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Thread: Melania v the Oscars: First lady will host White House ball

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005

    Melania v the Oscars: First lady will host White House ball

    Melania v the Oscars: First lady will host White House ball at same time as movie ceremony (so her husband should avoid awkward anti-Trump speeches)

    First lady Melania Trump will host her first large-scale White House event Sunday, a gala for the nation's governors
    The event will take place at the same time as the Academy Awards - preventing the president from viewing any anti-Trump speeches that might occur live
    Press Secretary Sean Spicer pointed out the scheduling conflict at the press briefing today when asked if the president planned to watch the Oscars

    By Nikki Schwab, U.s. Political Reporter For
    Published: 14:25 EST, 22 February 2017 | Updated: 09:54 EST, 23 February 2017

    Melania Trump will be hosting her first big White House ball Sunday and it's scheduled for the same time as Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pointed out this scheduling conflict when asked by a reporter today if the president planned to watch the Oscars – and respond to any criticism of his administration coming from the starlets on stage.

    Spicer noted how the president and first lady will be hosting the Governors' Ball that night, which is part of the National Governors Association's winter meeting in Washington.

    'Mrs. Trump looks forward to putting on a phenomenal event,' Spicer said. 'And the first lady's put a lot of time into this event that's going to occur, welcoming our nation's governors to the capital and I have a feeling that that's where the president and the first lady are going to be focused on, on Sunday night.'

    'And so we'll go from there,' Spicer added.

    Debra Saunders, White House correspondent for the Las Vegas Journal-Review, had posed the question, bringing up what she called the 'Meryl Streep moment,' asking Spicer why he thought Hollywood celebrities were speaking out against Trump.

    'I have no idea, it's a free country,' he said, adding, 'I think Hollywood is known for being rather far to the left in its opinion.'

    Without ever using Trump's name, Streep went after the new president at the Golden Globes ceremony last month, particularly knocking him for making fun of a disabled reporter, which Trump has said he didn't actually do.

    'There was one performance this year that stunned me,' the award-winning actress said.

    Trump took to Twitter the next day to offer a rebuttal.

    'Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes,' the president said in a series of tweets. 'She is a Hillary flunky who lost big.'

    Trump added that he didn't mock a disabled reporter 'but simply showed him "groveling" when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!'

    Critics suggested that Trump's response was beneath the office of president of the United States.

    This time around, Trump will have a glitzy distraction to keep him occupied.

    The ball, which is an annual tradition, will bring governors of both political persuasions to the White House and will give the public their first peek of Melania Trump in the role of White House host.

    'It is really considered kind of the first formal state dinner-type event at the White House, particularly with a new administration,' said Anita McBride, who most recently worked in the White House as Laura Bush's chief of staff.

    The former aide, who now is an Executive-in-Residence at American University, also said the dinner has taken place during the Oscars in past years as well.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Hey Everyone! I stumbled onto this and the only MSM article I could find on it was the .... Daily Mall, UK. "Sad!"

    I hope there's some pictures and photos. Wish there was a Live Stream of the Event. If anyone can find one tomorrow (well later today at this point), the event is tonight, Sunday night, Feb 26, starting at 6:45 pm, please post it on ALIPAC so those of us who enjoy such can watch it!!

    Thank you!!

    P. S. I can't believe none of our MSM broadcasting companies said anything about this yet. For Trump Supporters and others as well, our first White House Ball by our new President and First Lady is a big deal to US. Shame on them.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member lsmith1338's Avatar
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    Hey Judy read this story the other day, boy that Melania is no dumb bunny she picked this exact date for a reason. Also could not find any live stream on the ball as of now but will watch my twitter feed to see if anything shows up and I will post it later if I find anything. I am sure there will at least be pictures though.
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  4. #4
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Trump social team prepares to host ritzy Governors' Dinner

    By Kate Bennett, CNN
    Updated 8:12 AM ET, Sun February 26, 2017

    (CNN)While many Americans watch the Academy Awards on Sunday, governors of the United States will be reveling in a different kind of glamor -- in person, at the White House.

    The first big social event of President Donald Trump's administration, the annual Governors Dinner, will take place Sunday evening. What does it entail? And will the White House be ready?

    The highlight of the National Governors Association's annual meeting in Washington, the dinner is considered one of the year's "major events," says Jeremy Bernard, President Barack Obama's social secretary from 2011 to 2015.

    "It is referred to as a gala, and it's black-tie," Bernard said. "There is a receiving line in the Blue Room during the reception. The dinner takes place in the State Dining Room, with the president, the first lady, the vice president, the second lady and all of the guests." Typically, the president gives a welcome speech and toast.

    Laura Dowling, who served as chief White House floral designer under Obama for six years, echoes Bernard.

    "The Governor's Dinner is one of the most important social events held at the White House each year," she said. "In terms of scope, style and planning requirements, it is just one step below a state dinner in organizational complexity."

    White House State Dining Room 2010. Black and white-patterned linens and bright coral flowers create an elegant backdrop with table décor selected from the historic White House collection: gold-rimmed Clinton base plates, coral-red Reagan china, Charleston candlesticks, King Charles flatware, and eagle motif place card holders. Illuminated with votive and taper candles and mirrored centerpiece containers capturing the candlelight and flowers.

    The White House appears to understand the need to make a solid first impression on its guests come Sunday; press secretary Sean Spicer earlier this week told reporters that First Lady Melania Trump was deep into the planning.

