November 24, 2009


Posted: 06:10 PM ET

Potatoes & Politics:

Watch Larry King Live for a night of pomp and circumstance as President and Mrs. Obama host their first state dinner. The guests of honor: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife. We'll talk to Jennifer Hudson, who will perform at the very exclusive event. Plus, celebrity chefs Paula Deen and Wolfgang Puck join the conversation (Paula will also dish about her little run-in with a ham)! And don't miss former White House chefs reminiscing about their favorite state dinners.

Decision: Afghanistan

President Obama's decision about troop levels in Afghanistan could come as early as next week. What is the President's strategy in the war? Has he taken too long to make a decision? We'll talk to Matthew Hoh, the former State Department staffer who quit in protest of the war in Afghanistan, and retired Gen. Wesley Clark.

That's all tonight at 9ET/6PT!

And we want to hear from you:

If you were hosting a state dinner, what would be on your menu?

Filed under: Afghanistan • Larry King Live • Politics • President Barack Obama

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Paula Marie   November 24th, 2009 6:23 pm ET

Probably would go with traditionally American food keeping in mind any dietary/religious restrictions of my guests. Some fun Southern fare would be great.

jc   November 24th, 2009 6:27 pm ET


Julie in Atlanta   November 24th, 2009 6:28 pm ET

If I were holding a state dinner the menu would include scallops in mustard olive sauce appetizer, a red leaf salad with English cucumbers, cremini mushrooms, red, yellow, and orange peppers, lemon zest, and Italian dressing, Filet Mignon with a mint sauce and saffron rice finished and for dessert chocolate cake with fudge icing and a scoop of Italian raspberry gelato. French champagne would be the dinner drink and Lady Grey tea with dessert.

Bob Ramos   November 24th, 2009 7:26 pm ET

I sincerely, and respectfully, hope that Larry will discuss my concern (millions feel the same way) with his guests on the troop levels.

The NATO Secretary General and many other international leaders have all maintained that the Afhgan situtation is an international problem. At this time, we are supplying over 50% of the troops and the other nations are supplying the remaining 50%. So, the burden is unqual.

Question(s): Why do the other countries contribute so little by way of troops? Why do the 34,000 have to come from the USA?

Joe G. (Illinois)   November 24th, 2009 7:46 pm ET

Why would Angelina Jolie say such things? Doesn’t she know that lots of people would feel sorry for her? About her feeling estranged at times from Brad Pitt that is..! Not about the Obama big fiasco of course..! Because it's like this: If you order Calamari, can’t complain if the waiter brings you squid.

Kevin Sanders   November 24th, 2009 8:10 pm ET

Stop celebrating GREED!! Think about the people who can't afford to eat in the richest country in the world. Where is the balance between the haves and have nots?? Where is the compassion and the conscience of human beings??

A. Smith, Oregon   November 24th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

Greetings Larry King, I love your show!

Larry, in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ask your guests who supplied the super high resolution spy satellite photographs of each of the Mumbai, India targets to the Pakistani ISA agency who gave them to each of the Mumbai massacure terrorists.

Weren't those photos taken by a US Spy Satellite?

Whoever supplied the ISA with those photos, certainly realized how they would be used.

Robert Ramblas   November 24th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

Record unemployment and our current economic crisis and now a state dinner? For shame!

vicky   November 24th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

Thanks to Larry King and CNN for the live telecast

God bless CNN ,CNN staff And their family

vicky   November 24th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

Some are worried about the dinner cost but they Ignore cost of Iraq war

vicky   November 24th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

Recently India indirectly participate to destroy L.T.T.E terrorist group in Sri Lanka

No 1 terrorist group in the world

Brandon   November 24th, 2009 10:18 pm ET

@Kevin Sanders I really don't think they are celebrating greed and not only that but people need to remember that we have the right to the Pursuit of happiness....I think many american's feel because they are American they should be living the "American Dream" a lot of these people who have money...worked for it...many started from the bottom with obstacles similar to those who just point their finger and blame others...

