Barack Obama Returns to White House as State Dinner Guest

Dozens of prominent Kenyans, including Kenyan President William Ruto, his wife Rachel, and three of their daughters, attended the sixth state dinner of President Biden’s tenure on the South Lawn of the White House on a muggy May evening. James Mwangi, CEO of the international banking giant Equity Group Holdings Limited, was among the country’s richest people who attended the event.

Perhaps the most famous Kenyan was Barack Obama, who made another cameo appearance to bolster a floundering Biden.

On the same night, President Biden’s present political challenges were laid bare, with a rundown of the individuals Biden would want to woo in the coming months. Among the guests were prominent Black political operatives, state legislators, and wealthy benefactors like Melinda French Gates. Hunter Biden, the president’s son who is due to face trial next month on gun charges, was among the many Biden family members, grandchildren, and supporters of the president’s re-election campaign that he and Jill Biden mingled.

It seems that a number of exhausted Biden officials were also intended to have a night off at the visitors’ expense. One hundred fifty people were invited, including White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, Director of Communications for First Lady Elizabeth Alexander, and White House Social Secretary Carlos Elizondo. Even while some guests, including Donna Brazile, a seasoned political strategist, attempted to keep the topic of the 2024 race out of the gathering, the sad truth eventually crept in.

In several states considered to be in the thick of the race, Biden is now polling lower than his opponent, former President Donald J. Trump.

Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state, joined her husband, former president Bill Clinton, for their second state dinner this spring. Their counsel, support, and fundraising skills are invaluable to Biden. 

Two senators from the president’s inner circle—Delaware’s Chris Coons and Georgia’s Democrat Raphael Warnock—cut. It was believed that Speaker Mike Johnson was persuaded to endorse the most recent round of military money for Ukraine by Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, who is an ally of Mr. Johnson.

Even the night’s musical guest, Brad Paisley, had a friend of status. The guests briefly discussed investment in African economies and initiatives on many occasions.