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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 19, 2016 2:50pm-4:51pm EDT

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>> i have some stuff. a couple of cannoli one-liners. >> you're not italian. why do you think you're here? >> we identify as italian. >> we're jews, but we identify as italian. we spend a lot of time traveling in italy, and we almost exclusively go out for italian food. but that's as far as i can figure. >> no, that was just that day. >> shy away from politics. what is it like being in the belly of the beast right now? >> fun. it's cool. it's hard not to be overwhelmed by it when you think of the history of this here. the food. >> are you friends with mario got ellie? >> yes, yes. it's a little inconvenient, but we're happy to have it again. >> what do you think a state dinner would be like?
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>> yeah, i don't know. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> valentino. [introduction of guests] >> what are you looking forward to the most tonight, governor? >> pardon? >> oh, just a special treat to be here. i had the good fortune to serve during another administration, so i attended a state dinner at the time, but i haven't been back in a long time. and this is a special
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symbolism. it's the last state dinner. it's a special symbolism for me of italian american heritage. it's great. it's great to be here with sandra. >> you're having a bit of a reunion with some of your food network brothers. >> we're very excited about mario's menu. >> have you checked in on him to see how he's doing? >> no, but i spoke to him last weekend, so i'm sure he's doing well. he's prepared. >> nice to see you guys. have a good night. [introduction of guests]
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>> tell us what you're most looking forward to tonight. >> the prime minister, hopefully have a conversation. >> is it different with the obamas? >> a first for the obamas. >> tell us. >> it represents a good finish line when you win. >> and the shoes, are they italian? who do you think would win in a ace? a car race.
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and he jumped in it and took off it look like we were going 100 miles an hour through manhattan. [introduction of guests]
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>> i am so excited. i am very glad to be here. they are all my little babies.
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it's a lot of fun. i will probably want to do more in beauty and fashion. i cannot really sell -- say. >> bye-bye.
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it at a stated merkel.or angola what are you looking forward to tonight? >> is great to be here. the ravioli. thank you.
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>> she is the most amazing individual, besides being the first lady. i don't know what glamour will be back in the white house. she pushes the american -- designers, which is so wonderful. after jack either was nobody else.
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-- after jackie was nobody else. >> what would you like to see her where? she is very. she should be the way she is. after all these years, i think it is so easy. i know the body, i know what works for here and the colors. what are you looking forward to tonight. >> thank you. [introduction of guests]
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>> did you ever see yourself at a state dinner? >> not at all. >> what are you looking forward to? it will be important to see what mario batali does. and yes i'm wearing ralph lauren. >> thank you.
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>> i have to ask about the shoes. it is my first time here. choice?was the -- >> what are you looking forward to tonight? congratulating him.
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a lot of the musicians are putting their some are behind hillary clinton. are you doing that? -- thank you so much. [introduction of guests]
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joining us is julianna smoot. let's just talk about -- because we saw the guests coming in. how do you get an invitation? >> >> that's the most exciting. there is a lot of planning that goes into putting discussed with together. it's not just the social office. you work with the west wing, you nsc and a bunch of
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different departments within the white house. and then some from outside, other parts of the administration. that is up with a list a little larger than what you might want to have, then you have weekly meetings that are four months out with people fighting for their need to have someone in. it is a fun thing to put the list together. 400 people. >> when and how did the invite go out. >> there are calligraphers in the white house. addresseshe list with
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invitations go out around six weeks ahead of time. >> what is required of you when you receive the invitation? >> >> rsvp. if you are invited to a state dinner do everything you can to get there. say i can'teople make it? >> not very many. >> are they told to keep it a secret? the guest list didn't come out until an hour before tonight's state dinner here in >> we did not say that.
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you probably would keep it under wraps until it is announced. >> we will talk about some of the notable faces that we saw coming through tonight. first i want to show our viewers what happened moments ago when the president and the prime minister of italy and their spouses descended the grand staircase.
