YES, he REALLY Said This…..
Per Politico: A glass pavilion on the South Lawn. A White House decked out for the holidays. A live performance by Grammy- and Oscar-winning musician Jon Batiste. Tables of Napa Valley wine and award-winning American cheeses. And 200 lobsters from Maine. They all awaited the more than 300 black-tie guests who descended on the White House grounds Thursday for a state dinner honoring France, the United States’ oldest ally. It was a jubilant tribute to President Joe Biden’s French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, but also a throwback to a more glamorous and carefree time before a global pandemic brought much of society to a halt. Biden’s first state dinner comes nearly two years into his first term, after “The BUG” put such pageantry on pause. The president’s selection of France as the guest is a testament to Biden and Macron’s close relationship — on full display Thursday as the two leaders referred to each other as “friend” in their chummy interactions, which included the French president frequently patting his U.S. counterpart on the back and referring to him as “Dear Joe.” The ritzy affair comes after a long day of diplomatic discussions, in which the foreign leaders held a lengthy bilateral to discuss thorny subjects like the energy crisis in Europe, the Inflation Reduction Act’s impact abroad and Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. But Thursday night, any growing tensions got set aside in favor of bottles of bubbly with notable French Americans, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, and big names from the business and arts worlds.
Per Wikipedia: Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was born November 20, 1942 and is an American politician who is the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 47th vice president from 2009 to 2017 under Barack Obama and represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009. Biden was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, moving with his family to New Castle County, Delaware, in 1953 when he was ten. He studied at the University of Delaware before earning his law degree from Syracuse University in 1968. He was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970 and became the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history after he was elected to the United States Senate from Delaware in 1972, at age 29. Biden was the chair or ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years and was influential in foreign affairs during Obama’s presidency. He also chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1987 to 1995, dealing with drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties issues; and oversaw six U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings, including the contentious hearings for Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008. Biden was reelected to the Senate six times and was the fourth-most senior sitting senator at the time when he became Obama’s vice president after they won the 2008 presidential election, defeating John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin. Obama and Biden were reelected in 2012, defeating the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. During eight years as vice president, Biden leaned on his Senate experience and frequently represented the administration in negotiations with congressional Republicans, including on the Budget Control Act of 2011, which resolved a debt ceiling crisis, and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which addressed the impending “fiscal cliff”. He also oversaw infrastructure spending in 2009 to counteract the Great Recession. On foreign policy, Biden was a close counselor to the president and took a leading role in designing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011. In 2017, Obama awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction. Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris defeated incumbent president Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence in the 2020 presidential election.
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