United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby and his wife Kathleen attended the White House State Dinner last Thursday in honor of French President Emanuel Macron. Kirby’s presence demonstrates how effectively United has cozied up to the Biden Administration.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby Rubs Shoulders With World Leaders At White House State Dinner
Kirby shared glamorous photos of him and his lovely wife inside the White House State Dining Room and shared the following reflection:
Last night, Kathleen and I were honored to attend the state dinner at the @whitehouse honoring French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte. Our invitation is a reflection of the great people at @united who are doing all the little things every single day that touch people’s lives and make a difference. And because of that, we can also do the big things. We are emerging as the leading airline around the globe with our customer service culture, our leading role in sustainability, our leadership in creating great career opportunities with programs like @unitedaviate and Calibrate and investments in the future of aviation with supersonic aircraft, electric aircraft and hydrogen powered engines. The list goes on.
It was an amazing event that included an impressive group of people from all backgrounds and from both sides of the aisle. Listening to everyone socialize and talk, even when they don’t always agree, left me with an even stronger sense of optimism for the future of our country and for Western democracies.
It also was a stark demonstration to me of the importance of connecting people and uniting the world. COVID made the world a more dangerous place not just for medical reasons, but because our friendships, relationships and partnerships were strained when we couldn’t be together in person.
So thank you to all the people of United for this recognition of your efforts. And thank you to @potus and @flotus for inviting us.
I appreciate the nuance in his thoughts. Frankly, I was quite happy to see the bipartisan nature of the White House gathering and the hint, albeit faint, that both sides could set aside differences for an evening to break bread together. Furthermore, I think Kirby is exactly correct the pandemic did make the world a more dangerous place because of the lack of gathering in-person.
Kirby has strategically courted favor with the White House on issues ranging from mandatory vaccines to climate control to affirmative action. His invite to a glitzy state dinner showcases how well-ingratiated Kirby is with the current administration.
When I worked at the White House, President Bush held several state dinners and I was never invited…attending a state dinner is on my bucket list as well. Kirby’s invitation demonstrates the unique role he has played in cultivating a relationship with the Biden Administration. Kirby recently noted that he has no concern there would not be future government bailouts…his attendance at the state dinner offers another confirmation that he is on to something.