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the prime minister and the president coming down the grand staircase at the white house. they will go off to receive their gas and shake their hands. twitter thaton when the first lady came out with the president that she is wearing for sock she tonight --
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not -- tonight. she is wearing versailles versace. i want to show you how the first dateannounced tonight's dinner. she did it via snap chat. then when stephani, who is the entertainment tonight, she put out this city -- video -- twitter, the first lady did it had,a bunch of note had -- post-it notes, talking about a date and announced it would be at the white house with guest
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chef mario batali. and the entertainment when g --wen stefani. is doing tests in the studio. the fondness of this administration for social media, it's great. i did to state dinners, mexico and china. we did ours the traditional way. i love it to do it snapchat. it has been great to do it. you can reach so many more people to it is a great way to communicate with everyone. and people are excited about that happensthing at the white house.
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they are talking about what the first lady will wear and will be invited. we were talking about some of the people that came through. about how you decide members of congress. what was the administration's approach to how they decided what members of congress should be invited. >> the legislative affairs inice, they have a lot of what as to who he invited. we want to make it bipartisan. out.ut the invitations for membersrd time being home in their district. i didn't see a lot of members.
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nancy, of course, jack reed. it is brought up in the meetings , they are trying to get as many members of congress and as a cap. -- as they can. it is a huge level of compromise. media, names in the check todd, gayle king, what is the rationale behind inviting the media? -- there is shop effort and thought into who they would like to have their. it is a way for the press to see a state dinner, and be a part of the experience as well. i think there have been 13 of
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them they have been able to spread them out. wrapper, can you explain. he is a long-time chicago friend. there are people like jerry seinfeld. about what thinking -- let's think about our future for the last state dinner. >> you saw a number of wonderful chefs, rachel ray, sandra lee. is their friend mario batali helping to prepare the meal tonight. it is a variety of ideas. it is a cross-section of america.
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of who in that theromise, and ultimately president and first lady. >> did the prime minister get to invite anyone? >> yes. obviously, the leaders in his government. there are ahe list few celebrities, italian celebrities. that takes up a certain number of spots as well. armani, italian designer was one of the guests. in 19 -- inence 2009 he became the mayor of florence at the age of 34. at 39 he became the youngest italian rime minister for --
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prime minister. he was called the justin trudeau of italy. --had a nick aim and italian nickname which translates to the demolition man. he has been called a progressive . the president refer to the changes that he is willing to make as well. you have the military cooperation. is that -- how much of it is isicy when the white house thinking about, who should we invite for the state dinner. >> that's how they decide what country to invite. it also comes the arrival ceremony which happened this morning.
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you have the nsc helping to disarm -- determine that along with the state department. the office of protocol is involved. once that decision is made it becomes a administration wide effort to make sure we are showing the friendship that we've deal for the country that we are honoring. a i want the viewers to take look at the administration over the years and the country they have chosen to honor your it began in 2009 with india's prime minister. after that they were honoring ,he president of mexico, china then germany, south korea, u.k., japan, china, the nordic leaders were all invited for a state dinner this year and also for an been deadly. singapore was just on the second --.
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secretary has had for the sheer. that is exciting. the staff at the white house are fabulous. they are true professionals and can help you get there anything. >> how would you describe the first lady and president approach to state dinners over the years. state dinners are very serious. it is celebrating and honoring a good friendship and a diplomatic tie. isis a party, to your it it a fun dinner and it will have entertainment, and wonderful food. they want to have a little
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lightheartedness to it, to. tonight we are celebrating the accomplishments. sonsen stephani and her meet the president ahead of its police state dinner performance this evening. she was able to meet the president and the italian prime minister with her sons. president's 13, then an official visit for the pope. compare that to george w bush who had 11 state dinners and president clinton who had 28. >> that is a lot of work. it is just a difference of style. i don't think it indicates a whole lot.
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it takes a lot of effort. month, it is a lot of work. we want to make sure that everything is perfect. how many staff are working on it? .> everybody it starts with a 4:00 phone call in the morning to determine the weather. perfect. you just start that way. nerve-racking,is wanting to make sure everything is perfect for the prime minister and his wife. >> how money months in advance does this start? >> three or four. you start with the guests list.
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and you determine if you want to do it in the house. if you want to bring in a guest chef. chris comerford who is the white house chef, she is at every dinner. statemes she does the dinners rather than bringing in a ship. the floral designer has to design -- decide what colors. these i thinky of some of the desserts will be pumped tens and apples and thing -- pumpkins and apples. >> we will show our viewers the state dinner. view -- preview with the social secretary.
