From the “While Rome burns” file, we find this over-played fiddle — but at least the author made it all the way to the second paragraph before finding a way to knock Bush:

The first dinner party in a new house is a test for every hostess and an awkward eater is the last thing she needs. In Michelle Obama’s case, not only is her first guest of honour an abstemious vegetarian, but the whole world will be watching.

On Tuesday the Obamas host their first state banquet since taking office in January. After the staid years of President George W Bush, who liked to be in bed by 9pm, Washington is desperate for some glamour.

Bush was too preoccupied with frivolous issues, like not delaying decisions on troops requests and other matters.

Actually Bush had many state dinners — most of them even lasted until after 9 p.m. — so that little Bush bash is a bit forced. As for “glamour,” George and Laura didn’t exactly wear jeans and t-shirts at their state dinners.

Bush also hosted a state dinner for India just last year, as Obama is doing this year:

While the Kennedys’ banquet was for the president of Pakistan, the Obamas are hosting the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, a strict vegetarian. This enables Michelle to showcase her White House vegetable garden, which has come to symbolise her campaign for healthy eating.

As long as Singh doesn’t read this before dinner, he should have an enjoyable meal.

One criticism Bush certainly would have gotten right now that Obama will be spared is hosting a lavish dinner while the economy is in a downward death spiral and Afghanistan is going so badly.

All I know is that Obama would be wise to keep Singh away from Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden — Hillary might ask him what gas station he works at, and Sheriff Joe will try to order donuts and Slurpees from him.

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