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Bidens Welcome Australian PM With Toned-Down State Dinner Over Israel-Hamas War

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


President Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon to the White House for a state dinner on Wednesday in a toned-down affair as a nod to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, reports said.

CBS News reported that planners decided to serve “comforting” food while also nixing the dance party music for some softer instrumental sounds.

“Over 300 guests — members of Congress and other elected officials from both political parties, fundraisers for Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign, labor officials, CEOs and at least one Hollywood actor, John Leguizamo — had returned RSVPs for seats at the fourth White House state dinner of Mr. Biden’s term. Three of Biden’s granddaughters were attending, as was his sister, Valerie,” the outlet reported.

Nevertheless, the affair was still criticized on social media after a photo of the first couple was posted by a Democratic Party operative in Tennessee.

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“The B-52s, an American new wave band, had originally been lined up to provide the entertainment. But first lady Jill Biden said the White House made ‘a few adjustments’ to the entertainment at a time ‘when so many are facing sorrow and pain,'” CBS News reported. “She made no direct reference to the Israel-Hamas war sparked by the militant group’s surprise Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, or Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, support for Biden’s most likely opponent at this point — former President Donald Trump — continues to rise.

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Also, in the 2024 election, many analysts have predicted that Biden will be the Democratic Party’s nominee. Now that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has announced he will not be a Democratic candidate but instead an Independent, Joe Biden may extend his lead in the party.

However, Kennedy’s decision to run as a third-party candidate in the 2024 presidential election could end up hurting both Biden and Trump.

The general election would pit Biden against Trump if the Democrats’ nomination went to him. Recent polls show that Trump has a commanding lead over his fellow Republicans, including a 49-point margin over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Voters were asked their preferences in the weekly Morning Consult poll between Trump and Biden and Biden and DeSantis.

This week’s poll found that, once again, Biden and Trump are tied as the two most likely candidates for the 2024 election, with 43% of the vote each. One in ten said they would vote for an alternative candidate, and another five percent said they weren’t sure.

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Trump made up ground here after trailing Biden by four points in the previous survey.

Biden defeated DeSantis 43% to 38% in a hypothetical matchup. Twelve percent said they would vote for an alternative candidate, and seven percent said they were undecided.

Biden’s lead over DeSantis increased to five points in the most recent poll after hovering around three points for several weeks.

This is in stark contrast to the previous president, who has held a lead of two percentage points or less in most weekly polls since they began in December. A weekly poll conducted seven weeks ago showed that Biden had a three-point lead over Trump, one of his largest advantages in recent months.

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