Key Moments From President Obama's White House State Dinners—PICTURES
By National Journal Staff
Updated: March 15, 2012 | 11:12 a.m.
March 14, 2012 | 10:06 a.m.
What Happened: President Obama's first state dinner, in November 2009, will forever be overshadowed by the party-crashing Salahis, Michaele (left) and Tariq (right), who entered the dinner without an invite, causing a national media stir after photos surfaced of them shaking hands with the president and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. What's the Relationship: India's size, growing middle class, and strategic importance have led analysts to call it the "indispensable partner."(AP Photo/The White House, Samantha Appleton)
What Happened: The president and first lady welcomed Mexican President Felipe Calderon (second from left) and his wife Margarita Zavala to the White House in May 2010.
What's the Relationship: America's neighbor to the south shares an expansive border with the U.S. Border security, the drug war, and economic cooperation are the touchstones of the relationship.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
What Happened: President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the June 2011 state dinner.
What's the Relationship: Germany, a key leader in the European Union, is a close ally of the United States, both militarily and economically. The State Department calls the relationship "close and vital."(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
What Happened: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and first lady Kim Yoon-ok visited the White House on the heels of the Senate's ratification of the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement.
What's the Relationship: South Korea is a major East Asian ally of America's; the trade agreement underlined the economic component of the relationship, but the U.S. is also closely allied with South Korea against North Korea.
What Happened: Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron heaped lavish praise on one another during the dinner. Obama praised Cameron as a leader whom he can trust. Cameron said Obama was wise and had moral authority.
What's the Relationship: The U.S.-United Kingdom "special" relationship—including a military alliance, close political connections, and economic interdependence—was on display during the Camerons' visit: Obama and Cameron traveled to Dayton, Ohio, on the first day of the prime minister's visit to see an NCAA March Madness basketball game and spent the flight talking in the president's office on Air Force One.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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