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the current social secretary said they were working over the weekend here and do they have volunteers that help them out? veryt was state dinners much. with a tent, they have to construct a tent. they cannot do that in one day. state dinner i worked on for mexico we had a chat. andd to be there saturday sunday, taking sure that all went ok. for all of this? , india,t state dinner cost half $1 million. compare that to sink or -- compare that to singapore, 250,000. department pays for the state dinners.
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the state department is a true partner every step of the way. patricia marshall was chief of protocol when i was social secretary and held my hand through it all the way. it matters how many people that do a tent.if you that tends to be more expensive. it can vary based on the number of people that are there. >> let's talk about the very first state dinner up for the indian prime minister. it was before you took over. it is of theer white house crashers. when you took over in 2010, what changes were made to make sure that did not happen again? >> the state dinner for india was youthful. -- it was wonderful.
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it's a shame that we had crashers come in. it was a matter of making sure we all communicated very clearly and that we knew every person on the list. a few little tweaks here and there and we have not had any problem's sense. >> secret service is in charge of this evening? >> yes. they are great partners. they will make sure everything goes smoothly. for the guest list do people have to supply their social security and all of that information? >> you have to have a government issued id. much like going on an airplane. birth. birth, place of you are checked in by the secret
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service and checked in one more time on the east side of the building. >> after that 2009 dinner, there are other interesting leaders that were honored at the white house including france's stag.ent, who came what is the protocol when a leader comes by themselves? >> i think i was on your show when that happened. it was a matter of hey, you have an extra seat. you figure out where the seating is. there, it worked out perfectly fine. >> also this year honoring the nordic countries. socialaders, as a former
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secretary, what web dealer just asked the like for that? >> i love the idea of it. the great thing about it it is a group of countries that we do have personal relationships with your it it was wonderful to have them altogether. sure that youre guests, you want to have their dietary restrictions right. it can be very different and time-consuming for each one. wet -- how do they prepare you for that? is they havehing systems that have been in place for a long time. they work with the honored says what does the
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like?minister light, -- coming as a guest and vegetarian, we will make sure you have a vegetarian plate. >> we will talk more about the food and the floral arrangements coming up. let's talk a little bit more about what we saw earlier about the arrival at the front door of the white house. where is the guest of honor coming from before they arrived by car right to the front door? >> coming from where they are staying. house, someblair may be staying at a hotel. it is hard -- we could not drive through the north road -- or to go. it is exciting that they can drive right up to the door and get out.
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the chief of protocol greets and introduces them to the resident and first lady. >> right across the street from the white house, that is where the prime minister and his wife are staying while they're in washington. couplerned and the turned for the picture and then they went back inside. where did they go from there? >> they go upstairs to the private residence. they have a smaller reception in their home. have the leadership from both governments there as well to mix and mingle for about 20 minutes and then the colors are presented to the president and the prime minister and each walk down the stairs area --. they go down the stairs.
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>> what is the tradition behind -- dissension >> you are coming into our , but also ine their personal place, their private orders. it just shows the friendship that they feel for each other and for the country. >> the marine band plays hail to the chief and other songs. as we see the president escorts everyone off. what happens next. >> they are probably doing the receiving line in the green, red and blue room. i would imagine the four of them
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would stand in the blue room and then the guests would be announced by name to the president and the prime minister and their wives. >> as they make their way into the tent when do the toast take place? >> soon after they get seated. that would be coming up very shortly, i would guess. i don't know how they are getting down to the tents. thank goodness it is a beautiful day. there are all kinds of logistics to move that many people from the building. >> i so they used the trolley for the mexico state dinner. just to get people down to the 10th. tent.
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many women wearing down -- high heels today. the first lady is also wearing a .ong down this evening a lot of people are waiting to hear about who she would be wearing and what impact that will have for the fashion industry and the designer in particular. that is something we talked about recently with the fashion critic for the washington post. motion -- michelle obama's style. style.te dinner >> when mrs. obama dresses for these occasions the thing that distinguishes her sensibility from that of first ladies who have come before her is that it rooted into a
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hollywood idea of what is glamorous. she's not wearing anything that is intricately revealing or anything like that, but a certain kind of modern edge that pops into what we are used to seeing coming down a red carpet. it is less regal and more glamorous. >> has it changed over the last eight years? >> she looked wonderful, but then, i think to some of the later dinners where she were a dress by caroline herrera.
