Stag State Dinner for Hollande Has French twist

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Caviar and cotton candy are on the menu. Bradley Cooper is on the guest list. Yet much of the focus for Tuesday's glitzy state dinner for French President Francois Hollande centers on the fact that the French leader is flying solo following a very public breakup from his first lady.

Call it dinner with a French twist.

The White House is doing its straight-faced best to keep the attention on anything but that complication. It has prepared an outsized spread of pomp and pageantry in a giant party tent on the South Lawn for 350 guests. But the big question is who will be seated next to President Barack Obama -- in the seat traditionally reserved for the guest of honor's spouse or companion.

The gala will be held in a massive white tent on the south lawn of the White House, where guests will feast on beef, greens from the White House garden and American caviar, while dancing to the music of singer Mary J. Blige.

Also announced Tuesday, President Obama will travel to France in June to observe the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

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