Posts tagged with "Jill Biden"

Illustration of Melania Trump and Jill Biden by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Dear Melania Trump, Our 2nd Immigrant First Lady

By Javier Pedroza

Dear Melania: Why didn’t you invite the new FLOTUS, Dr. Jill Biden, for a private tour of the White House living quarter?

“Under all circumstances, we must never desert ourselves”. – Louisa Catherine Adams, the first FLOTUS born outside of the United States of America (1825 to 1829). Historically, First Ladies are mostly respected and admired. The coveted position has been uncontroversial until 2021. 

Melania Trump, formerly known as Melanija Knavs, was born on April 26, 1970 in Slovenia. At age 16, she began what would soon become a successful modeling career, appearing in many high profile ad campaigns and working with some of the best photographers in the fashion industry. In 1996, Mrs. Trump moved to New York and 10 years later she proudly became a United States Citizen. Former First Lady Melania Trump is the wife of the 45th President, Donald J. Trump and the mother to their son, Barron Trump. She is the second First Lady born outside of the United States, and she is the only First Lady to become a naturalized United States citizen. 

Mrs. Trump is the first modern former First Lady to break one of the transfer-of-power rituals; welcoming the incoming president and family into the White House. This American tradition commenced in the 1920s and was respected all the way to 2017, when outgoing FLOTUS Mrs. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama hosted Mrs. Melania Trump for tea while discussing the private residence. 

“Mrs. Trump should have invited Dr. Biden in for the traditional coffee. Typically, the first lady would come prepared with questions, she’ll meet and talk to the chef, the full time residence staff and have an opportunity for them to break the ice. It’s a courtesy, but logistically it’s incredibly helpful. That didn’t happen,”Capricia Marshall told The New York Times. Capricia Marshall was the former White House social secretary in the Clinton administration. 

In 2016 when former President Barack Obama welcomed Donald and Melania Trump to the White House, Former First Lady Michelle Obama held her head up high despite Donald’s reckless lies about her husband. Michelle Obama went on instagram and described how she felt during that time, sharing that while she was “hurt and disappointed,” she accepted that “the American people had spoken.” She went on to write, “My husband and I instructed our staff to do what George and Laura Bush had done for us: run a respectful, seamless transition of power — one of the hallmarks of American democracy.” 

On January 19th, 2021 CNN reported, “Melania Trump left the White House with the worst popularity rating for any first lady at the end of her term in polling history. The latest CNN/SSRS poll had Trump’s favorable rating at 42% to a 47% unfavorable rating. The 47% is the highest unfavorable rating we ever recorded for Trump. It’s also amazingly high from a historical perspective.” 

On January 20th, another protocol was broken when neither the former President nor any member of his family attended the inauguration. The Trumps also bypassed the laying of a wreath atop the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Ceremony, where the Biden’s were joined by former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and their spouses. 

As trending headlines like “Trumps’ snub of Bidens historic in its magnitude” by CNN circulated in the media early this week, we watched Melania Trump address the nation for the last time as First Lady of the United States. This was her first on camera appearance since the January 6th insurrection on the Capitol and she had not been seen in public since New Year’s Eve. During her farewell speech she spent much of her time expressing the importance of kindness. “In all circumstances, I ask every American to be an ambassador of Be Best. To focus on what unites us, to raise above what divides us. To always choose love over hatred, peace over violence and others before yourself.” 

Was this Melania’s opportunity to demonstrate to the world that she is her own person? A proud immigrant from Slovenia who later became an American citizen who respects all aspects of what it means to be an American or perhaps Melanija Knavs has always been a Trump. 

“Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.” – Maya Angelou

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Illustration by Kaelen Felix

The Presidential Inauguration

Today, Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States which commences his four-year presidency and Kamala Harris as Vice President. 

Earlier it was revealed that former president Donald Trump would not attend the ceremony. Trump announced this on his Twitter account before the account was suspended. On January 8 he tweeted, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

Trump is the sixth outgoing president that did not attend the presidential inauguration. The last time this occurred was in 1921 when Woodrow Wilson did not attend the inauguration of Warren G. Harding because of poor health. 