    "Mrs. Trump looks forward to putting on a phenomenal event, and the First Lady has put a lot of time into this event that's going to occur in welcoming our nation's governors to the Capitol," he said. "And I have a feeling that that's where the President and the First Lady are going to be focused on Sunday night, and so we'll go from there."

    Spicer's remarks were confirmation that there is activity in the East Wing, which more than one month into Trump's presidency still has just two official staff members in the office of the First Lady.

    Lindsay Reynolds, the chief of staff, and Rickie Niceta Lloyd, the social secretary, have been on board a handful of weeks; and the acting senior adviser to the First Lady, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, is reportedly splitting her time between New York City and Washington.

    One of the First Lady's longtime friends and confidants, Winston Wolkoff was previously been the events director at Vogue magazine, orchestrating high-wattage events like the Met Gala.

    Bernard, who currently resides in Los Angeles and is co-authoring a book with George W. Bush's former White House social secretary Lea Berman, agrees that planning for the Governors Dinner has likely been well underway since January 20, or even prior, as was the case during his tenure as head facilitator of White House events.

    "The majority of the decisions had been decided by now, probably still working on table seating with some last-minute changes," recalls Bernard. "On Saturday, or Friday afternoon, depending on what is occurring at the White House, the decor was put into place and the entertainment rehearsed on Saturday or Sunday for the post-dinner reception."

    Under the Obama administration, entertainment for the Governors Dinner ranged from Hall & Oates one year to Earth, Wind & Fire, who kicked off the very first dinner in 2009.

    Bernard added that Obama particularly liked singer Sara Bareilles, who performed at the dinner in 2014: "He mentioned it to me several times in the next week."

    The current White House hasn't yet revealed entertainment details about Sunday's extravaganza; requests for comment by CNN have gone unanswered.

    Bernard speculates from his experience that the first big dinner will be, and should be, an all-hands-on-deck situation, especially for White House residence staff, who stay on from administration to administration, only leaving if they are officially let go.

    "Though I'm not certain how much staff is in place now, considering how late the hires have been for the East Wing, I would assume a great deal of the work has probably fallen to the White House ushers, especially the chief usher, Angella Reid, the florist, the calligrapher's office, the Military Office, which provides social aides, and White House Intergovernmental Affairs staff," Bernard said.

    "They probably would need volunteers, due to lack of staff, for check-in at entrances," he said. "An event designer might be assisting in the event. This would seem likely considering the constraints."

    Michelle Obama in the White House kitchen does a preview of the 2009 Governors Dinner menu.

    "Because the dinner honors the country's highest elected state officials, the governors of the 50 states, the event has a definite air of pomp and circumstance," says Dowling, who oversaw the design and preparation of the flowers and incorporating them into the décor. "I would start thinking about concepts, color schemes and story themes to present to the First Lady. My process involved developing a concept or overarching theme, a color palette for linens, flowers and table décor that would carry out the First Lady's vision of making it a warm and welcoming place for all of her guests."

    White House State Dining Room 2011. A vivid bouquet of orange and fuchsia flowers with accents of hot pink Phalaenopsis orchids makes a strong statement for the annual National Governors Association Dinner at the White House state dining room.

    The historic "Charleston" candlesticks are wrapped with blooming jasmine vine. The Lady Bird and President Johnson china service, featuring wildflowers from across America, reflects the gathering of Governors from all 50 states.

    Dowling, author of the recently released book "Floral Diplomacy at the White House," also dipped into the historic elements available to her, things that only the White House has at its disposal.

    "One year we used the Johnson china, with its symbolism of Lady Bird Johnson's 'wildflowers across America' motif, to underscore the all-American theme," she said. "In general, I always tried to incorporate special pieces from the White House collection in my décor presentations -- the Jackie Kennedy vermeil bamboo centerpieces, the engraved 1939 World's Fair glassware, the King Charles flatware -- since these were the things that made an evening at the White House unique and memorable," she said.

    It is the First Lady, ultimately, and the President, who make the final decisions on an event of this size, says Bernard, who worked closely with Michelle Obama weeks in advance of the governors dinners.

    "Mrs. Obama was very active in the planning," he said. "I would usually bring her three theme options for her to review. Usually in January, I would have three tables set up -- sometimes four -- each a different design example, and she would often mix and match what was proposed. So she might switch the chairs from one design to the one she chose. She would often change the flowers from one to another. The review of the options was set up in the Diplomatic Room or Family Dining Room, whatever was free at the time."

    Melania Trump's arrival in Washington is anticipated this weekend; she has spent the past two weekends in Palm Beach at the first couple's "winter White House," Mar-a-Lago, which already has the distinction of being a Trump brand. The White House, however, is very much a clean slate, and the event will set the tone for what could be to come.

    "The Governors' Dinner is an opportunity for the new first lady to usher in a new era of elegant White House entertaining," says Dowling. "I think it's an exciting time."
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  5. #5
    MW is offline
    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    I have no plans of watching the Academy Awards or the White House ball. Not into actor, actress, or politician worship. Will be watching Black Sails on Starz at 9:00 though.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Some of us just miss the grand ole days at the White House, especially during the Kennedy and Reagan years with their beautiful galas and state dinners, and hope we have some of those again. I guess the Obamas had them, but there wasn't much coverage of them at least not that I saw anyway.
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