Biden grasps Macron’s hand, holds on for dear life, stares into space, for 42 long, awkward seconds

President Biden held his first formal White House state dinner on Thursday hosting French President Emmanuel Macron with a welcome ceremony being held on the White House lawn — an event that was marked by an awkward 42-second handshake between the world leaders.

Biden, 80, grasped the French president’s hand and held on for dear life. The men shook hands as a French translator finished up the final section of Biden’s speech being broadcast to the crowd. They were facing one another with Biden moving in ever closer as they chatted privately and patted each other’s arms. At one point, Biden’s face froze and he appeared to be staring off into the distance — Macron, for his part, tried several times to break the grasp to no avail.

Toward the end, Macron smiled a sheepish smile that you’d expect to see from a relative trapped by the crazy uncle at a family picnic — Biden would finally free his French prisoner when the translator finished. It’s not clear if this was the reason for the long awkward handshake, or if Biden was striking a pose for photographers.

The formal affair that featured a lavish lobster dinner saw a who’s who of left-wing stars including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Stephen Colbert and Anna Wintour, according to The Hill, which also noted that John Legend and Chrissy Tiegen were expected, as well as MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Interestingly, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was also in attendance, as was Hunter Biden — which prompted a stinging tweet from U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who opposes McCarthy being the next speaker of the House:

There was another video making the rounds online of Macron acting as a de facto minder for the elderly U.S. president, who seemed at times to be wandering around lost on the White House lawn.

An embarrassing moment in Franco-American relations:


Tom Tillison


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