President Joe Biden apparently skipped the annual tradition of the president calling children from the White House to talk to them about Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
Rather than keeping the president’s activities public for most of the day, as is traditional, the White House closed all of Biden’s Christmas Eve activities to the press — instead informing them that the Biden family would be attending a private Christmas Eve Mass at the White House before enjoying an Italian dinner.
The tradition of the president’s NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Santa phone calls goes back to as early as 1955, and began as a way for presidents to connect with the American people and children during the Christmas holiday season.
Many are attributing Biden’s snubbing of the tradition to the embarrassing moment in 2021 when a father cheered “Let’s Go Brandon” in the background during one of the NORAD Santa phone calls — repeating a phrase used to criticize Biden that has been an alternative to the more vulgar “F— Joe Biden” chant.
The president, who was apparently unaware of the meaning of the chant, responded in the affirmative while the press was recording his reaction.
“Let’s Go Brandon, I agree,” Biden answered.
CALLER: "Merry Christmas and Lets Go Brandon:"
BIDEN: "Lets Go Brandon, I agree" pic.twitter.com/K8PpzceB3K
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) December 24, 2021
Meanwhile, this year, the media was not allowed access to the president’s calls — and no evidence was provided that Biden even made any calls to children from the White House about the NORAD Santa tracker.
This wasn’t the only Christmas event that the Biden administration kept closed to the public. The White House also reportedly prevented the press from having access to Biden’s calls to members of the military — instead sending out a notice to reporters claiming that he had made the calls, without providing any evidence to prove the claims.
In a moment eerily reminiscent of Biden’s time on the campaign trail in 2020, the White House even called a lid on the president’s activities at 12:30 p.m. on Christmas Day.
Rather than actually allowing the media to interact with Biden, the White House instead released staged pictures on social media of the Biden family preparing and celebrating Christmas.
Despite the NORAD Santa tradition being for the president to make the calls, one of the photos showed Jill Biden holding a phone with a caption stating that NORAD “just said Santa is on his way to your neighborhood!”
It’s almost time to set out the cookies and get the reindeers’ carrots ready — @NORADCommand just said Santa is on his way to your neighborhood! pic.twitter.com/mr307lTCr9
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) December 25, 2022
Meanwhile, Biden was photographed helping the first lady decorate the Christmas tree — standing on a short ladder beside the tree wearing a t-shirt and holding a bowl.
Just a few finishing touches! Hope you and your loved ones are having a great Christmas Eve. pic.twitter.com/zdCjjRrI9o
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 25, 2022