“It’s usually a sign that American society is in the midst of major political feud,” the presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said in the New York Times. “The fact that the incoming and outgoing presidents can’t shake hands and co-participate in an inauguration means that something’s off-kilter in the democracy.”

President Biden took an upbeat approach while speaking to the public in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the “Celebrating America” concert. After  addressing many difficulties the nation has encountered recently, he asked if American’s were up for a challenge. 

“Will we meet the moment like our forebearers have?” he asked. “I believe we must and I believe we will. You, the American people are the reason why I have never been more optimistic about America than I am this very day.”

“There isn’t anything we can’t do, if we do it together,” he added. 

“So thank you for this honor, I will give my all to you,” Biden concluded. 

The “Celebrating America” concert was star-packed and many celebrities came together to celebrate the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris. Performers such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, John Legend and Katy Perry all had smashing performances. The celebration was hosted by Tom Hanks, who many sources noted as looking “freezing” because he didn’t have time to take a break in the heated trailers set up for performers. 

There was of course concerns because of the violence that recently occurred at the Capitol earlier in January, explained Adrienne Elrod, the director of talent for the Biden transition team. “What happened on January 6th I wouldn’t say derailed us, but it certainly caused us to take a step back,” she said.

This inauguration is monumental as the first female Vice President is sworn in inspiring girls throughout America. Many people showed heartwarming tweets of their daughters watching Harris as she was sworn in as president. It was also reported that Harris will not immediately be moving in to the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory. 

In Harris’s first statement to the public in her role as Vice President, she encouraged the people of the United States to unite in this time of crisis. 

“In many ways this moment embodies our character as a nation. It demonstrates who we are, even in dark times. We, not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon, and then we plant our flag on it. We are bold, fearless and ambitious. We are undaunted, in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up. This is American aspiration,” Harris said.

Dr. Jill Biden tweeted a video of her and President Biden arriving at the North Portico of the White House as her first official tweet as First Lady. “Thank you for your faith in something that is bigger than all of us: that we will build a better world because we’re going to do it together,” the tweet read.

One unexpected part of the inauguration that has taken social media by storm is an image of Bernie Sanders sitting in a chair with mittens on. A huge number of memes have been created of Sanders in various locations and according to the Los Angles Times Sanders has also been laughing at the memes. 

A school teacher from Vermont was responsible for crafting the famous mittens and has since been flooded with requests from people that want to buy them. However, she has announced she is no longer selling them.

“Thanks for all the interest in Bernie’s mittens!” Jen Ellis wrote on Twitter. “I’m so flattered that Bernie wore them to the inauguration. Sadly, I have no more mittens for sale. There are a lot of great crafters on ETSY who make them.”

Sanders said he had no idea that the image of him would cause such an uproar on social media. “I was just sitting there trying to keep warm, trying to pay attention to what was going on,” he said during an interview on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Thursday. Even celebrities like Reba and Sarah Jessica Parker joined in on the fun making memes of the image. 

Biden began his duties as early as Wednesday when he finalized over a dozen executive moves in the Oval Office. “There’s no time to start like today,” Biden told reporters as he began signing a stack of orders and memoranda. “I’m going to start by keeping the promises I made to the American people.”

Biden also made it clear during a swearing-in ceremony that his employees are expected to respect each other.”If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treating another colleague with disrespect, talking down to someone, I will fire you on the spot,” said Biden. 

The Biden administration has also put a plan in place to focus on specific issues that need attention. Starting on January 20, the Biden Administration began with Inauguration and four Crises to focus on.

They decided to pick a theme for the following ten days so they would be able to focus on specific issues each day. Some of these themes include Covid, Economic Relief, Climate, Health Care and Immigration. In February there is a plan to focus on restoring America’s place in the world. Throughout these days there will be a variety of executive orders depending on the theme.

Rita Azar illustrates DNC article for 360 MAGAZINE

DNC Recap

By Eamonn Burke

The Democratic National Convention kicked off it’s virtual event last night, starting with speeches by prominent politicians including Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Andrew Cuomo, and a keynote by Michelle Obama.

There were also powerful words delivered by George Floyd’s brother, Philonese Floyd, and Kristin Urquiza, who lost her father to Covid-19. “My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life,” she scathed, adding that her vote for Joe Biden would be in his honor. Mr. Floyd called for a moment of silence and for remembrance of those who have died from racial injustice to continue far beyond the night.

