Boehner won’t rule out state dinner for Merkel

It’s well-known in political circles that House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE (R-Ohio) has yet to accept an invitation to attend a state dinner at the Obama White House.

But Monday’s announcement that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be the next state-dinner honoree could sway the Speaker, who is of German descent.

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A spokesman for BoehnerJohn BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE on Monday refused to rule out the possibility that, if he were invited, the Ohio legislator would be willing to attend the June 7 dinner.

“We’ll have to see,” he told ITK.

The dinner will be part of a state visit, and Merkel will be accompanied by her husband, Dr. Joachim Sauer.

Their trip will mark the first official visit by a German chancellor or president since 1992, when then-President George H.W. Bush hosted President Richard von Weizsacker for a state dinner.

But speculation about prominent German-American politicos at the dinner likely won’t be limited to Boehner.

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) both have German heritage, as does liberal TV personality Keith Olbermann.

Actor and pop star David Hasselhoff is a huge star in Germany, though he’s a long shot for a state-dinner invitation.

The planned event follows previous state dinners held by the Obamas for visiting leaders from India, Mexico and China.