Manmohan dinner crashers top Time’s ‘10 Memorable State-Dinner Moments’

By Arun Kumar, IANS
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WASHINGTON - The White House gate-crashers, who stole the limelight at President Barack Obama’s first state dinner in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009, top Time magazine’s list of “Top 10 Memorable State-Dinner Moments”.

The list released ahead of the Obamas’ official state dinner Wednesday night for Chinese President Hu Jintao noted how wannabe TV stars “Tareq and Michaele Salahi stole the spotlight when they finessed their way into President Barack Obama’s first state dinner”.

“Crashing the party wasn’t the worst of it: the couple, who will forever be known as the White House gate-crashers, were filming the event for The Real Housewives of DC, an instalment in Bravo’s reality-show franchise,” the magazine recalled.

In the episode that was aired Sep 30, 2010, the couple are seen in a limo en route to the state dinner, with Michaele dressed in a traditional Indian sari.

The cameras do not follow the Salahis inside the party, but the next morning they recount their night and discuss meeting Obama and taking photos with Vice President Joe Biden and then White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Though the Salahis maintain they received an invitation, the White House claims they were neither invited to nor seated for the dinner, Time said.

The full list of top 10:

1. The White House Gate-Crashers, 2009

2. Ronald Reagan Welcomes Gorbachev, 1987

3. Princess Diana and John Travolta, 1985

4. Presidential Puke, 1992

5. King Kalakaua Goes to Washington, 1874

6. British Crown Visits the US for the First Time, 1939

7. Berlusconi and the Podium, 2008

8. Barbecue and Paper Plates, 1963

9. Dance-Floor Diplomacy, 1976

10. The Case of the Soggy Orchestra, 1963

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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