WASHINGTON — President Biden thanked first responders with an awkward phone call at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday, providing some chilling television for viewers of the annual parade.
From the Massachusetts island home of private equity billionaire David Rubenstein, the president and first lady Jill Biden engaged in a call that began with a long and uncomfortable silence as NBC reporter Dylan Dryer at the parade site seemed unable to to hear the steam. about 30 seconds.
“I’m not one to take a phone call while on TV, but I think I should answer this one,” Dreyer said.
“Hello, Mr. President?” said the reporter.
But no one answered, as Jill Biden was barely audible in the background after a few seconds of dead air and confusion.
“I don’t think I can hear you…” Dreyer then said. “Can you hear me, Mr. President?”
Biden was then heard saying something to the first lady before Dreyer chimed in: “Hello? Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. President. Are you there?”
That seemed to get Biden’s attention, and he replied, “Here we are.”
“I want to thank the firefighters and police officers, the first responders,” Biden said when the connection finally became clear. “They never get a break.”
The first lady jumped in and added, “God sure bless our troops.”
“By the way, later in the day we will be talking to some of our units, both here and overseas. I hope everyone remembers,” the president said. “We remember them every day. God truly bless our troops.”
This was the second year the Bidens were invited to the annual parade, which this year includes 27 giant balloons and 31 floats.
The couple is expected to call members of the US military at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. But first, she and her grandson Beau, 2, visited a Nantucket fire station.
The Bidens dropped off some pumpkin pies for the firefighters, who gave Beau a miniature fireman’s hat in return. The boy is Biden’s youngest grandchild – the son of Hunter Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen.