Hosting world leaders is certainly a tricky, maneuvering business. Unintended snubs, a poor choice of words -- suddenly, diplomatic catastrophe. Which brings us to Herbie Hancock.
Now, putting aside the fact that Chinese President Hu Jintao apparently didn't get the memo that Wednesday's state dinner was black tie, there is this other matter about entertainment.
When President Obama hosted a state dinner for Mexico last year, the entertainment was singer Beyonce Knowles. A year earlier at a state dinner for India, it was Jennifer Hudson. For China, they got Herbie Hancock.
Really? Items for discussion: Was this a passive-aggressive snub to China? Will there be diplomatic repercussions? Does the downgrade in entertainment in any way reflect Obama's decline in the polls? Or, worse, do the Obamas actually like Herbie Hancock?
We understand he is a jazz legend. But still. Is he cool? From the pool report:
After POTUS and FLOTUS were introduced, pool ushered into East Room at 10 p.m.
The room was decorated in purple and orange drapes with low mood lighting. Each chair was adorned with a covering (alternating between orange, blue and fuchsia).
Pooler noticed VPOTUS and Dr. Biden on the front row. First children, Sasha and Malia, were also on the first row with their grandmother.
About 300 guests were in attendance. Jazz great Herbie Hancock was introduced. He and he band played. FLOTUS could be seen moving her head to the beat.
The pool was escorted out after first song.