Anyway it is sad though that many american's do go hungry in one of the richest countries in the world especially when we do so much for other countries....It would be nice if we worried more on the home front....but none of this is the sole fault of the current administration or the current party in power.

vicky   November 24th, 2009 10:23 pm ET

I am Happy Sanjay (CNN ) Freed (CNN) Bobby Jindal ( Gov Louisiana) Colin Powel are invited for dinner today

vicky   November 24th, 2009 10:32 pm ET

Larry Obama and Mrs.Obama are best people easy to work with them

Brandon   November 24th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

I feel bad for the military men and/or women that have to Post for events like this.....I know I didn't enjoy stuff like that when I was in the Navy...

Cookie   November 24th, 2009 10:34 pm ET

In reference to the guests on Larry King's show tonight about the menu at Obamas' dinner I just have to comment:

"Too many cooks spoil the broth" 😛

vicky   November 24th, 2009 10:39 pm ET

I am conservative past 30 years we are losing our values too late to point the fingers

So we have to welcome new ideas I am glad Obama invite Indian P.M

I request Fox and Rush join with us to appreciate Obama to late to criticize Obama

Rachel   November 24th, 2009 10:43 pm ET

Come on Larry enough about the first ladies dress. It's Thanksgiving what about all the AMericans who won't be able to put food on the table or even have a place to live. So many are in a bad scenario with their lives. All this flamboyant nonsense seems so unimportant except maybe the point that I believe its a VEGETARIAN menu now thats good!!!
So many BELIEVED OBAMA when he said he would get us out of this war, another lie.
I might as well have voted for McCain/Palin as I never thought so many WOLVES would be slaughtered under his administaration!!
When Salazar could be the wolves back on the endangered species list. SO MUCH FOR CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!

vicky   November 24th, 2009 10:44 pm ET

Girl from Wasilla miss the Dinner
But she is happy about News week cover

internetfreepress   November 24th, 2009 10:44 pm ET


America could easily solve all of her economic problems by changing the way she views
money as a commodity by seeing it as a medium of exchange and get off of a gold standard
mentality. Goods and services have real value. Fifteen million unemployed people could be
creating real value by going to school to train for the new jobs that will be needed in the health-
care system when forty million new people will get health insurance and the many other jobs that
people could be trained for. Money must first be created before equal value can be created. Article1,
Section 8, of the Constitution gives that power to the Federal Government. Instead of the News media
asking: where are we going to get the money; they should be asking if there are people resources and
natural resources available. Money can be created.We don't need to borrow money from any country.
Taxation should be just one of the tools for keeping a balanced money supply. Increasing taxes to pay
for health-care or sending more troops to Afghanistan is like taking money out of one pocket and putting
it in the other pocket. We need to created more money to pay for the creation of more goods and services
in order to create equal value. With the efficiency of the clearing of money by the banking system, most all
float has been dried up–creating a close to a one to one ratio of exchange.

Katharine Sullivan   November 24th, 2009 10:50 pm ET

Michelle Obama always looks so amazingly beautiful whatever she wears, but I can't help wondering if a strapless dress with so much bare shoulder and upper torso was entirely appropriate considering the culture her guests came from.

vicky   November 24th, 2009 10:50 pm ET

Taliban are Afghan citizens they will fight for their land

Afghan and Pakistan governments are corrupted

Al-Qaida is our enemy they are living in Pakistan with the help of Taliban

This is big mess then why we have to send our men and women in harm way

Will DICK CHENEY understand that

Arun in Chicago   November 24th, 2009 10:56 pm ET

Good to see Obama hosting his first state dinner for the Indian PM. We (US) just need to do more to persuade Pakistan to give up its nukes. A failed state and a nuclear racketeer state. Remember that in the midest of the worst recession we WILL be paying them $7.5B over the next 5 years in aid alone.

