The party, parts of which were posted on the White House website and reported by Chicago Sun-Times’Lynn Sweet, saw the State Dining Room transformed into a Tim Burton-inspired fantasyland. It resembled the world of the filmmaker’s impending Disney-distributed adaptation of the famous Lewis Carroll story, which was released in March 2010.
Kantor writes (via the NY Post) that Burton made up the room “in his signature creepy-comic style… He had turned the room into the Mad Hatter’s tea party, with a long table set with antique-looking linens, enormous stuffed animals in chairs, and tiered serving plates with treats like bone-shaped meringue cookies… Fruit punch was served in blood vials at the bar. Burton’s own Mad Hatter, the actor Johnny Depp, presided over the scene in full costume, standing up on a table to welcome everyone in character.”
George Lucas, the book says, sent over the original Chewbacca costume for the occasion. Kantor also writes that the President and First Lady’s daughters, Malia and Sasha, and their friends were entertained with a magic show in the East Room.
The White House has cautioned that the book is “an overdramatization of old news, is about a relationship between two people whom the author has not spoken to in years. The author last interviewed the Obamas in 2009 for a magazine piece, and did not interview them for this book.”
Obama had a slew of active celebrity supporters during his campaign in 2008; Oprah, Bruce Springsteen, will.i.am, Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, amongst many others, worked to secure his election by making videos, campaign appearances and speaking out in public. When he took office, stars such as Will Smith, Anne Hathaway and Ron Howard attended his inauguration, while many others took part in parties that week in Washington to celebrate his new presidency. Beyonce sang at his Inaugural Ball.
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