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a dress by curling a inarera -- by carol herrera, there was an in for melody. it felt more like glamorous sports where. >> what do you think the impact has been on the role of first lady but also, some have called them diplomatic art? the first thing is, we all want to be proud of the people in the white house. in that way, we want to be proud of their hospitality. we want them to put their best foot forward.
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the notion of fashion is something that is embedded into their culture. areher part of it is, these momentous moments. house that is a norm s. into thely puts them public vernacular in a way red carpets do not but puts them in the history book. it lends a certain gravity to what they do. a certain gravity to the american fashion industry is food,s important as the the auto industry. all of the other things that go into creating that state dinner. >> how does she go about choosing her dress and choosing the designer? >> when we paint each other's
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my sense is the first thing is she wears what she wants. she wears what she feels comfortable in. i think there is some attention country beingm honored. an effort to a knowledge that directly by working with the designer who has that sort of ethnicity in their background. sometimes it is just a matter of paying tribute to a particular owerr or flour that is -- fl that is important to that country. >> last year, you wrote, she chose a vera wang dress. it was a diplomatic clarification. can you explain? >> now i am trying to remember
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what it looked like? as opposed to the one she chose for the first state dinner? >> the first dinner, it was beautiful, it was red. designed by sarah burton. a british fashion house. vera wang is a very well-known chinese-american. around, she had gotten criticism from particularly the american industry, who felt this was one of the occasions she had the opportunity to elevate american design and to wear a dress by an american designer. industry felt she
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had missed an opportunity. this was a bit of a do over. there was any knowledge and -- and knowledge meant -- an acknowledgement the first time was a misstep. wasought the herrera dress nice. of the lastnd one. it was such a surprise. one of the things she does quite well, one of the reasons people are eager to see what she is going to wear, is because she does not just go with design houses that have been around for decades. brendan mackerel hasn't even
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been in business for more than a year. wore before, had not been in business very long. that is really nice to see. she is supporting small businesses. in the true sense of the word. >> thank you for your time. and tonight's state dinner dress versace.r such a -- tweeting, she looks flawless. ceis comes from the versa fashion house. the first lady has had a major impact on the fashion industry.
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, following anlue appearance by the first lady, was $14 million. the dresses often sell out immediately. this diplomatic art. she tries to think about the diplomacy aspect. >> robin said it best. when you are honoring a certain country, she looks for a designer that might have a british background in their history. versace.n, is a wonderfully talented in doing that and looking so beautiful. it was so exciting looking and seeing those dresses. >> does she approached designers? do designers approached the white house? likes andws what she
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she is really good at it. on the other side, they are clamoring to dress her. >> does she have a stylist? she is a wonderful person who helps the first lady. you can see the work that goes into that. >> the first lady has a natural style, too. these dresses by these designers are really expensive dresses. does she pay for them herself or does she paid full price? >> yes, she does. >> to these designers ever donate the dresses? >> i think they do. i think it is a case-by-case basis. >> did they go to the national archives? >> i think that is the plan, maybe going to the obama
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library. some of the libraries have their spouses dresses on there we will see after they leave. >> why is the designer kept secret? >> that's funny. watching this, that is one of the highlights of working there. it's not like we were getting ready to say ok, guys, what do you think? we all have our headset pieces in and we think, oh she looks stunning, she looks great. she looked gorgeous. all the first ladies do when it's happening, i think. it's an exciting time. what about the president? >> he just wears a tex ito and looks great. >> has he worn the same tax the the whole -- tuxedo
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time? >> i am not sure. this is a story i can tell you. we saw the president and the prime minister come down the grand staircase. he was getting ready for a state trip to china, his button fell off. we were like, what are we going to do? around and find some thread and so the button back on. crisis averted. people were like, what took so long? i will tell you later. host: what was his reaction? guest: it's fine, it's fine. it all worked out. look back atake a michelle obama's design choices and dress choices over the past eight years. fromt together a montage the c-span archives. take a look.
