President Barack ObamaBarack Obama21 state AGs denounce DeVos for ending student loan reform Obama to net 0K for Wall Street speech: report Trump’s wall jams GOP in shutdown talks MORE on Wednesday honored Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife, Margarita Zavala, at the second state dinner of his administration.
The evening kicked off with a star-studded arrival ceremony, during which White House Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall, dressed in floor-length pink satin, tripped and fell on the red carpet as she prepared to welcome Calderon and Zavala. Seeing her, the president called to photographers, "Don't take that picture!"
Calderon's toast was more political than Obama's. Speaking in Spanish, the Mexican president celebrated "agreements and actions of cooperation" between his country and the United States that are "needed in order to face new challenges" along "the long borderline that unites us."
Earlier in the day, the United States and Mexico issued a joint declaration of cooperation on 21st century border management.
Following the toasts, the guests dined on jicama salad, green herb ceviche, Waygu beef mole, and gourmet s'mores. The tables, a combination of rectangular and round, were set with blue striped tablecloths and gilded baskets of brightly colored flowers.
Guests included Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump’s wall jams GOP in shutdown talks Bipartisan friendship is a civil solution to political dysfunction Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidWeek ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road 'Tuesday Group' turncoats must use recess to regroup on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.), Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonObama to net 0K for Wall Street speech: report O'Reilly: Fans will be 'shaken' when truth comes out about Fox exit Overnight Cybersecurity: White House adviser ditches cyber panel over 'fake news' | Trump cyber order 'close' | GOP senator pushes for clean renewal of foreign intel law MORE, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Sen. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezTaiwan deserves to participate in United Nations The way forward on the Iran nuclear deal under President Trump Corruption trial could roil NJ Senate race MORE (D-N.J.), Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.), Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, actors Whoopi Goldberg, Eva Longoria-Parker and George Lopez, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim-Helu, who tops Forbes' list of the wealthiest people in world.
After dinner, guests moved from the East Room to a tent on the South Lawn, where they were joined by another 100 guests invited to attend that portion of the evening. Among them were Secretary of Agriculture Tom VilsackThomas J. VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE, Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerAnother day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs Carly Fiorina 'certainly looking at' Virginia Senate run Top Obama adviser signs with Hollywood talent agency: report MORE (D-Calif.), House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and Democratic Reps. Linda Sanchez (Calif.), Loretta Sanchez (Calif.), Grace Napolitano (Calif.), Ben Lujan (N.M.), Ruben HinojosaRuben HinojosaTurning the tables to tackle poverty and homelessness in rural America Ethics: Lawmakers didn’t ‘knowingly’ break rules with Azerbaijan gifts Dems heap praise on Pelosi for trade moves MORE (Texas), Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), Nita Lowey (N.Y.) and Eliot Engel (N.Y.).
The huge white tent was lined with black fabric and decorated with mobiles of Monarch butterflies strung from the ceiling. Around the edge of the room, bars were set up serving drinks and small desserts.
As he arrived, Obama joked to guests that "we were in a very formal dinner, but heard that this was the place for the real party."
Calderon took the opportunity to list off all the things he and Obama have in common, prompting applause from the crowd of more than 300.
"We are both lawyers" who attended Harvard, he said. "We're almost the same age, and we both married a beautiful, charismatic and intelligent wife; both of them are lawyers."
Guests laughed as Calderon went on: "We're both left-handed, and [we] are presidents of two beautiful countries ... not only are we neighbors, not only partners, not only allies: We really are friends."
Latin guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela then took the stage, followed by the evening's headlining act, pop star Beyonce.
This wasn't Beyonce's first performance for the Obamas: The couple famously slow-danced to her rendition of the soul classic "At Last" during one of the many inaugural balls held in January of 2009.