameron said. “You don't get to choose the circumstances you have to deal with as a president or a prime minister, and you don't get to choose the leaders that you have to work with, but all I can say is that it is a pleasure to work with someone with moral strength, with clear reason and with fundamental decency in this task of renewing our great national alliance for today and for the generations to follow.”
To lighten the mood, Obama read some press accounts of his visit to London in 2011, during which he and Cameron exchanged beers from their native countries, hosted a barbeque for service members and played table tennis with local students.
“One news story said David Cameron and Barack Obama cemented their special relationship by hitting the bottle,” Obama said to laughter from the crowd. FULL POST
March 14th, 2012
06:15 PM ET
March 14th, 2012
04:41 PM ET
Mrs. Obama gave a short preview of tonight's State Dinner to a group of local students this afternoon in the State Dining Room. Explaining the intricate dance required to serve dinner for 150 guests, the first lady described the kitchen to the audience.
"The White House is a big place, but the kitchen is really teeny. You wouldn't believe it - it's a little bitty kitchen, so they have to really man the engines to make it happen," Mrs. Obama explained.
March 14th, 2012
02:22 PM ET
The White House will host a State Dinner Performance on the South Lawn following the dinner, featuring performances by Mumford and Sons and selections by John Legend.
The theme of the décor for the United Kingdom State Dinner is “America’s Backyard.” Traditionally, America’s backyards are places of gathering and entertaining close friends and family. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom makes this “backyard” celebration a quintessentially American event.
Located in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House, the State Dinner encouraged a celebration of American gardens. The grounds of the White House are in clear view through the 150 foot-wide glass wall of the dinner tent. In honor of our guests, the beauty of countryside English gardens is also incorporated into the design by Rafanelli Events. Planters and centerpieces used at the dinner are intended to emulate nature and the flowing “landscape gardens” that are common in England. The English have also become widely known for their flower borders, with perennials, annuals, and sometimes shrubs combining to form masses of color. The design of the tent embraces this passion for color in the floral arrangements, lighting, amethyst linens and matching carpet. Roses—the national flower of both countries—play a major role in the floral arrangements.
March 14th, 2012
01:44 PM ET
From the White House regarding the State Dinner menu:
The President and Mrs. Obama will host Prime Minister David Cameron and Mrs. Cameron for a State Dinner this evening. The State Dinner will be held in a tent on the South Lawn of the White House. White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford and White House Executive Pastry Chef William Yosses have carefully constructed the evening’s menu using local ingredients, including produce grown in the White House Kitchen Garden.
A Winter Harvest Dinner: The United Kingdom State Dinner takes its inspiration from the Kitchen Garden’s late winter harvest and some early spring greens, which chefs harvested the day before the dinner. The White House Kitchen Garden uses hoop houses—simple metal frames covered by plastic tarps—to grow produce throughout the winter months. During the day, the plastic traps heat from the sun, and at night that heat protects plants from freezing temperatures. Using this method, produce thrives in the White House Kitchen Garden throughout the year.
An American wine will be paired with each course.
March 14th, 2012
08:16 AM ET
It's all things British today at the White House with the official visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron. It's a day of pomp and circumstance here at the White House and President and Mrs. Obama welcome Mr. and Mrs. Cameron on the South Lawn for the official welcome ceremony. The two leaders will make brief remarks and there will be a review of the troops. Afterwards, the two leaders will have a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office followed by an extended bilateral meeting with their respective delegations. We'll hear from both leaders at a press conference in the Rose Garden close to noon. We expect each leader to take two questions from their press corps. Tonight is the big state dinner on the South Lawn. We'll hear both leaders give toasts and we'll get a taste of the entertainment.
For a full release of the White House's schedule, click below. FULL POST
February 29th, 2012
10:35 AM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) –The war in Iraq ended without much fanfare, but months later President Obama and the first lady are hosting a dinner to pay tribute to the troops who served and the families who supported them.
Two hundred people are expected to attend the Wednesday night gala at the White House, including former Marine Eric Alva who in 2003 became the first service member wounded in the Iraq war. This won't be Alva's first trip to the White House. He also attended the president's signing ceremony of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in December 2010.
Other highly decorated Iraq veterans will also be honored.
Army Col. Peter Newell served two tours and was awarded Silver and Bronze Stars, a Joint Service Achievement Medal and Presidential Unit Citation.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Sebastian Ellis was awarded a Bronze star with Valor and Army Commendation Medal with Valor in his three tours of duty.
And Chief Warrant Officer 4 Nelson Visaya received the Distinguish Flying Cross and Air Medal with Valor awards during his two tours.
October 13th, 2011
11:24 PM ET
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcome South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his wife Kim Yoon-ok in the Cross Hall as they arrive for a State Dinner at the White House.