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For Biden, there is no place like a weekend home in Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – As he stood in the rose garden celebrating his first major legislative victory, President Joe Biden gestured to the White House and said it was a “magnificent building” to live in. Except on the weekend. Of the eight weekends since Biden took office, he has spent three at his longtime home outside of Wilmington, Delaware, including this weekend. Preliminary plans for another weekend visit have been scrapped due to Senate actions regarding Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan. Biden also spent a weekend at the Camp David Presidential Retreat in Maryland. Many presidents have at one point complained that they feel imprisoned in the White House. Biden has repeated previous presidents when he compared the experience to life in a “gilded cage”. According to William Howell, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, swapping the 132-room executive mansion for a less cramped, relaxed weekend hangout can help the presidents relax. “What he wanted to be was president,” Howell said. “It is not the White House per se that is the draw.” The White House is defending Biden’s vacation travel at a time when both he and federal health officials have asked the public to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously, including by avoiding unnecessary travel. “The President lives in Wilmington. It is his home. He lived there for many, many years, “said press secretary Jen Psaki recently.” And as you know, like any President of the United States, he takes a private plane called Air Force One to get there. “I think most Americans would see that as a unique circumstance too,” she said of the government planes that Biden has at his disposal. However, no president travels alone, no matter how private the plane. It requires many others as well People travel. And costs are rising rapidly. In addition to the Air Force flight crew, a president’s tour group includes intelligence agents, White House staff, journalists, and family members. Depending on the destination and purpose of the trip, legislators, cabinet secretaries, or other guests can fly with President Biden Occasionally some of his six grandchildren traveled with him when he was Vice President, as well as during last year’s presidential campaign. Presidential travel isn’t cheap. Federal agencies spent an estimated $ 13.6 million on four trips that were then – President Donald Trump did in February and March 2017 his property on the banks of Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, based, reported the Government Accountability Office in 2019. The figure includes $ 10.6 million for operating government aircraft and boats, and $ 3 million for transportation, lodging, meals, and other expenses Government personnel supporting the president on the streets, the report said. But not all of the President’s trips are created equal. Trump took the better-known version of Air Force One, a modified 747, on the more than two-hour flight to the commercial airport in West Palm Beach, Florida. Biden flew a smaller version of the aircraft for the roughly half-hour flight to the Delaware Air National Guard Base. He made the trip on the Marine One presidential helicopter this weekend. Trump’s Florida home is on the water, which required the addition of Coast Guard security patrols. Biden returns to his longtime home near Wilmington. Here he saw Tom Brady, the new quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, win a seventh Super Bowl record ring in February. There he often meets with counselors, goes to church, and enjoys Sunday dinner with the family. “We’re trying to keep dinner on Sunday night,” Jill Biden recently told Kelly Clarkson, the TV talk show host. “I mean, it’s been a bit busy lately. We’re still doing it and the kids are looking forward to it. “Biden has a second home in the beach community of Rehoboth, Delaware. He hasn’t visited since becoming president, but there could be more action as the weather warms up. During a tearful goodbye in January when he left Wilmington for Washington, Biden credited the state for having helped shape its values, character, and worldview. “It all comes from Delaware,” he said. Biden lived in Wilmington for most of his 78 years after his parents moved from Scranton, Pennsylvania as a boy. He represented Delaware in the US Senate for 36 years and was a regular passenger on the Amtrak train to and from Washington. “Leaving the White House was more awkward than it is now,” said Doug Wead, former White House adviser and author of books about presidents and their families. Early presidents got bumpy trains, he said. But motorcades, Air Force One and Marine One help make it easier for a modern president to get out of the capital. However, there is no president’s playbook on how and where to spend the weekend. Trump spent many weekends in Mar-a-Lago or his Trump Golf Club in central New Jersey. Critics accused him of trying to profit from the presidency. Barack Obama spent most of the Saturdays and Sundays in Washington because his young daughters were in weekend soccer and basketball leagues. George W. Bush had his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Howell said that Biden – who cultivated his image as a “regular Joe” – has strong connections with his family, many of whom are in Delaware, whom he wishes to cultivate. The President’s first wife, Neilia, and their baby daughter Naomi, who died in a car accident in 1972, and their son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46, are buried in a church cemetery where Biden resides services. People close to Biden also notice the strong affection he has for Delaware. When he left the state in January, Biden, who is of Irish descent, alluded to an Irish poet who is believed to have Dublin written in his heart after his death. Overwhelmed with emotion, Biden said, “When I die, Delaware will be written on my heart.” Darlene Superville, The Associated Press

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