A state dinner hosted by Barack Obama for that man about town, French President François Hollande, featured fascinating tidbits from the star-studded guest list as to their connections with anything French, according to pool reports.
Obama, in contrast to his patronizing gift to the Queen of England of an iPod loaded with Obama’s speeches, gave the French Socialist President a custom-designed table which was partially made from wood from a fallen oak tree at Mount Vernon, the home of President George Washington. The table has a handcrafted replica of the key to the Bastille that the Marquis de Lafayette gave to President Washington in 1790 in the center of it.
Some of the comments by guests as to their connections with France:
- Sen. Michael Bennet: “The people.”
- J.J. Abrams: His junior year of college was in France.
- Sen. Chuck Schumer: “The food… I like everything.”
- Actress Mindy Kaling: “My love of French food.”
- Mary J. Blige: Her last name is French
- Al Sharpton: He’s learning French, and showed it, chanting, “Oui, oui, oui.”
- Nancy Pelosi: “I’m wearing Armani.”
Then there were the guests there just to have a good time:
- Jason Collins: “Just having fun. Just enjoying life.”
- CNN’s Jeff Zucker: “Just here to have some fun.”
- NAACP’s Ben Jealous: “most looking forward to have fun with my friend Stacy Abrams.”
Then there were the guests who have carried forth the Obama agenda:
- Edith Windsor, whose suit against the federal government for denying her tax benefits after her lesbian partner died killed the Defense of Marriage Act last year.
- Windsor’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who bleated, “My French connection? I’m the lawyer representing Edie Windsor.”
- Jill Abramson, New York Times executive editor, who said nothing.