The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

February 12, 2014

Stag French leader gets warm state dinner embrace

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle and Barack Obama found just the right spot to seat a gent going stag to Tuesday's state dinner: They plopped French President Francois Hollande down right between them in a giant party tent, and put the pshaw to all that drama about his solo trip to the U.S. after a very public breakup from his first lady.

The A-list guest roster for the biggest social event of Obama's second term — flush with celebrities, Democratic donors, politicians and business types — mostly tried not to go there, tactfully avoiding talk about "l'affaire Hollande."

"I don't get involved in those things," demurred actress Cicely Tyson, who at age 80 said she's been to plenty of state dinners over the years.

Former NAACP official Ben Jealous was nothing but admiring of the French intrigue.

"I think the French are way cooler than we are on a whole lot of fronts," he said, including way better gossip.

On a frigid night, the evening's pomp and pageantry were all designed to wrap Hollande in a comfy blanket of warmth, from the moment he stepped out of his limo and onto a red carpet on the White House north portico. The Obamas were there on the front steps to greet him, the first lady clad in a black and liberty blue silk gown by Carolina Herrera.

The dinner's celebrity quotient included actors Bradley Cooper, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mindy Kaling and Tyson. Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert somehow managed to snag a seat right next to the first lady. There were plenty of politicians, per usual. And in a midterm election year, the Obamas invited in more than two dozen donors to Obama's campaigns and the Democratic Party. Among them were Irwin Jacobs, the Qualcomm Inc. founder who has given more than $2 million to pro-Obama super PACs, and Jane Stetson, the Democratic National Committee's finance chair.

Text Only
AP National
  • Obama voices skepticism on Russia in Ukraine WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama conveyed skepticism Thursday about Russian promises to de-escalate a volatile situation in Ukraine, and said the United State and its allies are ready to impose fresh sanctions if Moscow doesn't make good on i

    April 18, 2014

  • Late sign-ups improve outlook for Obama health law WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults. Nonetheless, Obama's announcemen

    April 18, 2014

  • Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret Service investigators say they are close to gaining a full understanding of the methods hackers used to breach Target's computer systems last December. But the agency says it could take years to identify the criminals who sto

    April 18, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. UKRAINIAN MILITIA DENIES CALLS TO FREE BUILDINGS Pro-Russian insurgents in the east who have been occupying government buildings say they will

    April 18, 2014

  • White House updating online privacy policy WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether

    April 18, 2014

  • A year after background check defeat, modest goals WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic worries about this November's elections, a lack of Senate votes and House opposition are forcing congressional gun-control supporters to significantly winnow their 2014 agenda, a year after lawmakers scuttled President Ba

    April 16, 2014

  • Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies WASHINGTON (AP) — Negative campaigning and mudslinging may be a fact of life in American politics, but can false accusations made in the heat of an election be punished as a crime? That debate makes its way to the Supreme Court next week as the justi

    April 16, 2014

  • College Board provides a glimpse of new SAT WASHINGTON (AP) — Anxious students — not to mention their parents — can get a heads-up for how the redesigned SAT might look in two years. Sample questions for the new version of the college-entrance test were released on Wednesday by the College Boa

    April 16, 2014

  • End of NYPD Muslim surveillance program applauded NEW YORK (AP) — Muslim groups and civil liberties advocates applauded the decision by New York Police Department officials to disband a controversial unit that tracked the daily lives of Muslims as part of efforts to detect terrorism threats, but the

    April 16, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. NEARLY 300 PEOPLE ARE MISSING AFTER KOREAN BOAT SINKS The accident involving a ferry that was headed to a tourist island killed three passenger

    April 16, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National