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host: a look back at the first ladies dress choice for the past
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eight years at the 12 state dinners. tonight is the 13th state dinner administration, and it is the last. they are honoring italian prime minister matteo renzi, who is at the white house with his wife and 400 of their closest friends who have been invited to tonight's state dinner. there taking a look back at last eight years and what the approach has been from this administration to the state dinners. juliana is here with us in studio, former social secretary for the administration. i just went to get your reaction to this. guest chefi is the tonight. why a guest chef? is this unprecedented? guest: i do not know if the obama's were the first to bring
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in a guest chef or not, but it's a great idea, and mario, i wish we could get a sampling of the food. for the one i did for mexico, we had written a less -- rick and it was wonderful. he fixed an amazing meal and everyone was thrilled. it can be intimidating for these chefs. they prepare wonderful cuisine, but probably not for 200 people that all has to be served t the same time. that is where chris comerford comes in, the white house chef, who is just fabulous. i think she loves having these guest chefs. she gets to show them how she does things. she is right there beside them making sure everything gets out on time. the: mario was part of preparations. as we were talking, he was
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sending photos on instagram. of you can imagine the logistics of trying to get hot food out. guest: but they know how to do it. it's like the flight of the butterflies, almost. it's beautiful. host: what is the kitchen like on a night like this? inst: when they do it dinner the state dining room, they have an old family dining room just off the state dining room where they have it all set up. they have the paper down on the floor, stations set and ready to go. it is a huge production. tables and all the the stations and get it out. het: mario told one reporter wanted to bring his own ingredients and he was surprised when the white house said you can't. what kind of security is there around the president's food? guest: it's very secure, of
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course. the white house has it under lock and key and knows exactly what is coming in and what will be served. happened once with me, but they understand. host: tonight's entertainment, gwen stephani will be performing. how many songs will she saying, typically? guest: probably two or three, i would think. they had the state dinner for mexico, beyonce was there, which was great. host: how do they go about deciding who the entertainment is question mark is at the first ladies decision? and thehe first lady president have conversations about it and decide who they would like to come, who the honored guest is a fan of. it goes back to protocol. you know what flowers they like, what do they like, what kind of food they like.
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it's a research project. learned about the flowers and food that will be served tonight when we did a state dinner preview. take a look. >> good afternoon. i am the white house social secretary. it is my honor and privilege to welcome you here today for the press preview of the state dinner. tomorrow, president and mrs. the attackwell come -- welcome the italian prime minister for the 13th and final of thisnner administration. get into the delicious cuisine we plan on serving, i want to tell you about the decorah. tomorrow's dinner will be taking place on the south lawn in a tent covered in chandeliers and mirrored cocktail tables to reflect the beautiful bouquet and candlelight. we will have handmade glassware as well as neo-florentine hand-painted goldleaf charcoal.
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you to theay a thank many people who put this together. as you can imagine, we have a huge team of folks who help, including the secret service, the military office, the state executive, the office, the white house communication agency, and the security council. executiveand i cannot do any os without my fabulous social office team who are here today, who are going to introduce themselves. quakes hi there. i am lauren kelly, deputy social secretary, originally from des moines, iowa. >> i am the deputy associate director in the social office, and i am from the bay area. >> i am also deputy associate director in the social office. i am originally from new york city. >> i am a deputy associate
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director in the social office and i am from silver spring, maryland. >> [indiscernible] and i am from indianapolis, indiana. is working to make the visit so wonderful for you tomorrow. without further a do, i will send it over to charlie from the security council. quakes could afternoon, everyone. i am the specialists -- >> could afternoon, everyone. i am be a special assistant to the director -- , everyone.ernoon i am a special assistant to the director for european affairs. the official visit and state dinner to honor the prime minister and his wife provides an opportunity for the president to build on a strong betweenship that exists
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the united states and italy, as well as to build on the strong, personal friendship that the president has built with prime minister renzi over the last few years. the president sees this as a very important meeting and an opportunity to reciprocate for the hospitality that the prime both to the shown president as well as to his family and italy. wants to essentially demonstrate the strength of the relationship with italy, as well as to get behind and put wind in of sales of someone -- sails someone he sees as one of the most promising politicians in europe. the president and prime minister sher a great deal of common ground. prime minister renzi is in the some very important political and economic reforms in italy, attempting to streamline the political system
