Macron attends a White House state dinner with the Bidens.

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By Creative Media News

The French take cheese very seriously; their citizenship exams even include questions about Fromage.

On Thursday, however, French President Emmanuel Macron and his entourage will be fed American cheese at the White House, as selected by First Lady Jill Biden.

The Bidens are holding their first state dinner, a formal gathering for visiting heads of state in Washington.

Macron attends a white house state dinner with the bidens.
Macron attends a white house state dinner with the bidens.

It is a delicate exhibition of soft power that has taken six months to prepare.

From the guest list to the meal to the seating arrangement, every aspect of these dinners requires the careful attention of the first lady, the State Department, and an army of White House staff and chefs.

Each year, dozens of world leaders visit Washington, but only a select handful are invited to a state dinner, at the president’s choice and on the advice of his foreign policy experts.

The first state supper was conducted in 1874 when US President Ulysses Grant hosted King David Kalakaua of the Kingdom of Hawaii at the White House, and the custom continued under the majority of presidents thereafter.

Frances emmanuel macron
Macron attends a white house state dinner with the bidens.

On Thursday, 300 to 400 guests will join President Joe Biden, President Emmanuel Macron, and their wives inside a big heated tent on the South Lawn, where Jon Batiste, the former musical director of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, will sing live.

Guests will eat on a feast consisting of caviar, sparkling champagne, 200 live lobsters, and – most importantly – an Oregon blue cheese course.

In 2019, the Rogue River Blue Cheese was the first American product to win the World Cheese Awards, making its presence at the banquet “a touch of American soft power,” according to a French news site.

Mrs. Biden stated on Wednesday, “We hope that the French residents everywhere feel the warmth of our greeting.” As we strengthen our cooperation, may our friendship grow stronger, our bonds grow deeper, and our futures grow brighter.

This dinner takes place approximately two years into the presidency of Joe Biden. It is one of the longest waits for a president to host his first state banquet, reflecting the Covid-19 pandemic’s disproportionate influence on the 80-year presidency. old’s

It is also Mr. Macron’s second state dinner in the United States. In 2018, he was the first guest at a state banquet held by President Donald Trump.

The United States frequently refers to France as its longest ally, and when asked on Thursday why the French president was chosen as his first visitor, Vice President Biden responded, “Because he is my friend.”

However, the fact is somewhat more complex. While the two leaders appear to have a strong personal relationship, they have had to reconcile several significant policy differences in recent months.

Mr. Macron was angered by a combined defense agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia that cost France a multibillion-dollar deal for submarines.

The French president recalled his ambassador from Washington, and his foreign minister referred to the action as a “backstab,” compelling Vice President Biden to declare publicly that the deal’s dissemination had been “clumsy.”

On Wednesday, the first day of Mr. Macron’s visit, he harshly criticized the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) just passed by his American counterpart.

During a meeting with US congressmen, Mr. Macron reportedly stated that the IRA’s climate subsidies gave American companies an advantage over their European counterparts that would be “very aggressive for our businesspeople.”

He stated that all the French want is “to be acknowledged as a good friend.”

The White House said that it does not view the expansion of the global renewable energy sector as a “zero-sum game” and will pursue “a constructive way of engagement with the EU.”

Mr. Biden stated at a joint news conference on Thursday that the two nations had established common ground on critical problems, including the conflict in Ukraine.

Regarding the IRA, he stated, “We had a thorough talk.”

Mr. Macron continued, “We want to succeed together, not against one another.”

Before the dinner, Mr. Biden will also have to deal with a domestic controversy involving the butter-poached Maine lobsters he plans to serve.

“The lobster on the White House menu comes from a fishery with well-documented hazards to the last 340 North Atlantic right whales,” said Gib Brogan, campaign manager for the conservation activist group Oceana, on Wednesday.

Smarter options would include a menu using wild Gulf shrimp or Atlantic scallops from U.S. fisheries that have confronted endangered species issues head-on and created excellent risk mitigation strategies.

Several Maine government leaders criticized the White House for eating lobsters while the lobster sector faces new federal restrictions regarding whale conservation.

In a tweet, Governor Janet Mills urged the Biden administration to “recognize that all Maine lobstermen want is the chance to continue delivering this product for people to enjoy, without the federal government crushing them under the weight of burdensome, scientifically dubious restrictions.”

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