Today’s New York Times reported a flamboyant dinner party hosted by President Obama to welcome President of China, Hu Jintao. According to the article, many outstanding figures of politics, business, sports, entertainment, and other fields were ‘on the list’ for the state dinner. Some ‘made the cut’. Some ‘made the list’. In this context, are ‘make the cut’ and ‘make the list’ exactly the same in meaning? Why don’t you simply say ‘[stay/survive] on the list‘?
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter made the cut. So did Bill Clinton and his wife, the secretary of state. The heads of Microsoft, Boeing, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Walt Disney were on the list. So were the singer Barbra Streisand, the ice skater Michelle Kwan, the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the architect Maya Lin and the fashion designer Vera Wang.
But Fred P. Hochberg, the chairman of the Export-Import Bank, did not make the list for President Obama’s state dinner for President Hu Jintao of China, even though trade was a major theme of the day.