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and make it more effective. he is attempting to boost growth in employment through structural reforms. these are issues the president and prime minister will discuss tomorrow, and the president strongly supports the efforts of the prime minister to undertake these reforms. i think president obama also sees in prime minister renzi someone who is very important to the future of europe. it goes without saying that europe has faced tough times over the last couple of years. sluggish growth, the migration , a moregee crisis aggressive russia, and all of this has combined to create an undercurrent of populism and besteu sentiment, perhaps exemplified by the recent vote in the united kingdom to move toward an exit from the eu prime minister renzi is someone who believes in a strong and
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integrated europe. he is someone who has laid out an agenda in conversations with his european counterparts about how to revitalize the european project, realogy demise it, brief new life into it. re-legitimate it, breathe finn to it. his progrowth agenda is one life intoobama -- new it. his progrowth agenda is one president obama supports. this is a topic that will be at the center of the discussions tomorrow. let me briefly run through what i think the conversation will focus on. first, reforms domestically in italy, but also within europe to help drive forward the project of integration, to speak to the needs of average europeans, to
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boost growth, to bring down unemployment, particularly among .uropean youth there will obviously be a conversation about the ongoing migration crisis. the situation in the aegean has improved. be oncus tomorrow will the central mediterranean, where we continue to see migrants coming. there will be a discussion of how to address that crisis in an orderly and humane way. there will be a discussion of the cooperation between the united states and italy on everything from the counter isil campaign to defense cooperation in nato and the efforts by europeans and americans to advance the fight against terrorism. , i expect there to be a conversation about the ongoing conflict in ukraine and how the united states can work with
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italy and at least european address a europe that is confronted with a more aggressive russia. i will now turn things over to .he executive pastry chef susan: good afternoon, everyone. my name is susan morrison. almost everybody calls me susie. i have a desert in my hand that is a flaky and ellicott crust delicate crust filled with a tender batterer and lightly poached green apple. and a a caramel sauce soft crumble top tube with a topped withelato --
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a buttermilk gelato. in keeping with the theme of the have a handmade dessert creation made of chocolate and poured sugar that includes a chocolate pumpkin , and of course we have to have a little chocolate beehive. pastryiature selections include a pumpkin iramisu,y tart, term 80 chocolate fig leaf, and an orange -- a chocolate fig leaf, and an orange slice. thank you. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. i am the white house executive
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chef. the state dinner tomorrow will celebrate our fall harvest and a lot of italian dishes that have been embraced in our american cuisine. as part of the canapes we will be passing, we will have smoked rainbow trout, roasted figs from california, some wonderful basil , crab cannoli, how much he from hawaii,- a dish from sweet and sour eggplant. we have some rosemary that came from the garden. our objective is to utilize as much as we have from our fall garden harvest. for the main course, we are doing a classic italian dish
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in aan american beef it is kind of a 10 minute diversion of the normal flank of a that -- version normal flank steak that would be praised for hours. we have a butternut squash and pumpkin finished off with a cheese from new york. for the first course, we are serving a sweet potato onion motif that has been garnished with a wonderful monterey jack and wenoma, california, have used a lot of wonderful all of oils that are part of sonoma county, california. i think that's it for dinner. right? [indiscernible] [laughter]
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>> hello, everybody. and i ams mario c helping to make the dinner tomorrow. we have a lot of work to do. our day is full. i brought you a taste of one of the dishes we are making. i am going to pass it around. i am proud to be here. i am proud to be an american. >> celebrity chefs and restaurant tour mario vitali surprising the media, giving them a taste of the state dinner tonight. it's underway at the white house and we have coverage of it here on c-span for all of you. we showed you the north portico
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arrival and the descending down the grand staircase. toastt is the traditional the two leaders will be giving each other. we will try to bring that to you live if we can hear on c-span. in the meantime, julianna smoot is with us in studio to talk about the last eight years as social secretary. let's talk about the seating arrangement. who decides who is sitting where and by whom they are sitting? compromise is a huge as well. if you have planned a wedding or a dinner party where you have talkative guests and not talkative guests, you have to take that into account. the tables seat eight. generally, the president and first lady like to have couples sit together. theould be that they sit at
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same table, which would be fine. you would have couples together. a couple of italians and a couple of americans, government leaders at each table, and then you would stick them in with, you know, the regular people. gwen stephani, if she were going to eat. yo -- you do a number of friend through his for that. -- you do a number of run throughs for that. somebody cancels last minute or has an rsvp at the last minute, there are last-minute glitches, but you need to start the seating chart probably three days ahead of time to get it going. there is no panic like not having the seating chart. host: some of the regular folks tonight include chance the
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rapper, who tweeted this out. also, frank ocean tweeting. showing off his footwear for the evening. fromt lots of questions reporters about why he decided vans this evening. it would be interesting to know .hat table they are sitting at in terms of choosing the plate where, the glassware, what are those conversations like? there are all different kinds of china you can use for state dinners. sometimes it depends on what you are serving. if you are having a red sauce, you might not want to put it on an orange bordered china.
