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 February 10, 2024

Jill Biden continues to protect president with 'Biden bubble'

Three years into President Joe Biden's tenure, the press corps covering the administration has become accustomed to the absence of interaction with First Lady Jill Biden during public appearances.

With the president, 81, holding the fewest press conferences or formal interviews among modern commanders-in-chief, reporters seize moments during his walks across the White House South Lawn as their best opportunity for engagement.

The concern

When President Biden ventures alone, he becomes more susceptible to questions shouted by journalists, occasionally engaging in impromptu exchanges even late at night.

The presence of First Lady Jill Biden, 72, alongside him signifies the unlikelihood of any press interaction, as she maintains close physical contact throughout their stroll.

This observation underscores the newfound scrutiny surrounding Jill Biden's role in shielding her husband from media encounters, particularly following special counsel Robert Hur's description of the president as an "elderly man with a poor memory."

Limited appearances

President Biden has conducted only three solo White House press conferences since assuming office in January 2021, ranking among the lowest of any president in office and standing in strong contrast with former President Donald Trump's frequent interviews and press conferences.

During the most recent session in November 2022, the last-minute arrival of Jill Biden raised suspicions, as she was strategically seated at the forefront of the State Dining Room, potentially signaling discreet influence over the proceedings.

Such precautions may stem from past incidents, such as President Biden's lengthy and error-ridden press conference in January 2022, where he made consequential remarks regarding Russia and Ukraine.

Reports indicate that Jill Biden expressed frustration over her husband's unpreparedness on that occasion, suggesting a need for tighter control over his public appearances.

The Biden bubble

In addition to orchestrating her husband's movements, Jill Biden has assumed the role of stage manager, guiding him offstage during events to prevent prolonged or awkward moments.

White House staff have also intervened to prevent potential embarrassments, employing tactics such as prematurely ending press conferences and physically redirecting President Biden away from reporters.

Despite these efforts to manage interactions with the press, President Biden's propensity for verbal gaffes remains evident, with recent instances including misidentifying foreign leaders and making factual errors during public speeches.

This pattern underscores ongoing concerns about his verbal acuity and has prompted the implementation of strategies, such as "Bubble Wrap," aimed at minimizing his public missteps and stumbles.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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