Latest – from White House Governors’ Dinner and who is sitting next to whom and the menu

Subject: print pool report 2: POTUS remarks and t/p lid


Pool was led into the State Dining Room for the Governors’ Dinner at 7:08 PM. The room was jam-packed with governors and top administration officials. Everything was bathed in purple light on the way into the dining room and in the room itself, previewing a pair of short, togetherness-themed remarks from POTUS and Gov. Mary Fallin, chair of the NGA.


some highlights from the remarks (check against eventual transcript pls):


– POTUS once again called for a “year of action” and asked the governors to help him in his efforts to circumvent Congressional gridlock. He said 2014 “could be a breakthrough year for America and the American people. That of course will require that we collectively take action on what matters to them: jobs and opportunity. And when we’ve got a Congress that sometimes seems to have a difficult time acting, I want to make sure that I have the opportunity to partner with each of you in anyway that I can to help more Americans work, study and strive and make sure that they see their efforts and their faith in this country rewarded.” Obama said he’d talk more with the governors about “areas where we can work together” Monday.


– POTUS gave O’Malley a shoutout by name, referring to the time they both attended the Naval Academy graduation ceremony last spring.


– Fallin kept up the spirit of working together. “Mr. President, we appreciate the collaboration, the cooperation. There may be times that we don’t always see eye-to-eye, but we also respect the office of the president and all your cabinet officials that have joined us here tonight and we’re deeply grateful for the opportunity to have a collaboration, to be able to talk and to be able to work on behalf of this great nation.”


some highlights from seating arrangements spotted through the legs of photogs in front of your pooler:


FLOTUS was seated between Nikki Haley and Mike Pence.


– Biden was seated next to Scott Walker and Deval Patrick (h/t poolers with fewer photographers’ hindquarters obstructing their view.)


– Valerie Jarrett was seated next to Rick Snyder.


– Pat Quinn was seated next to freshly-minted WH political director David Simas.


According to CSPAN’s excellent tracker of gubernatorial tweets (, only Nikki Haley posted a selfie while at the WH for dinner. You can see it here: Let it be known that the nation’s governors show more self-restraint than French reporters when it comes to selfies. Or at least when it comes to posting selfies online.


The Governors’ Dinner menu, per the WH:


Tuna Tartare

Baby Arugula, Bartlett Pears and Caramel Black Walnuts

Petite Filet with Maryland Crab Ravioli

Warm Meyer Lemon Custard


At the end of Fallin’s brief remarks, pool was sent out of the dinner and a travel/photo lid was called at 7:22 PM.


Evan McMorris-Santoro

BuzzFeed White House Reporter