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State dinner night: And after the party, it’s the hotel for lobbyists

Globe and Mail reporter Laura Stone.

Dave Chan/The Globe and Mail

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By Laura Stone (@l_stone) in Washington

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In the words of a not-at-all wise man: after the party, it's the after party.

Guests at Thursday night's state dinner – or, rather, those who couldn't get one of the 200 coveted invitations – gathered at the stunning rooftop bar of the W Hotel for late-night festivities. The party, invitation only, started around 10 p.m. and ran until about 1:30 a.m.

Partygoers sat at open-air tables overlooking the White House and Washington Monument, as a DJ played hits from Justin Bieber and Rihanna and waiters passed around mini burgers and donuts.

The crowd was mostly lobbyist types, with the odd smattering of government officials and journalists.

Canadian actress Sandra Oh, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Fisheries and Oceans Ministers Hunter Tootoo were there, as were PMO principal secretary Gerald Butts, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford.

But neither the prime minister, nor his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, showed up. Not that we blame them: they had kind of a night.


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By Chris Hannay (@channay)

> State dinner roundup: the personal bond between Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau stood out in yesterday's speeches; the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers welcomed news of cuts to methane emissions; it may have been too late for the outgoing president and too early for the new prime minister to have expected more substance at the bilateral talks; who wore which designers; Canada's "dreamy prime minister" explained for Americans; and can Mr. Trudeau be the leader Mr. Obama wanted to be?

> Canada's prison watchdog is calling for new limits to solitary confinement, in his strongest words yet.

> Some judges are not sure what to do about marijuana possession cases as the Liberals continue to work on their legalization plan.

> The federal Liberals say they have less money for indigenous education than they expected, due to changes made quietly by the previous Conservative government.

> Senate Liberal Leader James Cowan – no longer officially affiliated with the Liberal MPs in the House of Commons since Mr. Trudeau split the two groups – says there is nothing stopping his caucus from wooing new "independent" senators who will be named by the Prime Minister in the coming weeks.

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> And B.C. Premier Christy Clark becomes the longest-serving female premier this weekend, at five years and two days. "Apparently, you don't have to serve very long to be the longest, which really does indicate to me that we still have a long way to go," Ms. Clark said, adding that she still faces men who are uncomfortable with women in power. "I still sit in meetings with male staffers when we have guests come in, CEOs and all the rest of it, and they talk to the male staffers and they're meeting with me," she said.


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"[Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Obama] both came to high office with relatively little background and exceeded expectations in their own countries. It is easy, therefore, for them to see a bit of the other in themselves. And although bilateral relations go far beyond the two highest political offices, it can help resolve problems and advance common interests to have an excellent personal relationship at the top." – Jeffrey Simpson (for subscribers).

Don Martin (CTV): "A new Canada has been branded in many American minds. But before succumbing to the rapture from tagalong media afflicted with giddy symptoms of Stockholm syndrome, it's important to realize the elephant in the room is actually on the campaign trail. And that elephant could well be a Republican who doesn't embrace climate change or freer trade or a more porous northern border."

Dan Gardner (Globe and Mail): "It is horrible to contemplate but somehow, in 2016, torture will be on the ballot in November."

Tasha Kheiriddin (iPolitics): "Does...the NDP needs its own version of [Bernie] Sanders to get Canadian voters to start 'feeling the bern?'"

Melissa Vincent (Globe and Mail): "So what's next for this new wave [of feminism]? Perhaps one of our most pressing challenges is acquainting political and social landscapes with the concept that feminism cannot be separated from intersections with race, gender, sexual orientation, class and a plethora of other variables that construct individual experiences."

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About the Author
Assistant editor, Ottawa

Chris Hannay is assistant editor in The Globe's Ottawa bureau and author of the daily Politics newsletter. Previously, he was The Globe and Mail's digital politics editor, community editor for news and sports (working with social media and digital engagement) and a homepage editor. More


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