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a matter of figuring out how many people are coming. my last state dinner, i wanted to do finger bowls. i thought that would be so great. the butler's said it could be a bit of an issue because people don't use finger bowls. you would have to explain it at every table. so we decided not to do it. but it was interesting. of course, coming up, the president and prime minister will toast each other and talk -italythe u.s. relationship, something the president has done many, many times over the last eight years. here is a look back at all of the toasts he has given in 2000
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-- since 2009. mr. obama: i want to close with the words your first prime minister spoke at that midnight hour on the eve of indian independence because those words speak to our hopes tonight. the achievement we celebrate today is but a step, the opening of opportunity to the great triumphs and achievements that await us. the past is over, and it is the future that beckons us now. and yet, we know that life is , as the extraordinary writer wrote in one of his poems. you must deserve your dream. chinesed there is a proverb that says if you want one year of prosperity, go green. -- grosgrain. if you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees.
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if you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people. so i propose a toast. tonight we honor angela merkel, not for being denied her freedom or even for attaining her freedom, but for what she achieved when she gained her freedom. politics determined to lead a united germany. the first german chancellor in german history and an eloquent voice for human rights and dignity around the world. this evening, i want your country to know what korea has meant to america. [speaking korean] of our alliance, i
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think, is embodied in the concept that is uniquely korean. it doesn't translate that easily, but it reflects the affection and bonds of the heart that cannot be broken and grow stronger with time. to her majesty the queen on her diamond jubilee. to our dear friends david and on the great purpose and design of our alliance. we remain, now and always, faithful servants. cheers, everyone. toast.i propose a to our friend and partner, president hollande, to all of our friends here today. france,. bless america, and long live the alliance between our great -- god bless
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america, and long live the alliance between our great nations. just as you say in china that the sea excepts 100 rivers -- , our countryivers thetronger when we accept diversity and views and contributions of all of our rivers. a alliance between the united states and canada. to our friends, justin and sophie. americansship between and canadians. the spirit that binds us together. abidingine, deep, and respect for each and every human being. cheers. if you have visited any of these nordic countries, everything is
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orderly. everything is clean. everybody is well behaved. even prompted a best-selling book called "the almost nearly perfect people." there were some shockers. apparently, nordic people can aboutto heated arguments which country is happiest. that, as wender pursue a more peaceful and prosperous order in the asian pacific, our partnership is strategicmore than interests. we are bound together by family and friendship, the dedication of our men and women in uniform flying across the skies, the excitement of our students and entrepreneurs who crossed the oceans to learn and work with each other, and the leadership of a son of singapore who is
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respected around the world and a trusted partner to the united states. host: president >> president obama giving the traditional toast. a are honoring italy prime minister matteo renzi. julianna smoot, what goes into the toast? who writes these toasts? who gets to have input on them? juliana: they are so eloquent, and the president does them so well, so he ultimately decides. but the speechwriters, the nsa, and the staff in the white house held put that together, and he is great delivering it. organization the behind the toast. what goes into that, the protocol and the logistics of it? >> that is through the department of state.
