So, Donald J. Trump’s first official state dinner was a thing that happened. The good news is that as far as we can tell nobody from the Trump family threw a pie. The less good news, of course, is that it was less a celebration of the good relations between the two countries than a celebration of folks Donald Trump personally either likes or is trying to extract favors from. So, a bunch of billionaires.
There was Stephen Schwarzman, the billionaire chief of Blackstone and Trump confidant, and David Rubenstein, the Carlyle Group co-founder and Washington philanthropist. Luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault was in attendance, as were Apple CEO Tim Cook, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, KKR co-founder Henry Kravis, 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Goldman Sachs Executive Vice President John F.W. Rogers.
There was room for Donald’s personal guests because he did not bother with the usual formalities of inviting congressional Democrats. He also didn’t bother to invite most of his own cabinet, or his top diplomat, for that matter.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards was the only elected Democrat in attendance — but Apple’s Cook arrived with former Obama EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, now an executive at Apple, as his date.
It’s hard not to like Tim Cook. That’s some high-quality trolling, right there.
All right, fine, whatever. It’s not like state dinners exist for any other reason than to allow America’s most powerful people all be important together. We should just be glad that there was no international incident, given the frequency with which the Trump crew falls into international incidents. Nobody got hit with a pie, nobody threw a punch, and all the very important people got a fine meal and validating pictures of themselves with other important people.
Still, everything is just a wee bit off, with this crowd. Just a wee bit off.
Mnuchin arrived with his wife, Louise Linton, who wore a Roberto Cavalli gown. She said she was looking forward to “everything French,” and Mnuchin said he was looking forward to “more French.”