Inside Biden’s state dinner: Hot dog talk and entertainment that lasted until 1am
No, this does not apply to the rest of the country, or even to those who work only outside the privileged confines of the crowded white tent on the South Lawn.
But the human impulse to gather—especially after the worst part of a long pandemic—is universal. Officials planning the event said there was an urgent need for Mr. Biden and Mr. Macron to project a united front against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The majesty of American soft power was on full display,” said Mr. Gifford. “These personal relationships are at the heart of American foreign policy, and that’s why they’re so important.”
Mr. Gifford kept a close eye on members of the French delegation to make sure they were enjoying themselves – and, most importantly, the food, which included a selection of American cheeses and buttered triple-boiled potatoes.
“The plates were empty, the glasses were empty,” he reported. In other words, none of the French pointed out that the brut rosé and chardonnay on offer are “American wine” after all. as the French ambassador did at a state dinner hosted by the Clintons in 1996.
As America’s old alliance has been carefully nurtured, there have been flashes of bipartisanship that might surprise lawmakers’ tribal supporters. Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat, approached Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California who is trying to become the next House speaker, to shake his hand. It happened more than once.
A senior White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private conversations, said the conversations with Republicans remained light — sports talk replaced more contentious topics, including, say, the upcoming supervisory investigations. Guests were discouraged from working in the room for protocol reasons, one of the attendees said, so it became difficult to get a good look at who was doing what.
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