Bidens’ first White House state dinner a star-studded affair


President Biden and first woman Dr. Jill Biden held their first White House state dinner of the Biden administration Thursday night time, internet hosting French President Emmanuel Macron and his spouse, Brigitte Macron, together with a star-studded visitor listing.

In his toast, Mr. Biden touched on the lengthy bilateral relationship between the 2 nations, courting again to the American Revolutionary War, and calling France the “first friend” of the U.S.

“France was our first ally, first country to fly the American flag after our revolution,” Mr. Biden stated.

“Today, we’re still united by the greatest causes: democracy, liberty, equality, opportunity and freedom,” Mr. Biden added.

White House state dinner
U.S. President Joe Biden and first woman Jill Biden greet French President Emmanuel Macron and his spouse, Brigitte Macron, as they arrive for a state dinner on the White House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2022.


In his toast, Macron echoed these sentiments, calling Mr. Biden a “dear friend.”

“You perfectly describe the challenges we have in front of us,” Macron stated.

The White House had not held a state dinner since September 2019, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which put a damper on gatherings of huge numbers of individuals.

White House state dinner
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks alongside President Biden throughout a state dinner on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2022.


The dinner drew large names from trend, leisure, politics and enterprise.

There had been kisses throughout because the Bidens stepped out on the North Portico to welcome the Macrons — Jill Biden in an off-the-shoulder navy Oscar de la Renta robe, Brigitte Macron in a high-necked ivory one by Louis Vuitton.

Jill Biden’s open invitation because the foursome headed inside: “Enjoy the evening.”

Other friends trickled in by way of a aspect entrance, and appeared eager to do exactly that. First to reach: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, adopted not lengthy after by Gov. John Carney, representing Biden’s house state of Delaware.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus White House state dinner
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, left, and Charles Hall arrive at a state dinner on the White House in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 1, 2022. 

Sarah Silbiger/CNP/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus whizzed by the press, pausing solely to say that, sure, she’d been to a state dinner earlier than and it was all “very exciting.” Comedian Stephen Colbert, host of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” made his entrance, saying nothing as friends handed by a White House embellished for the vacations and boarded trolleys for the experience down the South Lawn to a heated celebration tent.

Shoe designer Christian Louboutin — sporting a crystal bolo tie — was requested how many individuals may be sporting his sneakers for the night time, and would not hazard a guess, saying, “I have no idea.” Vogue editor Anna Wintour additionally was among the many 338 names on the official visitor listing.

Family made the minimize too: Biden’s grownup youngsters, Hunter and Ashley, and his sister, Valerie Biden, had been on the visitor listing.

Others attending: “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, actors Jennifer Garner and Ariana DeBose and singer John Legend and his spouse, Chrissy Teigen. Garner was amongst these sporting velvet, a well-liked selection on an evening when temperatures dipped into the 30s.

President Biden Hosts State Visit For French President Macron At White House
Musician John Legend, proper, and mannequin Chrissy Teigen arrive to attend a state dinner on the White House in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 1, 2022. 

Sarah Silbiger/CNP/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Outgoing Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was there, as was House Republican chief Kevin McCarthy of California, who hopes to succeed Pelosi.

McCarthy was requested how he felt about attending a dinner with Hunter Biden, whom Republicans are eager to analyze once they take management of the House in January. “I’m at dinner with my mom and I’m going to have a great time,” McCarthy stated.

Other lawmakers had been excited to introduce relations who accompanied them. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., who wore a royal blue one-shoulder robe and elbow-length black gloves, introduced her niece, Hannah Carter, who advised her aunt the affair “feels like Bridgerton,” referring to the Netflix romance sequence.

Nancy Pelosi White House state dinner
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her daughter Alexandra Pelosi arrive on the White House to attend a state dinner in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2022.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP by way of Getty Images

Former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms stopped to speak store earlier than Tuesday’s runoff Senate election in Georgia, the place Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is in search of reelection, declaring, “I think it’s going to be a great night for Georgia on Tuesday … just gotta make sure people continue to turn out.”

The White House flew in 200 Maine lobsters this week as a part of the meal. The first course, as White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford described to reporters Wednesday, was vivid poached Maine lobster, dolloped with American Osetra Caviar from California.

“We came up with a menu that would highlight and express the state of America at the moment. We are featuring beautiful things from the land and the sea,” Comerford stated.

Musician Jon Batiste, his spouse, author Suleika Jaouad, and their household arrive on the White House to attend a state dinner in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2022.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP by way of Getty Images

Hostess Jill Biden earlier Thursday took her French counterpart and fellow instructor to a language museum to focus on their mutual curiosity in studying and their rising friendship.

“We are friends,” Brigitte Macron stated as she and Biden clasped palms at Planet Word, a museum devoted to phrases and language.

“We are friends,” Biden repeated.

The declaration of friendship match the event. A state dinner is a excessive diplomatic honor, one the United States bestows solely on its closest allies – like France, considered one of America’s oldest.

The wives had their museum outing whereas their husbands held talks on the White House. Brigitte Macron is a former French literature and theater instructor; Jill Biden continues to show English and writing at a Virginia neighborhood school.

Plenty of enterprise luminaries additionally attended, together with French luxurious items magnate Bernard Arnault, film mogul and investor Jeffrey Katzenberg, non-public fairness legend Henry Kravis and IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.

The visitor listing additionally had a heavy presence of massive Democratic donors who helped the celebration make a better-than-expected exhibiting within the midterm elections. Among them, Katzenberg, a giant Hollywood cash man; Avram Glazer, who in recent times has given a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} to Democratic causes; and Alexander Soros, the son of George Soros and deputy chair of Soros’ Open Society.

Guests dined on rented tableware as a result of place settings from the White House China assortment will not be allowed to be faraway from the manager mansion. They had been seated at a mixture of sq. and rectangular tables with darkish blue silk cloths, crimson candles and preparations of crimson, white and blue flowers, together with white irises, the official flower of France.

Jon Batiste, a Grammy Award-winning New Orleans native and the previous bandleader and musical director of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” was offering the after-dinner leisure.

“It’s going to be fire,” Batiste promised forward of his efficiency.

Thursday’s dinner adopted final month’s marriage ceremony of Biden’s granddaughter on the South Lawn with 250 friends. And tens of 1000’s of individuals will stream by the White House this month, together with vacationers and others invited to almost a month’s price of vacation receptions.


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