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 She has been replaced by Democratic fundraiser Julianna Smoot.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
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...