Kennedy Center Honors Event Returns To White House

The Guardian reports:

“Tonight it is quite nice, very nice to see the presidential box once again being occupied,” David Letterman said to knowing applause. “And the same with the Oval Office.”

The comedian was introducing the 44th Kennedy Center Honors, where Joe Biden restored tradition merely with his presence after four years in which the annual gala was snubbed by then president Donald Trump and upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden was joined by the first lady, Jill Biden, the vice-president, Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff. House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Chief Justice John Roberts ensured the heads of all three branches of government were present in the main opera house.

The Week reports:

The Bidens also hosted a reception for the honorees beforehand in the White House, another tradition that had gone on hiatus under former President Donald Trump.

“We welcome everyone back,” Biden told the 150 people gathered in the East Room. “Our nation is stronger, more dynamic and more vibrant because of you,” he told the honorees.

Biden praised Diaz’s “soul of sound,” Gordy’s “iconic” record label, and Midler’s emotive “gift.” “Joni,” he told Mitchell, “your words and melodies touch the deepest parts of our soul.”