It isn’t really clear yet what we can expect from Donald Trump’s first official State Dinner, which the White House has announced would be taking place on April 24 as France’s President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte visit Washington, D.C. After all, the French leader was famously hostile to Trump after he pulled the United States out of the Paris Accord, the treaty agreed upon by nearly 200 countries around the world that will act to curb climate change.
But as France quickly learns that Macron is no Francois Hollande — the last president, whose socialist ideals made the western nation the darling of the European Union — so too do they learn that Macron does not have only disdain for Trump, or for his laissez-faire policies.
Macron hosted Trump for his own country’s Bastille Day celebration, which provided the inspiration for Trump’s ill-advised military parade idea that will cost billions of dollars that could be better spent on any number of social programs that are instead being cut for “lack of funds.”
Although Trump has hosted world leaders for “official” dinners — often also attended by one or more members of Trump’s family — none of them have been, by the White House definition, a State Dinner. The latter is a far more formal affair, paid for by the government, meticulously planned and executed down to the carefully-calligraphed name placards around the dinner table.
It’s hard to imagine what a difference in manner the two world leaders likely have, with the 40-year-old Frenchman unlikely to have been photographed eating a taco bowl in his presidential office, and stories of him falling asleep with a cheeseburger in his hand while watching television in bed nonexistent.
But then, it’s kind of hard to imagine Donald Trump doing anything that requires more than a Neanderthal brain to accomplish. One struggles to picture him listening to his favorite record, playing with a grandchild, enjoying a painting, or dancing with his wife.
We’ll see if he can win anyone over with a Dinner orchestrated by the professionals in the White House that he didn’t hire.
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