White House State Dinner: Celebrating Diplomacy and Democracy

Attending the White House State Dinner is always a great honor, but this year's event was particularly memorable. Hosted by President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, the dinner was held in honor of Kenyan President William Ruto and First Lady Rachel Ruto. The event underscored the strong alliance between our countries and our joint commitment to democracy.

The event began with a warm welcome from President Biden, who highlighted the deep respect and strong relationship the United States shares with Kenya. His toast to the Kenyan President was heartfelt, reflecting on the history and future of our nations' partnership. One of the highlights of the evening was a brief but impactful appearance by former President Barack Obama, whose father was born in Kenya.

I was delighted to share the evening with Lester Holt, the esteemed journalist from NBC News, and country star Brad Paisley. The entertainment provided by Paisley and the Howard Gospel Choir was a true highlight!

I also had the pleasure of meeting U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and catching up with Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, and Mayor of Chicago Brandon Johnson. Philanthropist Melinda French Gates and former Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg were also present, contributing to the evening's atmosphere of innovation and progress. Entrepreneur Michael Polsky and media executive Tom Bernthal were also part of this exceptional group.

As the evening progressed, it became clear that this state dinner was more than just a formal diplomatic event; it was a celebration of our shared values and a commitment to a future of cooperation, mutual respect, and, above all, democracy. 

Reflecting on the evening, I am reminded of the vital importance of these gatherings. We must continue to cherish and uphold our democratic values, uniting nationally and globally to build a brighter future for all. I left the White House State Dinner feeling optimistic. As Rev. Al Sharpton aptly told reporters, "Democracy is going to win."

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