As I’m sure most of you remember, during the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency, the media had a field day counting the number of times he left the White House to spend time at his golf resort in Mara Lago. This was implied as being a sign of job dereliction, despite the fact that Barack Obama had also been seen out on the links on a very regular basis without hearing anywhere near the same amount of criticism. Joe Biden, by contrast, probably hasn’t picked up a golf club since taking office. But that doesn’t mean that he’s putting in more time at work than either Trump or Obama. As the New York Post reported this week, Joe Biden spent more than one quarter of the first year of his presidency at his home estate in Delaware. And another detail of the rules Biden set up for how the “Delaware White House” operates is raising even more questions for transparency advocates.
Biden, who returns to the White House on Monday night from his house in Wilmington, simply likes being home, his press representatives say.
But critics are concerned about who may be seeking to influence public policy over dinner — or breakfast — in Biden’s sun room.
“Generally speaking, the American people have a right to know what the president is up to. This president specifically changed policy to presumably disclose who’s been visiting the White House,” said Tom Fitton, president of conservative legal group Judicial Watch, which has for years battled for White House visitor log transparency.
Biden spent 102 days (28%) of his first year as president in Delaware. If you want to make the argument that his house at the shore is better suited to control the running of the country than a Florida golf course, help yourself, but that is a lot of time to be absent in the middle of a raging pandemic and the botched end of the war in Afghanistan. The tepid economic recovery and steadily rising inflation rates were also unfolding at the time time.
But that’s not the only disturbing thing about Uncle Joe’s Delaware excursions. Biden took the unusual step of exempting his Delaware home from the White House visitor log records. There is no publicly available record of who has been coming and going for visits with President Biden over the course of the more than 100 days he spent there in the last year.
Tom Fitton at Judicial Watch described Biden’s secretive policies as “a mockery of transparency” and “a joke.” Keep in mind that we were regularly assured during the 2020 presidential campaign that Joe Biden would be in charge of “the most transparent administration ever.” What we’ve actually observed since January of last year is one of the most secretive presidencies of the modern era. Biden set the record for the fewest press conferences since Reagan. On the rare occasions when the press does get to hear from him, he rarely takes questions. We were given almost no updates on what transpired during the European diplomatic talks with Russia or the negotiations with the Taliban as he prepared to pull out of Afghanistan. The silence has been deafening.
And now we learn that Joe Biden spent nearly a third of his presidency thus far at his beach house in Delaware and we will never be told who had his ear, who was visiting him, or what was discussed. Biden has largely been an absentee president and his administration has mostly left America in the dark as to what they’ve been up to. Small wonder that his approval ratings have now reached the point where even Donald Trump is laughing at him.