Yisroel Pensack: Why Barbra Streisand Was Invited to the White House Dinner Honoring China’s President

Business executives, politicians, diplomats, journalists and other notables were among the 225 guests at Wednesday night’s state dinner in the White House honoring President Hu Jintao of China.

According to a New York Times report by Sheryl Gay Stolberg,

The guest list was…heavy on Chinese Americans and corporate executives – no surprise, given that President Obama used Mr. Hu’s visit to press China to open its markets to goods made by American companies. One official familiar with the planning of the dinner said there was “definitely a clamoring among business leaders to get in.”

…[The] dinner came just hours after [a] State Department lunch, where President Hu was feted…by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Among the roughly 175 guests were some of the same…names who attended the dinner later [including Barbra] Streisand…as she walked into the White House for the dinner, the singer was asked what accounted for her invitation. Her reply was deadpan: “I worked in a Chinese restaurant.”

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