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January 19, 2011 at 3:10 PM

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Gregoire to dine with President Obama and President Hu Jintao

Posted by Andrew Garber

Gov. Chris Gregoire will attend the White House state dinner Wednesday night with President Obama and Hu Jintao, president of the People's Republic of China.

She won't be the only Washingtonian at the dinner. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also will be there, as will Gregoire's daughter, Courtney.

An item in The Washington Post notes:

The White House will be serving its more than 225 guests a haute meat-and-potatoes meal: Dry-aged rib-eye steak, buttermilk crisp onions, double-stuffed potatoes, and creamed spinach. That's after a first-course of pear salad, and a second course of poached Maine lobster with orange-glazed carrots and black trumpet mushrooms.

The post-dinner entertainment will be heavy on jazz, with Dianne Reeves and Herbie Hancock among the musicians slated to perform.

Gregoire sent out a statement saying she hopes to use the opportunity to strengthen trade ties with China. The governor took a business delegation to China and Vietnam last fall.

"I'm pleased to meet President Hu again, and intend to build on our work tonight to ensure more opportunities for our businesses, which will lead to job creation and economic growth," she said.

Other guests include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and actor Jackie Chan.

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Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

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Kyung Song
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