Stars Come Out for State Dinner

Posted May 19, 2010 at 4:51pm

President Barack Obama will host a broad swath of prominent Hispanic and Latino officials and industry leaders, along with a cadre of American politicians and celebrities at Wednesday’s State Dinner honoring Mexico, according to the White House.

Joining Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the Obamas’ table will be Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Clinton-era Secretary of Energy Federico Peña, California Speaker John Pérez (D) and Illinois state Sen. Iris Martinez (D), chairwoman of the state’s Hispanic Caucus.

The other Members of Congress slated to attend are Sens. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Bob Menendez (N.J.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.), and Reps. Silvestre Reyes (Texas) and Xavier Becerra (Calif.). No Republicans are on the list.

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker (D) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) round out the American politician list.

Florida Republican Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Lincoln Diaz-Balart didn’t get an invite, but their television anchor brother José Diaz-Balart did. He joins other journalist attendees serving a wide Hispanic community including Univision anchors Maria Elena Durazo and Jorge Ramos; La Opinión Publisher Monica Lozano; and John Zidich, publisher of the Arizona Republic.

Some Mexican politicians will be in attendance too, including House President Francisco Ramírez Acuña, Senate President Carlos Navarrete, Institutional Revolutionary Party President Beatriz Paredes and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa Cantellano.

Among the celebrities dining at the White House will be actors George Lopez, Whoopi Goldberg and Eva Longoria Parker; New York Jets players Mark Sanchez and D’Brickashaw Ferguson; and Olympic speed skater Shani Davis.

Representing industry and labor will be Mexican billionaire and richest man in the world Carlos Slim; Leo Gerard, president of United Steelworkers; Lorenzo Zambrano, CEO of CEMEX; and Robert Unanue, president of Goya Foods.