In advance of a White House extravaganza with a Monet theme, a state dinner in honor of French President Francois Hollande, on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, the White House shared a formal portrait of the First Family's pets, Bo and Sunny, on the FLOTUS Twitter page.
Bejeweled and beribboned for the occasion, the Portugese water dogs preened on seats of prominence at a luxurious dining table laden with what appears to be priceless china and crystal. The beloved pets, often rowdy, appeared well behaved, composed and almost regal.
Apparently, that old axiom, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder," applies to this lighthearted image. According to the responses on Twitter, many were utterly charmed by the photo as well as the clever tweet, "Bone appétit!"
At the most recent count, the FLOTUS tweet and image have been retweeted 1,675 times, and more importantly, favorited 2,279 times. Related headlines have popped up, some with glowing words of approval. CBS quipped, "It’s a doggone shame there isn’t a “best dressed” list for animals."
Over on ABC News, it was noted that "Even The White House Dogs Are Dressed Up For State Dinner," while HuffPost Politics wrote Bo and Sunny are "decked out for the state Dinner," and "It's pretty adorable."
However, in a very short time the photo was also scorned as an example of the kind of "insensitivity" one would expect from Marie Antoinette, not from the First Lady of a country whose people are painfully mired in economic woes
The Daily Caller remarked, "Poverty and unemployment are at near-record levels, the economy is stalled, and a record 47 million Americans are on food stamps, yet aides for first lady Michelle Obama’s tweeted out a picture of her two dogs apparently dining at a table laid with crystal and china."
French President Francois Hollande arrived in the United States on Monday. The upcoming celebration in honor of his visit will be held on the White House's South Lawn in a heated tent. This will be the first state dinner of Obama's second term. Although the decor and theme are Monet, the menu will feature American delicacies and American wines, including a chardonnay from Monticello.