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do a the toast -- they toast, we do a toast, and we know where the glass is. see sometimes he has a different glass than what the leader might have. orchestratedy well . there is a walk-through prior, too, so they know what to do. greta: we are waiting on the toast. that will be coming up shortly. but as we wrap up our conversation with you, julianna smoot, what advice would you give to the next administration about president obama and michelle obama's of which to state dinners, and -- approach to state dinners, and what would you pass along to the next administration? ianna: i am proud to be an american, but i will -- i am
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very proud to watch the state dinner. the folks did such a great job. the great thing is it is bipartisan, or nonpartisan. when you get out of the white house or get to the white house, it is amazing how wonderful the staff is. they will let you know, president bush did it well this way. we figured this out with him. we figured this out with president obama. thathere is previous staff will be more than willing to help for the next administration. italy also gave remarks. ♪
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president obama: good evening, everybody. on behalf of michelle, and myself, welcome to the white house. and welcome to the final state dinner of my presidency. [applause] president obama: in the immortal words of a great
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italian-american, yogi berra, it ain't over till it is over. we have a wonderful evening ahead of us as we celebrate the great alliance between the united states and italy with our great friends. prime minister matteo renzi and is ae to say this remarkable crowd. at first, i was little nervous about this dinner. is called the scrapper. the demolition man.
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here.berto bengini is as any italian and they will say the dinners can get animated. michelle said to think of this as a typical italian sunday dinner. remindedwe are american democracy has been graced by the touch of italy. men arearation that all was penned by thomas jefferson and penned by his -- shared by his friend from florence. we stand by the lincoln memorial
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brothers.e work of sometimes, a presidential campaigns can seem like dante's inferno. [laughter] [applause] all went obama: most of see the spirit of italy and friendships between our people in so many proud italian americans. i suspect many of you are thinking of your own families. parents, grandparents, great-grandparents who left the who gave everything that they had for the next generation so they could succeed. your presence here shows america an where if you work
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hard, you can make it if you try. even if we are not italian-american, we can isebrate that mike piazza finally me baseball hall of fame. i want to thank my great friend matteo. he may be the youngest prime minister. he makes me feel old, which is unfortunate. i was thee in, h young guy. theuld see he represented energy and optimism, that energy and values that can carry italy and america forward. say, i cannot thank you enough for your excellent
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partnership as we have worked to advance the prosperity of our sins. i understand when you were growing up, your mother would tell you stories about robert kennedy and end by telling you, fight. you fight for the cause of reform, know that we stand with you. i believe italy and the world will continue to benefit for years to come. what of the reasons i am so makedent matteo will outstanding contributions is he has an outstanding partner. our wives keep us humble. atteo's first claim to fame when he was just 19 years old was he was on italy's version of "wheel of fortune." this is a true story. sweaters ande big whichore were too
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is an affront to time fashion. matteo may deny it, but there is video. giorgio armani is here and he would be ashamed that the italian prime minister used to wear things like this. you are not alone. when michelle show was in milan, she spoke to young people about eating slowly and savoring your food. unlike president obama, who she said sometimes shovels his food down. which is true. matteo and iis, both married up. because of our wives, we eat better, we dressed better, we are better, and we thank you both. [applause]
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president obama: i want to reminisce about my last visit to rome. tteo's ministry of culture, i got to visit the coliseum. you can go there and nobody else is there if you are president. it was late in the day and quiet. ancientched across the steps, it was a humbling reminder. each of us is only here for a brief moment. so many of the things we focus on each day, the political ups and downs, the successes and setbacks, those things are fleeting. what matters in the end is what we build.
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what matters is what we leave behind, the things that will and were after we are gone. the poet virgil reminded us, bold.e favors the that we always be bold. fortune smiles upon us. cheers. and with that, let me bring to the stage, the prime minister of italy. matteo renzi. [applause]
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>> mr. president, and the first it ismy american friends, an incredible honor. it is incredible to be here with you on this occasion of the last state dinner of president obama. i am really excited. moment this is a special for the history of this country, as the presidency of president obama was a special moment in the life of this great country. so thank you so much. thank you. [applause] is also an honor for us. thank you for the welcome. i'm in a difficult situation. it is impossible for me to reply after prid