The politicians also denounced Trump and backed Biden strongly. Cuomo hailed Biden as having all of the characteristics of a true leader: a unifier, a builder, “as good as our people,” he said. “That man is Joe Biden.”

Kasich, a former Republican Governor of Ohio, acknowledged that he disagrees with Biden on some topics, but “that’s OK because that’s America.” Ultimately, he recognized that Joe Biden “can bring us together to help us find that better way.”

Senator Bernie Sanders, the former rival of Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination, made a strong appeal to emotion, highlighting the incredibly high stakes in this election and the importance of defeating President Donald Trump. “The future of our planet is at stake” he pleaded. “My friends, the price of failure is just too great to imagine.”

Lastly, Michelle Obama ended the night with a strong moral case against President Trump. She painted the current government as being one of “chaos, division and a total and utter lack of empathy,” and called Trump “the wrong president for our country.”

“If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it,” said the former First Lady. Trump lashed back at Obama, tweeting that he would not be in the White House if not for the work of her husband, and calling the Obama-Biden administration “the most corrupt in history.

As far as logistics of the convention, the lack of a traditional setting was noticeable, and many of the speeches were pre recorded. Trump slammed Michelle Obama for this, denouncing her for having the wrong COVID-19 numbers. Democrats has planned to convene in Milwaukee, but later decided to move entirely online. Actress Eva Longoria was brought on as the host of the show to create a more personable atmosphere. Video clips, montages, and performances were also infused into the event.

The second night of the DNC featured a role call which officially nominated Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential ticket. It also featured more speeches from past politicians on both sides, such as former President Bill Clinton (D) and former Secretary of State Colin Powell (R). There were new faces as well, like U.S Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D). The night ended with Joe’s wife Jill speaking. The event was hosted by actress Tracee Ellis Ross.

Clinton focused on the economy in his speech, highlighting the U.S as “the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple” despite Trump claiming how well we are doing as a country. Ocasio-Cortez used her speech to second the nomination of Bernie Sanders, a formality for a candidate over a threshold of 300 delegates.

Joe Biden and his family made a virtual appearance from a classroom to accept the nomination, and he appeared later on after his wife’s speech.

In her speech, Jill Biden made a case for why her husband had the capacity and experience to understand the hardships that American families are going through in this crisis. She mentioned the death of their son, Beau, from cancer, and how he was able to help her through that time. The compliments went both ways, as Joe called her “so damn tough and loyal.” Dr. Biden assured viewers that “if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours.”

On night three of the DNC, Kamala Harris was historically nominated as the first black and Asian woman to feature on a major presidential ticket. In her speech, Harris told her story of being an immigrant – the daughter of India and Jamaican immigrants – and used it to empathize with so many in a similar situation. She then went after Trump, delving into his moral and ethical flaws: “I know a predator when I see one” she assured. She finished off by speaking about inequities, especially racial ones. “There is no vaccine for racism” she said in a her call to action. “We’ve gotta do the work.”

Later in the night Hillary Clinton spoke, delivering a somber warning against repeating the mistakes made in 2016, when she lost to Donald Trump: “this can’t be another ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ election.” She pleaded for viewers to vote, as was a main theme in throughout the DNC. Lastly, she praised the record breaking amount of women continuing to appear in government, including Senator Harris, but acknowledged the work still to be done.

President Obama’s speech brought something considerably rare for a former president to do: he attacked President Trump. He labeled Trump as blatantly inadequate for the job of president: “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t, and the consequences of that failure are severe.”

The night also featured a performance by Billie Eilish of her new unreleased song “My Future.” It was followed by a message about the importance of voting.

The fourth and final night officially nominated Joe Biden as the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate. In his speech, he covered his policy plans from the coronavirus to guns to Medicare, while also addressing the economic recession caused by the pandemic as well as the racial reckoning going on in the country as a result of inequalities. He also spoke of the and Harris’ personal stories, and how they informed them to be ready for the job. The speech drew acclaim from both parties.

“Here and now I give you my word,” said Biden. “If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst. I will be an ally of the light, not the darkness.”