In an interview with People on Wednesday, President Joe Biden spoke candidly about his marriage and his plans for his administration, including his intention to exclude his family from any government involvement.
In their first interview as president and first lady, Biden and Jill Biden shared the “magic” of their first days in the White House when he served as vice president between 2008 and 2016. The Bidens have been married for 43 years, and they both said their bond has grown even stronger.
“There’s that quote that says sometimes you become stronger in the fractured places,” the first lady told the magazine. “That’s what we try to achieve.”
A little more than a week into his presidency, Biden has signed dozens of executive orders on everything from transgender rights to climate change to the pressing coronavirus pandemic, which has now been beset with at least two new mutant viruses.
The 78-year-old president said his wife has been a driving force and support as he embarks on his presidency.
“She’s the glue that held it together, and I knew that I wanted to marry her shortly after I met her. … It’s not that we don’t fight and argue sometimes. I’m just lucky.”
As he talked about the significance of family, Biden also made it clear that he would not mix the business of the White House with family life. He told People magazine that his administration will more closely resemble former President Barack Obama’s, without as much family involvement as in former President Donald Trump’s White House.
“No one in our family and extended family is going to be involved in any government undertaking or foreign policy,” he told the magazine. “And nobody has an office in this place.”
Trump’s family members had significant roles in his administration, with his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner working as senior White House advisers, although they waived government salaries.
Much has been made of son Hunter Biden’s business with international colleagues in Ukraine and China. The Trump campaign accused Biden and his family’s international dealings. Hunter Biden announced in December that the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware was investigating him and his finances to see if he violated tax and money laundering laws.
To strengthen ethics in his first days as president, Joe Biden established an ethics pledge for appointees that includes a two-year lobbying ban and restrictions on golden parachutes and shadow lobbying.
Stephanie has been telling stories her whole life. Her interest in the written word started with short stories and journal entries about run-ins with classroom bullies as a child and matured to writing for her high school newspaper over the years. She has written and edited for The Tennessean, Augusta Chronicle and American City & County.