United States President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host the administration’s first state dinner on Thursday, December 1. Their guests: French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron.
John Kirby, the White House spokesperson, called the event a chance to showcase President Biden’s belief that strong alliances are a core component of foreign policy. Kirby commented, “France is a vital global partner and, of course, the United States’ oldest ally.”
This state dinner is taking place almost halfway into the Biden presidency. The White House did confirm that the pandemic has delayed the event. This will be President Macron’s second time as the guest at an administration’s first state dinner. In April 2018, Trump hosted him for the 45th President’s same occasion.
Macron will be arriving in the United States before the diplomatic dinner. He will join Vice President Kamala Harris in visiting the NASA headquarters on Wednesday. John Kirby noted that this is a testament to the French and American “collaboration on space in support of Earth’s climate, space science, and space exploration.”
On Thursday, President and Mrs. Macron will be greeted by VP Harris and the Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff for an official welcome ceremony. This same day will consist of Macron and Biden discussing the role of their partnership in worldwide challenges and how it affects their bilateral interests. The two leaders will hold a press conference after the meeting.
Before Thursday’s dinner, Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will host a lunch at the State Department for President Macron. This black-tie event is often attended by ambassadors, diplomats, and politicians. It is not unusual for celebrity guests to appear for such evenings as well.
Grammy-winning musician Jon Batiste will be providing the entertainment on Thursday night. Vanessa Valdivia, a spokesperson for Jill Biden, stated of Batiste, “We’re thrilled to have him perform at the White House for the first state dinner of the Biden-Harris administration.”
One can only wonder if any French delicacies will grace the table at this honorific event!