SPONSORED:

Obama, Calderon toast their similarities at festive state dinner

President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama says he voted by mail: 'It's not as tough as a lot of folks think' Clean energy opportunities in a time of crisis MSNBC host cuts off interview with Trump campaign spokesman after clash on alleged voter fraud 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!"

ADVERTISEMENT
About 200 dinner guests were then seated in the East Room, where Obama began the traditional toasts by jokingly complementing Mexico's "pretty good soccer team." He went on to praise his guest of honor for "extraordinary courage" and "extraordinary bravery" in "the fight for his country's future."

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 BidenMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (D-Nev.), Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Trump, Biden tangle over Wall Street ties, fundraising The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage MORE, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Kasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report 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 James VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE, Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance Bottom line Polls show big bounce to Biden ahead of Super Tuesday 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 Elroy 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.