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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jetsí Sanchez joins CEOs at White House state dinner

By Nicholas Johnston and Julianna Goldman
Bloomberg News Service

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will join billionaire Carlos Slim, American Express Co. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chenault and Morgan Stanley's James Gorman at tonight's White House state dinner in honor of Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

President Barack Obama also will be playing host to actress Whoopi Goldberg, comedian George Lopez, Bank of America Corp. CEO Brian Moynihan and Robert Wolf, the CEO of UBS Americas who is a member of the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. They are among 203 people, including Cabinet members, lawmakers and labor leaders, invited to the East Room event.

The four-course menu, prepared by Chicago chef Rick Bayless, will include ingredients from the White House vegetable garden and features Oregon Wagyu beef in Oaxacan black mole with black bean Tamalon and grilled green beans accompanied by a 2006 Herrera Cabernet Sauvignon "Seleccion Rebecca." For dessert, diners will be treated to a Chocolate-Cajeta tart, toasted homemade marshmallows as well as a graham cracker crumble with goat cheese ice cream.

After dinner, guests will be entertained in a South Lawn tent by Beyonce, who also serenaded the president and First Lady Michelle Obama at the January 2009 inauguration. The Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela also will perform, as will the President's Own United States Marine Band.

Obama is hosting his second state dinner for a foreign head of state. On Nov. 24 he feted Indian President Manmohan Singh. That dinner was notable for the controversy generated by a Virginia couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, who were accused of crashing the event.

As his guest for the evening, Sanchez is bringing D'Brickashaw Ferguson, an offensive lineman for the Jets. Actress Eva Longoria-Parker and gold-medal Olympian Shani Davis will have the opportunity to mingle with Leo Gerard, president of the United Steel Workers and Joe Hansen, president of United Food and Commercial Workers International.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will be among those sitting at the head table with Obama. The attendees include a host of administration officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and senior adviser David Axelrod.