12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Sights and sounds from Biden’s glitzy State Dinner

White House
Greg Nash/The Hill
Opening ceremony at the White House for French President Emmanuel Macron’s first state visit during the Biden administration.

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.


The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner *Lite*, if you will: 

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden hosted French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron for an official State Dinner at the White House on Thursday night.  

C-SPAN footage of the State Dinner 


The first ladies looked beautiful!: Here’s a photo the Bidens and the Macrons at the dinner. Photo 

^ Jill Biden is wearing a custom Oscar de la RentaAccording to CNN’s Kate Bennett 

This is making me hungry: Just in case you missed it, here’s the menu from last night

Wow, this is all in a tent: C-SPAN’s Howard Mortman tweeted video of the dinner, which took place in a tent outside the White House. Watch 

^ I still can’t get over that this is a tentHere’s another video from inside the tent.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) brought his mom to the dinner: Photo from Reuters’ Jeff Mason 

Nightly Joe: Here are photos of NBC News’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski entering the dinner. 

Anna Wintour’s jewelry looks like a pile of necklaces I have that I can no longer separate: Photo of the Vogue editor, via CNN’s Kate Bennett 

The Earlier Show, if you willHere’s a photo of “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert and his wife Evie Colbert

John and Chrissy!: Watch singer John Legend and model Chrissy Teigen walk into the dinner. Video 

Were any House lawmakers invited?: Yes, here’s a list from The Hill’s Mychael Schnell 

Veep’s in the house!: Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus attended last night’s State Dinner. Photo of her entrance 

And so is Jennifer GarnerPhoto 


The Washington Post’s Dan Zak, Roxanne Roberts, Jada Yuan andJura Koncius write: “The presidents clinked crystal to cap a whirl of bonhomie, spiced with slight disagreement.” The full story

It’s Friday! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.

📊 News this morning 

It’s the first Friday of the month. You know what that means?!

It’s jobs’ day! 

The U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in November, beating economists’ expectations. 

What economists had predicted: A gain of roughly 200,000 jobs in November 

What about the unemployment rate?: It remained at 3.7 percent, just 0.2 percentage points above pre-pandemic levels. 

The good news and bad news: “The November jobs report is another sign of resilience for the U.S. economy, which has defied expectations and keeps growing at a solid pace. But another strong month for the labor market could force the Fed to take even harsher action to slow the economy—and hiring—into a more sustainable pace.”  

More on what these figures mean for the economy, via The Hill’s Sylvan Lane 


From The New York Times’s Emma Goldberg

🗳 On the campaign trail 

I know. It’s one runoff election, but it matters *a lot* — here’s why

The Senate race between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and former football star Herschel Walker is heading to a runoff on Tuesday after neither candidate reached 50 percent of the votes cast. 


1. “A Dem victory would reduce Manchin and Sinema’s leverage.” 

2. “Former President Trump has a lot at stake.” 

3. “Senate committees are more important than they sound.” Basically, even though Democrats have the majority, each committee would have an equal number of members from each party if the Senate is 50-50. 

4. “Democrats face a grim Senate map in 2024.” Dems are defending 23 Senate seats in 2024, while Republicans are defending 10 seats. Those GOP seats are generally safer seats for Republicans, too. 

5. “The result will reveal more about Georgia’s political transition.”  

Explanations for each from The Hill’s Niall Stanage 


Warnock is leading Walker by 4 points, according to a new CNN poll.  

The full poll

🚉 In Congress 

Phew, no railroad strike!:
“The Senate voted Thursday to avert a costly nationwide rail strike next week that lawmakers in both parties worried would shut down much of the economy and further add to inflation.” 

The Senate vote: 80-15 

What about paid sick leave?: That proposal was rejected by the Senate. 

The full story

⚽️🇺🇸 Happening tomorrow 


The United States men’s national soccer team made it to the round of 16 in the World Cup!  

The U.S. will play the Netherlands tomorrow at 10 a.m. EST (!)  

The question casual fans have — do we have a chance of winning?: New York Magazine’s Will Leitch explains how the U.S. team compares to the Netherlands’ team. The gist?: Leitch says yes, the U.S. could win. The full Q&A 

ESPN game preview 

The Washington Post has a list of bars to watch the game in DCThe list 

^ But make sure to get there very early!Washingtonian has a list of bars and the lines each expects on Saturday.

🦠 The COVID-19 numbers 

Cases to date: 98.4 million 

Death toll: 1,077,303 

Current hospitalizations: 28,136

Shots administered: 653 million 

Fully vaccinated: 68.8 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

A perk of covering Capitol Hill: 

Politico’s Mike DeBonis retweeted a Town Hall clip of Apple CEO Tim Cook refusing to answer whether he backs the Chinese protests and questions about iPhones. Watch Cook ignore the questions 

DeBonis added: “Covering the Hill is great not just because you have mostly unfettered access to 535 lawmakers but you also get to ask tough questions to other powerful people who spend a lot of time avoiding just that.”   

OK, I have to hand it to this kid. What a great way to meet the royals

CBS News tweeted, “This eight-year-old boy dressed as a Buckingham Palace King’s Guard and waited for Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, outside in Somerville, Massachusetts, handing the princess a bouquet of flowers.” Watch — he is SO cute

On tap 

The House is in. The Senate is out. President Biden is in Boston this afternoon. Vice President Harris is in Washington, D.C., with no public events.

  • 9 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • 10:15 a.m.: First and last House votes. Today’s House agenda 
  • 12:25 p.m.: Biden leaves for Boston. 
  • 2:50 p.m.: Biden meets with Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. 
  • 4:10 p.m.: Biden participates in an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) phone bank. 
  • 5:45 p.m.: Biden participates in a reception for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. 
  • 6:55 p.m.: Biden leaves Boston and flies to Camp David. 
  • 3 p.m. Monday: The Senate meets next. Monday’s Senate agenda 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • Today: The Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Rules Committee discusses potential changes to the 2024 primary calendar. Livestream 
  • 10:15 a.m.: Biden delivered remarks on the railroad worker bill to avert a national strike. Watch 
  • 1:30 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks with reporters aboard Air Force One. Livestream 

🍭 In lighter news

Today is National Fritter Day!

And to leave you on an entertaining note, here’s a puppy who truly doesn’t understand the problem here.

Tags 12:30 Report Biden Biden state dinner Brigitte Macron Economy Emmanuel Macron Georgia runoff Jill Biden Jobs Report Julia Louis-Dreyfus rail strike Raphael Warnock Stephen Colbert World Cup

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