Dinner for Mexican leader gets Washington guessing

Prepare for dubious talk-show jokes when Barack and Michelle Obama hold a state dinner tomorrow for the President and First Lady of Mexico. Will they secure the White House borders properly this time to keep undocumented aliens from taking a seat at the table? Will the Governor of Arizona be there to eject the unwanted?

None of this will amuse either the hosts or their guests. But as preparations accelerate for the gala in honour of Mexico's head of state, the buzz in Washington is less about what will be on the menu (radishes will feature prominently, apparently) but whether the ghastly debacle of their first state dinner – for the President of India last November – will be repeated.

The success of that first occasion was instantly overshadowed by revelations that three people managed to get in – and perilously close to President Obama – apparently without invitations. One was a party promoter in Washington, DC, and the others were Michaele and Tareq Salahi, a Virginia couple now on the brink of a reality TV career.

The fallout from the November breaches is barely over. A grand jury is working to see if the Salahis broke any laws by gate-crashing the Indian gala. In April, President Obama's social secretary, Desiree Rogers, left her job in part because of her role in the mess. She has been replaced by Democratic fundraiser Julianna Smoot.

That all the chatter now is about how Ms Smoot is doing and whether new security measures will work. This may frustrate President Felipe Calderon in particular, who will be accompanied by his wife, Margarita Zavala. He has urgent matters to discuss during his visit, including the still stuttering attempts by Washington to institute immigration reform and the new crackdown on "illegals" in Arizona that has created a wide human rights backlash.

What those new steps will be exactly for what will be only the second state dinner since Mr Obama took office, no one will say. But it is safe to assume that the Secret Service will be deploying some extra hefty bouncers, that more lists and officials with marker pens will be on hand to check off names – among them, we are told, Salma Hayek and Eva Longoria Parker of Desperate Housewives.

Be assured, the velvet rope around the White House tomorrow evening will be laced with steel.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee