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Stag state dinner for Hollande has French twist

February 11, 2014 • National News


Jason Collins, laughs as he walks past reporters for a State Dinner in honor of French President François Hollande, at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle and Barack Obama found just the right spot to seat a gent going stag to Tuesday’s state dinner: They plopped French President Francois Hollande down right between them, and put the pshaw to all that drama about his solo trip to the U.S. after a very public breakup from his first lady.

The A-list guest roster for the biggest social event of Obama’s second term — flush with celebrities, Democratic donors, politicians and business types — mostly tried not to go there, tactfully avoiding talk about “l’affaire Hollande.”

“I don’t get involved in those things,” demurred actress Cicely Tyson, who at age 80 said she’s been to plenty of state dinners over the years.

The NAACP’s Ben Jealous was nothing but admiring of the French intrigue.

“I think the French are way cooler than we are on a whole lot of fronts,” he said, including “way better gossip.”

On a frigid night, the evening’s pomp and pageantry were all Login to read more

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