White House hosted most expensive state dinner ever for Indian PM (who didn’t eat) - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
White House hosted most expensive state dinner ever for Indian PM (who didn’t eat)
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According to a Freedom of Information Act request from CBS News, Americans have paid out $1.5 million to feed the Obama family and their guests as they entertain Heads of State at the White House. That number is, of course, hardly surprising. A good state dinner should run you into the hundreds of thousands lest that person’s country encounter a faux pas or a bad potato, thus destabilizing an otherwise natural and congenial diplomatic relationship. Plus, the Obama Administration has, through State Dinners, unwittingly launched at least one reality television career. So it practically pays for itself.

This time, however, the White House hosted newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a dinner that cost approximately half a million, even though the guest of honor didn’t eat a single bite. While the President’s entourage dined on fresh halibut, roti crisps, saffron basmati rice and mango creme brulee, PM Mondi drank a glass of warm water, in observance of a nine-day ritualistic fast.

At least the Indian PM was nice about it.

At a dinner hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had only warm water, but asked the rest of the guests not to feel awkward on his account and continue with their meal, a foreign ministry official said.

A plate was put before the Prime Minister in accordance with protocol, but he stuck to the warm water he has been drinking right through the trip. Prime Minister Modi is now on the sixth day of the nine-day Navratri fast, a ritual he observes strictly every year.

Oddly, the White House didn’t restrict the meal to a vegetarian menu, though most Indians prefer it out of a religious reverence for meat. I guess they figured they may as well eat what they wanted if the guest of honor was passing on the meal.

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