D.C. Hotel Shows Off Its Inauguration Trappings

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Looking for clues to the tone of the upcoming inauguration? Officially, mum's the word. President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural committee hasn't even been fully assembled.

Whatever Obama's plans, the inauguration is big business in Washington, D.C. And one of the city's hotels — the Ritz-Carlton — peddled luxury and more at its Inaugural Trade Show on Thursday.

The show featured diamonds and tuxes — and dogs. As part of its event, the hotel donated money to the Washington Animal Rescue League.

Patti Harris-Tubbs of the Italian Fiesta Pizzeria in Chicago, Obama's hometown, was there. Tubbs' sister introduced herself to Michelle Obama at a campaign event this summer.

"And Michelle was very excited, and said, 'This is my favorite pizza. I grew up on it; it was my reward for getting good grades when I was in school,' " Tubbs said.

At one table were sweets the Ritz will offer guests who stay at the hotel during the inauguration. The D.C. Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that trains people who need jobs, prepared some of them side-by-side with the Ritz chefs, David Serus and Jerome Girardot.

"It's Michelle Obama's shortbread cookies," Girardot explained. "They're shortbread flavored with citrus — orange and lemon — [and] amaretto, and they're topped with candied orange, candied lemon and pistachios."

Outside, the hotel showed off what it's calling "the preferable methods of transportation to the inauguration": a Cadillac Escalade hybrid and a Smart Car.



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