WASHINGTON — The inaugural White House state dinner of President Joe Biden’s administration attracted major names from the world of entertainment, fashion as well as business and politics. They attended to mark the birthday of the French , the presidency of French President Emmanuel Macron and the return of major social events following the pandemic.
There were hugs all over as the Bidens took to the North Portico to welcome the Macrons -the Macrons – Jill Biden in an off-the-shoulder navy Oscar de la Renta gown, Brigitte Macron in a high-necked ivory gown made by Louis Vuitton.
Jill Biden’s invitation to the party when the group headed inside: “Enjoy the evening.”
Others walked in through an entrance on the side, appearing intent to make a splash. The first to arrive was the Louisiana Governor. John Bel Edwards, followed shortly after by Governor. John Carney, from Biden’s home state of Delaware.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus speeded through the media, stopping only to add that yes, she’d been at an official dinner previously and that it was “very thrilling.” Late-night anchor Stephen Colbert said nothing as guests made their way through a White House decorated for the holiday season and hopped on trolleys for the journey down on the South Lawn to a heated party tent.
Christian Louboutin, the shoe designer -wearing the bolo tie with crystals and said “I do not know” when asked how many women would wear his red-soled shoes for the evening I wouldn’t dare to make any guesses. Vogue Editor Anna Wintour also was among the 338 names listed on that guestlist.
Biden family members made it as well: the adult Biden children Hunter Ashley and Hunter Ashley, as well as sister Valerie Biden.
Others who attended: “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, actor Jennifer Garner as well as the singer John Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Ada Limon poet laureate from the United States. Garner was among the guests wearing velvet, which is a fashionable choice for a night in which temperatures were in the 30s.
Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House, was there and so was House Republican Chairman Kevin McCarthy of California, who is hoping to replace Pelosi.
McCarthy was asked how he felt having a meal together with Hunter Biden, whom Republicans are looking to probe after they assume charge of the House in January,” McCarthy said, “I’m dining with my mom, and I’m sure to have a blast.”
Others lawmakers were thrilled to welcome family members who were with them. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del. She was wearing a royal blue one-shoulder gown and black gloves that reached elbow length. She brought her niece Hannah Carter, who told her aunt that the event “feels similar to Bridgerton,” referring to the Netflix romance show.
In the evening, which ended too late , Biden made an ode “to the rich history that connects us, as well as the values that bind us, as well as the future we’ll build together. “Viva la France and God Bless America.”
“I do hope that you enjoyed an enjoyable meal,” Macron joked as he opened his toast in the name of “Dear Joe.” Guests, most of whom appeared to be hungry, were laughing.
“This evening, we aren’t only moved and honoured by the moment, but we also feel the significance to this particular moment.” Macron said. “It has a significant significance for us all, because this is our past.”
Former Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms sat down to chat with her supporters prior to Tuesday’s second round of the Senate elections in Georgia in which Democratic Senator. Raphael Warnock is seeking his second term. “I think it’s going to be a wonderful evening in Georgia in the Tuesday election … only have to ensure that people remain in the voting.”
The tent is set and tables set for the big meal and hosts Jill Biden earlier Thursday took her French counterpart to a museum for French language to showcase their common desire to learn and their developing friendship.
“We are best friends” Brigitte Macron said while she and Biden joined fingers at Planet Word. “We can be friends.” Biden repeated.
It was a declaration appropriate to the event. The state meal is a prestigious diplomatic honour, one that which the United States bestows only on its closest allies such as France as one of the oldest in America.
Guests began to stream into the White House as the sun set in a fashion that was elegant and exciting to tell the world that they had played a small role in the history of the world — the first time a state dinner was hosted by Bidens.
A number of prominent business figures were in attendance. The event was attended by a number of business leaders, such as French luxe merchandise entrepreneur Bernard Arnault, movie mogul and investor Jeffrey Katzenberg, private equity legend Henry Kravis and IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.
The guests list also featured large numbers of prominent Democratic donors who helped the party achieve more than expected gains during this year’s midterm election. There was Katzenberg, a major Hollywood money maker; Avram Glazer, who in recent times has donated many thousands of dollars for Democratic causes and Alexander Soros, the son of George Soros and deputy chair of Soros’ Open Society.
Butter-poached Maine lobster and beef with shallot marmalade as well as American cheeses were featured on the menu at the red-white-and blue themed dinner. Dessert was a cake made of orange chiffon served with roasted pears and crème fraiche Ice cream. American sparkling wine is served during toasts.
The guests ate with tableware that was rented since table settings from The White House china collection are not permitted to be taken out of the mansion’s executive suite. The guests were served at an assortment of rectangular and square tables, adorned with dark blue silk with red candles as well as arrangements of white, red and blue blooms, including white irises, which are the flowers of official status in France.
Jon Batiste, a Grammy Award-winning New Orleans native and the former musical director and bandleader on “The Late Show on Stephen Colbert,” provided the entertainment after dinner.
“It’s sure to be a firework,” Batiste promised ahead of his show.
It was reported that the White House had not held an official dinner since September, largely because of the COVID-19 virus that has slowed the gatherings with massive numbers of people.
But entertainment is on the rise in the White House.
The dinner on Thursday was the follow-up to last month’s wedding of Biden’s daughter at the South Lawn with 250 guests. In addition, tens of thousands of people are expected to be streaming across this month’s White House this month, including guests from the outside and those invited to attend nearly the entire month’s worth of Christmas receptions.