Biggest household names tonight: Diane Sawyer, and James Taylor (who happens to be performing after dinner). Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt and VP Marissa Meyer. Superstar architect Daniel Liebskind, the man behind Berlin’s Jewish Museum and NYC’s One World Trade Center.
Also: Hollywood superagent Bryan Lourd. And NSO/Kennedy Center music director Christoph Eschenbach. Teamsters chief James Hoffa. U.S. Holocaust Museum director Sara Bloomfield.
A couple of American legislators with German names — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz — and similarly heritaged CEOs: Kraft Foods’ Irene Rosenfeld, Alcoa’s Klaus Kleinfeld; Hewlett-Packard’s Leo Apotheker. (Nice of them to let Kodak’s Antonio Perez in there!) Also, Bruce Heyman of Goldman Sachs. Maryland hotel magnate Stewart Bainum, and a few of his fellow major Obama fundraisers (Naomi Aberly, Stephen Bitte).
A couple of journalists, too: The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne, Wall Street Journal’s Jerry Seib, the New York Times’s David Leonhardt.
It’s the first dinner in years with no prominent athletes (guess Dirk Nowitzki is busy, huh) or movie stars (where’s, um, David Hasselhoff? Er, Katherine Heigl? Who are the other obvious German-Americans we’re forgetting?) Compare to the last state dinner, in January for China, when they had Jackie Chan and Barbara Streisand, among other celebrities, and Michelle Kwan strutting the red carpet in a dazzling gold bandage dress. Yeah. For better or for worse, tonight’s not looking much like that.
See the full list: White House state dinner for Germany: The guest list