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Inside The White House With President Joe Biden

Today the 46th President of the United States Joseph R. Biden welcomes Architectural Digest to Washington, D.C. for a tour of the Oval Office and White House.

Released on 12/22/2023


[door latch clicks]

Hey, Architectural Digest.

Welcome to the Oval Office. Come on in.

[lively classy jazz music]

This is the White House. This is it.

On Inauguration Day, the outgoing present has to be out by,

I think, noon or 10 o'clock in the morning.

Incoming can't come till four o'clock,

so you can decide what furniture

and what decorations you want in the Oval Office.

I had asked my brother to help me set up my office in here

on the rug and the furniture

'cause he's a better architect than I am.

What they do is in suburban Maryland, there is a facility

that is a replica in terms of dimensions of the Oval Office.

And so you go out there and pick the furniture

and the rugs you want and see what it looks like.

And so my brother knows my taste extremely well.

I love this rug. I love the color blue.

That's the one thing I knew I wanted.

The rest my brother picked out for me,

and he had called a good friend, Jon Meacham,

the presidential historian for some help.

[smooth jazz music]

I've spent more time with the Chinese leader

than any other head of state.

And he asked me, he said, can I define America?

I said, Yes, I can in one word, and I mean it.

Possibilities. Possibilities.

We Americans think anything is possible

when we do it together.

And that's why Jon Meacham helped my brother

pick out those five portraits up there.

It's all about possibilities.

There's not a single thing we can't do.

[lively jazzy music]

This was the Resolute Desk that John Kennedy had.

And remember that famous picture where John-John, his son,

where he came out from under the desk?

Well, he comes out this door here.

That's where he climbed out.

Well, I have a little grandson,

and what I decided to do when we came in here...

Here, let me show you.

And that's my grandson,

Beauy coming out from underneath the desk.

It's really an incredible office.

I chose the things that sort of represent

why I got into public life to begin with, for real.

I wanted to be able to sit in my desk,

and when I looked down to see the two heroes I had.

One was Dr. Martin Luther King,

and the other is Bobby Kennedy.

Then I have a woman who refused

to move to the back of the bus, it's Rosa Parks.

I have her bust in here as well.

And there's one other person that was from that era.

This is Cesar Chavez of the farm workers.

He was organizing farm workers

in the southern part of my state at the time.

And I supported him.

I never met him, but I supported what he was doing.

It cost me Southern Delaware, [laughs]

but I admired the hell out of him.

[bright jazzy music]

This is the love of my life and the life of my love.

This is my daughter, Ashley, on her wedding day.

And we're dancing the dance of the father and daughter.

This one is really amazing.

This is on the night Barack and I

were declared Vice President

and President of the United States.

My mom, who admired Barack a lot,

wasn't even supposed to be walking out on the stage.

And they said, And now the next president

and vice president of the United States,

Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

And my mother grabs Barack's hand there,

and look at the look on his face.

She goes, Come on, honey, it's gonna be okay.

She walked him out on stage.

She never stopped being everybody's mom.

I have this rugby ball over here.

This is the All Irish rugby team.

I have two cousins who were stars on that team,

and they gave me this ball.

And then every time I've been sworn in

in any public office, I've used this Bible.

It's just an incredible keepsake

that's been around in the family for a long time.

By the way, reason for Ben Franklin,

I gotta put that up because my kids went to Penn,

and I was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

This Moon rock, it's pretty cool.

It's literally a rock from the Moon.

This is my '67 Corvette.

But my dad didn't have a lot of money,

but he managed the dealership

so when I got married, he gave this to me as a gift.

I still have it.

When I got elected president,

Scranton decided to take Interstate 81

and the exit to Scranton used to be called

the Central Scranton Expressway.

They renamed it President Biden Expressway. [chuckles]

[warm jazzy music]

You know, there's a lot of other things in here

that are of consequence to me,

and I think of all the incredible things

that have happened in this office

over the last couple hundred years.

And it really is just an incredible honor to be here.

[bright upbeat music]

Let me show you back here.

People don't get to go back here very often.

I think these are great sketches of Frederick Douglass.

I have them put up in the wall here.

There's a private office back here.

This is where I come when I want to get away a little bit

to work on a speech.

There's a great portrait of President Kennedy there.

The Kennedys didn't like it

because they made him look too contemplative.

I think it's a great portrait of him.

And on the wall here,

a lot of kids will send me these cartoons

and I put 'em up on the wall

and then I take pictures of 'em

and send them to the families,

which the kids get a kick out of.

I think they're really neat.

And this is the house that I was raised in,

in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on North Washington Avenue,

which, by the way, the last three blocks,

it's the end of North Washington Avenue,

they call it Biden Way now.

They've renamed it. [chuckles]

[warm upbeat music]

This is a private dining room.

Not many people get to come back here.

Barack and I used to have lunch those those eight years,

once a week in this room right here.

But I have a lot of personal family photographs back here.

This is a picture of my son, Beau, who's passed away.

That's my mom and my dad

and when I had darker hair. [chuckles]

And here there are what they call command coins.

Command coins are given in the battlefield,

and the president has a command coin.

And my command coin has on the back of it Beau's unit,

who went into Iraq for a year.

And so I'm gonna give you a copy, give you one.

If in fact next time I see you, you don't have it,

you have to buy the drinks.

But you're in luck, I'm the only Irish you've never met

that's never had a drink in his life.

[bright upbeat music]

Did you want to see the Cabinet Room?

I want to show it to you. Come here.

[classy jazz music]

This is the Cabinet Room. Come on in.

There's only one chair in here

that's about two inches higher than every other chair.

That's the president's chair. [laughs]

These chairs are really, really heavy.

On the back of each chair

is the name of the department they represent.

This is the Secretary of Energy here in this chair.

But there's a lot of really incredible things

that have happened in this room.

It's almost cathedral-like to me because when we're in here,

we're talking about things of enormous consequence.

[bright jazzy music]

And by the way, there's a tradition in my office.

These chocolate chip cookies are all homemade.

[Crew Member] Thank you.

[bright upbeat music]

Thanks for coming by, Architectural Digest.

By the way, I'm a subscriber. I'm a frustrated architect.

Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

[warm instrumental music]

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