President Barack Obama and visiting French President Francois Hollande will be joined by more than 300 notable guests in a tentlike heated pavilion on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday for a dinner whose menu includes caviar, rib-eye steak, chocolate cake and cotton candy.
Who picks up the tab? Taxpayers, sure, but specifically a special fund overseen by the U.S. State Department’s chief of protocol. Now, thanks to Mark Knoller of CBS News, the peerless White House press corps' authority on presidential data, we for the first time have a sense of just how much such dinners cost.
Here’s what Knoller squeezed out of the State Department’s Office of Protocol 13 months after submitting a Freedom of Information request:
The 300-guest November 2009 dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh — best remembered for Michaele and Tariq Salahi’s ability to crash the party — cost $572,187.36.
It was the president’s first state dinner and also the most expensive of the five state orRead More »from Obama’s state dinners cost how much?