Americans are suffering. The economy has imploded, sending food and gas prices soaring. Inflation is skyrocketing, nearly rising to double digits amid worries of a recession. Things are so bad that one in four Americans just skipped Thanksgiving to save money, one poll found.
But President Joe Biden is throwing a lavish party for 400 on Thursday at the White House. Who pays? You do.
The White House sent out a slew of pool reports on Wednesday detailing the upcoming state dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron.
First, imagine how much it costs to serve 400 people:
- Butter Poached Maine Lobster
- American Osetra Caviar
- Delicata Squash Raviolo
- Tarragon Sauce
- Calotte of Beef, Shallot Marmalade
- Triple Cooked Butter Potatoes
- Sunchoke & Creamed Watercress
- Red Wine Reduction
That’s just the main course. There are a slew of “artisanal cheeses,” endless wine, and three desserts: Orange Chiffon Cake, Roasted Pears with Citrus Sauce, Crème Fraiche Ice Cream.
White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford told reporters gathered for a walkthrough that the choice of lobster is to “honor… our lobstermen from Maine who really have to like work pretty hard because they had to ship 200 live lobsters to us yesterday morning.”
Well, isn’t that special? And in case you think this is all made up, the White House sent out nearly a dozen pool reports, thousands of words in all, with endless details about the extravagant dinner the likes of which you never have — and likely never will — enjoy.
How’d they get so many lobsters? “We contacted our fishmonger,” Comerford said. Don’t have a fishmonger? What plebeians.
There was a nice little twist on this, by the way. Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) slapped Biden on Twitter, saying the president is a hypocrite for over-regulating the lobster industry, then buying a bunch for dinner (with your money).
“If the Biden White House can prioritize purchasing 200 Maine lobsters for a fancy dinner, @POTUS should also take the time to meet with the Maine lobstermen his administration is currently regulating out of business,” Golden tweeted. So much for “honoring” those lobstermen.
Comerford said he’ll have 30 chefs on the savory side for the three courses while dessert chef Susie Morrison will oversee at least 12 more. Money is no problem since you’re paying.
But Biden and the first lady are really doing it all for you, White House social secretary Carlos Elozondo said. “We miss having people in the People’s House, right? And the president and first lady entertaining and reaching out to the American people.”
Ah, then thanks!
So how much money are the president and first lady blowing for the opulent dinner? Who knows. Trying to work through all the budgets and expenditures will take ages.
But in 2014, CBS News asked the State Department for calculations for five state dinners held during the Obama presidency. The state dinner held for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 2009 cost $572,187.36 (with inflation, that’s $807,597.66 today).
A 2010 state dinner for President Felipe Calderon of Mexico cost $563,479.92, while a 2011 dinner for President Hu Jintao of China cost $412,329.73.
But that’s about all we know. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) who was chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was concerned about the cost of state dinners and in 2012 asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for some details.
“Please provide an itemized list of costs and expenses for each of the last six state dinners, including, but not limited to, amounts paid, including reimbursements, for non-government event planners, entertainers and chefs,” wrote Issa, giving Clinton two weeks to do so. She never replied.
A couple hundred years ago, colonists got fed up with the excesses of their British overlords and said, “Enough!”
The time is now to end these ostentatious dinners on the taxpayers dime.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.