First Lady Melania Trump is facing her biggest challenge yet as she hosts her first official White House state dinner. Like all things done by the Trump White House, Melania is doing things her way and has spent months in preparation for this main event. On hand will be France’s President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, and as details begin to leak out, Democrats are livid as FLOTUS announces a “special tribute.”
Melania Trump could have hired a huge staff to pull off her first White House state dinner. That’s exactly what Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton did as first ladies, but Melania refused to give in to the pressure of planning such a prestigious event. She took charge of planning the entire evening with no detail too small for her approval.
CNN reports, “So confident was [Melania] Trump about her ability to handle something like a state dinner, with its myriad details, that the first lady would not hire an event planner to help, as previous first ladies have done in the past to manage the grandeur and spectacle.”
They add, “For example, the final state dinner of the Obama administration, its 14th, was a tented affair for former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, held on the South Lawn of the White House for 400 guests. Michelle Obama wore a custom, chainmail Atelier Versace gown; Mario Batali cooked, and Gwen Stefani entertained.”
For the Trump administration’s first state dinner, there will be none of that. There will also be none of the paparazzi element that has come with past state dinners; celebrity supporters of the President are harder to come by than they were for Obama.
“A smaller, more elegant event allows a guest to have a more personal experience, and that is very important to Mrs. Trump,” said Stephanie Grisham, Mrs. Trump’s closet aide, who confirmed the dinner will take place in the State Dining Room, which can hold about 100-150 seated guests.
After months of preparations, @POTUS and I are looking forward to hosting our first State Dinner with France! Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make this visit a success. 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/j7fKmUhISJ
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) April 23, 2018
Mrs. Trump has also been doing some homework, educating herself about the protocol and history of these sorts of White House events. This is to ensure her selections for the Macrons’ visit have meaning behind them, down to the china, flowers, color scheme, and menu, which, while American, will highlight the influence France has had on American cuisine.
“Mrs. Trump selected every item and every detail for the dinner, from the entrée to the chair cushions,” said White House social secretary Rickie Niceta.
But, as details leaked out, the Democrats are livid. First, President Donald Trump decided he didn’t want anyone there who has not been supportive of his administration, which means, yep, you guessed it, no Democrats got an invite. Trump also shunned the mainstream media; they won’t be allowed access.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will be tossing crumbs over the fence to Congressional Democrats and The Media, who were not invited to first State Dinner . @realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS #POTUS https://t.co/p6tyZytduZ
— News Flea Bites (@news_flea) April 22, 2018
Then, there’s Mrs. Trump special tribute to the Macrons, which has the Trump-haters doing backflips. Melania loves giving gifts with a special meaning, and she has outdone herself with her original choice for the Macrons and France. Mrs. Trump’s special tribute gift will be a framed section of upholstery from one of the chairs in the White House Blue Room.
Featuring a golden eagle surrounded by laurels, the chair was part of the furniture suite inspired by Pierre-Antoine Bellangé, the famous French designer who was commissioned to create 53 carved and gilded pieces for the Blue Room by President James Monroe in 1817.