The recent White House State Dinner to entertain French President Francois Hollande has people talking all over the nation. Many are criticizing the cost of the opulent dinner while others are criticizing the cost of First Lady Michelle Obama's designer dress. Neither of those things bother me.
The dinner itself, a lavish spread served in a large, well heated tent on the White House lawn (to emulate Claude Monet's Water Lilies paintings, with quince branches in full bloom, irises, blue agapanthus and lilies.) is said to have had a price tag of about $2 million. Not that big of a deal, in my book, for the President to throw a dinner party like that for a visiting President. I'm certain G.W. Bush and other Presidents before him threw expensive parties in similar situations. It's what Presidents do.
Mrs. Obama's dress doesn't concern me either. She is supposed to dress accordingly for state functions and, as such, is entitled to wear what she wants. Personally I would prefer that she pay for her own designer clothes (and I don't know that she didn't in this case) but $12,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to other tax-payer funded expenditures by this White House. So I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
No - what got me going about the whole thing are the comments made by liberal, Washington Post "journalist" Sally Quinn on CNN the other night. Quinn is the one who estimated the cost of Michelle Obama's dress (and probably did so with inside information) but then went on to make some pretty amazing comments about the Obamas and spending/entertaining.
"The Obamas have entertained less; had fewer state dinners than most presidents because they don't particularly like to entertain. They keep to themselves a lot, but also because of the economy. I mean, you know, they... when people are starving and don't have jobs, it doesn't look good to spend too much money, but I think that the economy is up enough now and it's important for us to entertain the French. So I think this is... it's worth every penny."
I have a question for Ms. Quinn.... "What planet do you live on?"
Spending money in the wake of the floundering economy has never been a concern of the Obama's. From their lavish, frequent, multi-million dollar vacations, both together and separate, to their multi-million dollar "official" trips, to their use of separate planes to go to the same place, the Obama's have never let the economy interfere with their lifestyle. A few years ago President Obama spoke on national TV about how many Americans were having to tighten their belts and maybe weren't able to take a vacation they wanted to take - just a week before he himself took the family on an expensive, ten-day trip to Hawaii. No - the economy hasn't slowed them down.
Ms. Quinn says the Obama's have entertained less not only because of the economy but because they simply don't like to entertain. I would take exception to that statement as well. I believe it could be true they do not like to host state dinners for visiting dignitaries. I doubt President Obama personally likes too many other leaders from around the world. Being the narcissist he is I'm sure he believes they are beneath him in world stature, intelligence and ability. So it wouldn't surprise me if he hates that type of entertainment. But let's not pretend he doesn't like to entertain.
How many celebrity events has he hosted at the White House? How many big name concerts has he held at the White House? It's not the entertaining he doesn't like - it's certain guest lists. If it's a celebrity from the entertainment industry he's all over it. And while "people are starving and don't have jobs" as Ms. Quinn said - the taxpayers are still footing the bill for these parties.
Sally Quinn went from liberal journalist to Obama cheerleader in one short interview. Funny how that works. They just can't hide their love of Obama for long. I can't help but wonder how, as the lies, deceit and cover-ups from the White House only seem to increase, people can continue to be in that cheerleading squad. I guess once you voluntarily join the squad your ego won't allow you to change your mind.