The New York Times posted an in-depth look into the inner workings of the Biden White House last week. The parts of the story that got the most attention were about how the president Venmos money to his grandchildren (Buzzfeed found his account in less than 10 minutes) and about how he gets annoyed with his aides when they can’t answer his questions and sometimes hangs up the phone when he thinks a call is not productive. Which... how many times do you wish you could leave a Zoom meeting that’s a waste of time? Sometimes there are perks to being president.
But those tidbits were just a few short paragraphs of a very, very long article. Near the bottom, probably past the point where the Times anticipated most people would stop reading, was the stuff I personally want to know about: what the Bidens eat. The answer: “The president likes pasta with red sauce, while the first lady prefers grilled chicken or fish.” Joe, as we know, doesn’t drink, but Jill is, according to a caterer who fed them during the vice-presidential years, “an oenophile of the first degree.”
The Times reporters apparently had no other information, so they resorted to more details from the Bidens’ time in the vice-presidential residence, like that Biden had requested no leafy greens at official events so that he wouldn’t be photographed with lettuce in his teeth. And also a precise list of the Bidens’ pantry staples:
In the vice president’s residence, the staff was instructed to keep the kitchen stocked with vanilla chocolate chip Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Special K cereal, one bunch of red grapes, sliced cheese, six eggs, sliced bread, one tomato from the garden, and at least two apples on hand at all times, according to a preference sheet they kept at the home. Mr. Biden’s drink of choice: Orange Gatorade.
Have the Bidens’ tastes and preferences evolved since 2016? Well, we do know that the president has switched ice cream alliances from Haagen-Dazs to Jeni’s. The Orange Gatorade part does come as something of a surprise. I can’t recall this ever coming up in the national conversation, even during the period when Biden was the nation’s goofy Uncle Joe, washing his Trans Am in the White House driveway. And now I don’t know what to think. Except, I guess, that I’m glad the president is hydrated.