Michelle   November 24th, 2009 10:56 pm ET

I am watching as Matthew HOH and Tom Cotton debate the war in son is in the army and I surely do not want to loose my precious gift to an unknown cause and a hopeless war.. Tom you are wrong,,, send yourself and Matthew thank you for noticing the unend to this senseless war.....

Brandon   November 24th, 2009 11:00 pm ET

@internetfreepress Maybe you haven't heard of the Federal Reserve??? Gold standard mentality is long lost....and money being "created" is actually a big part of our can't keep printing money and hold a value in the world....that's a part of the problem why the dollar is so weak now...It's not the only reason...but still

Arun in Chicago   November 24th, 2009 11:01 pm ET

Hey lot of discussion on Michelle Obama's dress, but no one has anything to say about Mrs Singh sari?

shirley somwonder   November 24th, 2009 11:05 pm ET

I'll tell you what would have been on the menu if I hosted a state dinner

red lentils sauteed with canola oil and extra virgin olive oil,
with ginger, onion, garlic, celery, carrots and fresh tomatoes

it would be very cheap, hardly any cost to show that we have compassion for those who are hungry this week all over the world
and especially in India.
Then menu could have been simpler less costly

I am happy Michelle has the beautiful gown to wear
but I felt so sorry for the little wife of the Prime Minister of India.
She was so overshadowed–who noticed her in the pic?

I think it is great that the Obamas are enjoying a social scene.
We need that in our capitol

But they could have shown how easy it is to cook a healthy inexpensive dinner and let the world know we realise everybody cannot eat this week.

Barbara Pinnock-Smith   November 24th, 2009 11:07 pm ET

Hi Larry King,

RE: THE WAR IN AFGHAN- I think the president needs to rethink his strategy, the reason I say this is because we cannot fight with guns, one needs to SPEAK. Furthermore, to win a war in Afgan, will be bloody. The reason why I say that is because in those counties, their believes are i

JBM   November 24th, 2009 11:10 pm ET

Mrs. Obama's dress was stunning but I did not think it was a great choice for this particular state dinner. As with the food, sometimes it's a good idea to think about the guests of honor. She could have chosen something just as beautiful that was a little more conservative.

Jerry   November 24th, 2009 11:12 pm ET

We do not need to send more troops. What is the plan and strategy? We need to let these Countries run their own Country. We were supposed to teach Iraq to govern themselves what happened to this? We need to start bringing back our troops in increments. Where is the common sense?

Zainab.T.Farid   November 24th, 2009 11:22 pm ET

If i was hosting a states dinner i would serve :
1) 3 kinds of soups
chicken cream soup
tomato soup
shark fin soup
2) fried fish and baked fish
golden fried chicken
chicken lollipops
3) whole lamb grilled Indian style
Stake and potato
pasta with shrimp
Tiger prawns paulav
goat biryani
with raita and lassi
4) lime pie
pumpkin pie
fruit salad with vanilla ice cream
eggs custer
5) black tea ,black coffee, Indian tea , nesscafe with diff flavors

louis   November 24th, 2009 11:22 pm ET

bad choice Nancy Pelosi's sleeveless black dress...she is too old for sleeveless..beautiful sleeves would have made a "statement"..loved Katie Couric w/boyfriend & Mayor Michael Bloomberg w/girlfriend...John Kerry alone ?..

Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   November 25th, 2009 12:38 am ET

Kudos Mr President for honoring India as the first official state tour and dinner.
It is breaking the norm of past presidencies which chose Canada or Mexico first for such honor..
All this while Asia was always in the the back-seat in the world stage.
It's time Asia be an equal in world diplomacy with our emerging economies.
Afrer all India and China are the world's most populous demcoracy.
l hope my Prime Minister will be accoded the same honor when he visits DC in January.

Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   November 25th, 2009 12:58 am ET

Mr President
I am scared of your statement "I will finish off Afghanistan."
I pray you do not mean Afghanistan and its innocent people.
Finish off the Talibans and Al-Qaeda.
We are all for it.
We in Asia love you.
Its good to finish off what we started.

sunita   November 25th, 2009 1:29 am ET

On the menu I recognise a Thai dish, Prawn with green curry.(I am half Thai and half Indian. ). The center peice is also totally Thai. It sometihing used to float in the river during a full moon festival in November. The first family may have enjoyed that festval on their stop Thailand. A lotus shaped float.

