August 5th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
8 years ago

White House preparing for ‘state dinner times 50’

Updated 12:15 p.m. ET, 8/6/2014

Washington (CNN) — Planning and executing a White House dinner for one foreign leader is hard enough — for every perfectly arranged place setting is a sari-wearing party crasher or a recently separated French president.

The careful display of protocol will only be multiplied Tuesday when fifty African leaders — in town for an historic summit convened by President Barack Obama — arrive at the White House for a formal dinner.

Battle-tested White House staffers have been busy ensuring the menu (tomato soup, aged beef) and entertainment (Lionel Richie) align with rules of etiquette and diplomacy that dictate these kinds of events.

To wit: servers are prepared to identify who will drink wine, and who will abstain because their Islamic faith forbids it.


Filed under: State Dinner • White House