pomp and circumstance
President Biden on Thursday dined alongside guests of honor French President Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte Macron at his first state dinner since taking office, a glamorous affair featuring celebrity guests, prestige fashion, and "200 lobsters from Maine," Politico reports.
The red, white, and blue-themed event was somewhat of a return to form for the White House, which temporarily ixnayed such diplomatic grandeur in the light of the pandemic. It was held under a tent on the South Lawn, to which guests were driven in a heated trolley, and also feautured rented plateware since White House china can't leave the building. The Washington Post described the vibe as Beauty and the Beast meets Game of Thrones.
Regarding the menu, A-list attendees like actress Jennifer Garner and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour sipped Napa Valley wine while dining on beef with shallot marmalade and orange chiffon cake, among other prestige plates. Grammy-winning musician John Batiste, meanwhile, prepared for a live performance in front of the roughly 300-person crowd.
For their part, U.S. politicians appeared to play nice. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) briefly chummed it up with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy aptly declined to comment on a pending, GOP-led investigation of Hunter Biden considering the probe's intended target was in the room. "Well, I'm at dinner with my mom, so we're going to have a great time," McCarthy said.
When it came time for a toast, Biden raised his glass (apparently filled with ginger ale) and said, "Vive la France and God Bless America." Macron replied: "Long live the United States of America, long live France and long live the friendship between our two countries."