Inevitably, it was a spot of retail therapy and self-pampering in Paris for US senator Kamala Harris, who was in town just days before announcing her run for president of the United States.
Her nearly two-week stay included a dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron in the countryside outside Paris, a slew of political meetings and a meeting with Ms. Harris has reportedly cost a whopping US$572.72 to visit two of the capital’s most prestigious eateries, La Grenouillere and the chef Bistrot “Le Caveau.”
During her time in Paris, the California senator also took part in a roundtable discussion for the United Nations’ International Women’s Day, tweeting a photo of herself and British philosopher, writer and humanitarian, Germaine Greer.
How do you become the 1st Black female U.S. Attorney General? Learn Kamala Harris’ story. https://t.co/Y1J5jGHbsZ pic.twitter.com/WM5XdsHcxw — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 21, 2018
This is hardly news to CNN viewers, however, because the $572 is a list price, while on the whole the star attraction of Paris-area restaurants is usually a lavish meal that will set you back much more than that. For example, on Christmas Eve, an elite Black members-only bistro, Mahim, served guest Lala Vasquez and her mother for a grand total of €2,140 (approximately $2,525) – or approximately 70% more than the US$1,770 expense listed on Harris’ French expenses.
“It’s at the check that they say ‘We’re doing this because…’” barrista Caroline Sassa told CNN in 2017, noting that it’s commonly encouraged by the restaurant owners for guests to try everything on the menu so they can also share something from each. “It’s not about how much you spend it’s about what you experience.”
If this was purely a gesture by a politician with a packed schedule, it would be really just another U.S. politician to hitch her coat to a bandwagon, like the ones who schlepped to London for some shows in the UK capital and to the Élysée Palace in the capital for a meet and greet with its president and meet-and-greet with the French president himself. Or who went to India in the spring of 2018 to attend the Munich Security Conference and to the ASEAN Forum in November 2018 to hold bilateral meetings with India’s Prime Minister Narenda Modi – where, similarly, she was rumored to have spent over €750,000 ($950,000) on her travel, lodging and private security service during her stay.