Gene Barry   November 25th, 2009 1:44 am ET

Larry, Please:

Enough about Michelle's Dress – Kudos to the designer; & I too agree it's a winner.
The real thing here is how well Mr. President is advancing our (whole) world relation(ship)s.

... & thank you for listening,
Gene Barry / Fort Worth, TX

Marry   November 25th, 2009 6:56 am ET

This was a state dinner at its best. Classy, welcoming, tasteful, just perfect! I am sure; they did have a well deserved great time! Also wonderful guests! Mrs. Obama looked absolutely wonderful and charming! The dress was a dream!

Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   November 25th, 2009 9:45 am ET

The menu sould be authentic American food representing the best of the cuisine in the 50 states.
If I am a guest, I will not like to be feted with my own country's food.
When I travel too, I always try the local cuisine.
I might as well stay home if i want to eat Malaysian dishes..

B Spencer   November 25th, 2009 12:24 pm ET

Well, I would have to have a variety of things something that represents each state, If I am welcoming some people from a different country, I would give them a nice spread of everything, just so they can have a little something of every side! The north, south, east, and the ( midwest) west. To top it off, for desert, we would have ice cream! 🙂 .

Judi   November 25th, 2009 1:12 pm ET

Larry king needs to retire, his show last night was a disgrace on his part, his teeth clacking and temper showing were just too much. There is a time and season for everything, and its his time to go out to pasture.

Judi   November 25th, 2009 1:14 pm ET

Larry King needs to be put out to pasture, he is past his prime

Bev   November 25th, 2009 1:42 pm ET

Paula Deen non-Ham run in.
If you look at the video she was not hit, the Ham is a couple feet from her and to low to have hit her . A Savannah girl wouldn't make such a mountain out of nothing.
We know she does great work but to act the way she has about this non-hit in the face is shameful that poor guy who threw the ham.
Shouldn't they be checking lower, No red mark no swelling no nothing and all this media attention.
Larry why are you airing this????

Loving it   November 25th, 2009 6:34 pm ET

It is so wonderful to see such a beautiful and intelligent diverse group of people in the White House for a change. Mr. President you make me proud. You do everything with such class. Don't worry about those that have and will continue to criticize everything you do. They had absolutely nothing to say in the eight years that Bush got us into crisis after crisis. I appreciate that you are trying to clean up the Republican's mess. People around the world are regaining respect for America. Continue to be thoughtful and not impulsive.
P.S. First Lady Obama – You looked stunning last night. I respect your intellect and grace.

Impressed   November 25th, 2009 6:39 pm ET

Larry who was that chef that was critical of the state dinner menu. Why was he even consulted? President Obama does not need someone to second guess his choice of chef and menu. You'll question everything unlike anything I've ever experienced before. I think the main problem is that people can't get over the fact that there are beautiful, well educated and traveled people in the White House. Get over it people.

Ebiowei Stanley   November 26th, 2009 5:38 am ET

Waoh! Its really shameful watching some Americans attack their President for hosting his first dinner but,being critisize for Bush's 8years of war and failure Americans don't make yourselves as the World is watching fears and strength..

Ebiowei Stanley   November 26th, 2009 5:39 am ET

Waoh! Its really shameful watching some Americans attack their President for hosting his first dinner but,being critisize for Bush's 8years of war and failure Americans don't make yourselves as the World is watching fears and strength.. Slack him a break,he is human!

Alagba Ebi Ken   November 26th, 2009 5:42 am ET

Waoh! Its really shameful watching some Americans attack their President for hosting his first dinner party but,being critisize for Bush's 8years of war and failure Americans don't make fun of yourselves as the World is watching your fears and strength.. Slack him a break,he is human!

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