President Joe Biden starts his day with a workout and ends it with a phone call to son Hunter, interspersed with a national security briefing, staff meetings, events, day trips and whatever the day brings.
The president’s schedule has returned to the spotlight amid a new report claiming aides are struggling to get the 80-year-old for evening or morning events.
Biden literally carries his agenda on a long white note card and checks things off with a black pen as he goes through the day. It’s a practice that dates back to the Senate, where, in the days before smartphones existed, staff would print out each day’s schedule for lawmakers to have on hand.
The president also has “cheat sheets” for other items, including one on Wednesday that raised eyebrows: It outlined a question expected to be asked during his press conference with South Korea’s president. Another card gave the president detailed instructions from an earlier briefing.
It raised questions about how much he is controlled by his assistants and whether it’s too many acts. Photographers caught Biden with a cheat sheet at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia last November, which included instructions that read “YOU will sit in the middle” and “YOU will make opening remarks.”
Then there are questions about how he spends his day. The White House publishes a daily schedule, but it doesn’t reflect everything a president does.
President Joe Biden kicks off his day with a workout and has several events lined up, including the one above when he welcomed children to the White House for Take Your Child To Work Day on Thursday
Biden is a night owl by most accounts. Returning from Ireland earlier this month, he was talking to reporters on the tarmac at 2:30 am. But his increasing age has led to questions about his health and stamina as he faces the 2024 reelection campaign. He is the oldest president in American history.
Some close Biden advisers said so Axios that the president has “reduced his energy, significantly curtailing his schedule.” They note that it is difficult to schedule public or private events in the morning, evening or on weekends. Most of the president’s events take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
But Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates questioned the premise of the story, sending to DailyMail.com a response he sent to Axios, which was not included in their report: “Are these the same advisers?” and close allies’ to which you wrote? April 3 “Don’t you expect him to announce a reelection opportunity soon?”
Axios has broken down Biden’s schedule so far in 2023 and found:
- Only four public events before 10am
- Only a dozen public events after 6 p.m. – mostly dinners and receptions with foreign leaders or fundraisers.
- 12 full weekends with no public events.
For Friday, the first event on Biden’s public schedule is his national security briefing at 11:15 a.m. At 2:30 p.m., he welcomes the Air Force Falcons to the White House for the Commander’s Trophy. And at 6:45 p.m., he will address a Democratic Party fundraiser.
A White House official tells DailyMail.com that “the timing of our specific events is often such that they make the news in the best window.”
The White House staff protects the president, as does their job.
But Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna said Biden’s staff could go too far. He urged them to let Biden lose and let him speak more off the cuff. Most of the president’s events are tightly scripted, and the staff often quickly pulls him into the next to limit any presidential spontaneity.
“I think his staff is protecting him too much,” Khanna told Fox News Friday morning. “Say him there in a press conference. Who cares if someone makes a blunder? Everyone does that in conversations. Let’s take a look at the authentic President Biden. He’s an empathetic person and the more he’s out there the better.”
The president says he will stick to it for a full day.
President Joe Biden calls his son Hunter every night
Some aides told Axios they are not planning evening events for the president; On Wednesday, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hosted a state dinner for South Korea’s president
In cold weather, Biden likes a fire in the Oval Office
Biden has said he wakes up at 7 a.m. and trains at the White House at 8 a.m. He often needs a personal trainer – the residence has its own gym – and spends about 45 minutes working out.
He usually has coffee and breakfast with first lady Jill Biden and then heads to the Oval Office.
His day is full of meetings and briefings. In cold weather he keeps the fire going in the fireplace, sometimes adding logs himself. His family’s German Shepherds – currently Commandant but in the past Major and the late Champ – often sleep underfoot.
The president takes occasional breaks during the day to go to the Rose Garden and play with Commander, the new puppy the Bidens got after Champ died and Major went to a family friend, who couldn’t handle life in the White House bubble .
Biden will sit in the Oval Office until about 7 p.m., after which he will head to the residence to have dinner with his wife.
He then reads his briefing book, which is about 200 pages, before going to bed at 11 p.m.
Biden opened up the details of his personal life in an interview with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett from the Smartless podcast in November.
The Biden family is close-knit — eldest grandchild Naomi lived in the White House with her fiancé Peter Neal prior to their wedding in November.
Hunter Biden told the 2021 Marc Maron podcast that President Biden calls him every night as he struggles to keep his drug and alcohol addiction at bay — and if Hunter doesn’t answer, a series of texts follow.
And Joe and Jill Biden regularly speak to each other during their absences during their travels. When Jill Biden went to Ukraine last year, she called her husband on the car ride back across the border to Slovenia to tell him about the visit.
President Biden, who is close to his family, also calls his grandchildren every day.
“I have six grandchildren,” he said at a Take Your Child to Work Day event on Thursday. ‘And I love them. And I speak to them every day. No joke. In fact, I just finished going through the calls. And only one of them answered the phone. But at least I have to leave a message.’
He relaxes by spending time with his family – mostly at his home in Wilmington. He also likes sports, especially football.
He is also a fan of cycling. He spent much of the COVID pandemic training on his Peleton. He often rides his bike at his beach house in Rehoboth, Delaware, or when his family visits Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
President Biden enjoys cycling as above in August 2022 on Kiawah Island
President Biden in the Oval Office with his former German Shepherds: Champ (left) died and Major (right) went to a family friend after he couldn’t handle life in the White House bubble
He told the kids visiting the White House on Thursday that he had “bacon, scrambled eggs and cheese on a croissant” for breakfast.
Lunch is usually soup and a salad – usually a chopped salad with grilled chicken – and he likes orange Gatorade and Coke Zero.
His favorite treat is ice cream – chocolate chips – and he usually eats some every day.
“That was the first thing I was told — ice cream,” said chef Edward Lee, who made the food for Wednesday’s state dinner, when he talked about planning the menu. He added a banana split for dessert.