Life at the White House has been a major adjustment in many ways for the Bidens — but one thing that the President and First Lady miss most are their romantic getaways.
In Vogue‘s cover story this month, President Joe, 78, and Dr. Jill Biden, 70, open up about their marriage, with the pair admitting that they are both ‘so busy’ these days that it makes it harder to spend one-on-one time together.
‘I miss her,’ Joe said, revealing that when they lived in Delaware, they’d ‘make sure we had a romantic time to just get away and hang out with each other’ by staying at a local bed and breakfast — but they can no longer ‘just go off like we used to.’
Adjusting: President Joe and Dr. Jill Biden revealed how their marriage has changed since moving into the White House in a new Vogue interview
Remember when? The President, 78, said that when they lived in Delaware, they would stay at a local bed and breakfast once a month for ‘romantic time’
On the go: Joe said that in the White House, it’s ‘just harder’ to schedule time together
Cover girl: The couple spoke to Vogue for its August cover story, featuring the First Lady posing on the front in a floral dress
Though they live together, the pair can have wildly different schedules, and their new positions have affected their marriage.
Joe — who married Jill in 1977 — said he misses his wife because they can’t be together as often as they’d like to.
‘I’m really proud of her. But it’s not like we can just go off like we used to,’ he said.
‘When we were living in Delaware and married, once a month we’d just go up to a local bed-and-breakfast by ourselves, to make sure we had a romantic time to just get away and hang out with each other.’
He added that it’s not something they can even schedule these days, because their packed days are ‘part of the deal’ of him being President.
‘There was no real upside to living physically in the White House. It’s the greatest honor in the world…but there’s no privacy. And the pomp-and-circumstance part is not something we’ve ever gone out of our way to look for,’ he went on.
‘I’m not complaining,’ he added. ‘But this life prevents [us from having alone time]. It’s just harder.’
Sometimes, Jill is ‘traveling all over the country’ doing events. Other times, Joe is too buys working on an important speech — and when he finds time to ‘go and hang out with her,’ she’s working on her own tasks like writing speeches or grading papers.
‘There was no real upside to living physically in the White House. It’s the greatest honor in the world…but there’s no privacy,’ Joe said (pictured on the south lawn on June 27)
Routine: Jill said they make an effort to have dinner together and ‘we still light the candles, still have the conversations, still put the phones away’ (pictured in August 2020)
Lovin’! Joe admitted they have to ‘steal time for one another’ (pictured snagging hugs and kisses during the G7 summit on June 13, left, and in London later that day, right)
‘We have to figure out a way — and I mean this sincerely — to be able to steal time for one another. I think that’s the deal,’ he said.
‘We’re both so busy,’ Jill concurred. ‘And so we have to, I think, try a little harder to make time for one another.
‘Even the thing about having dinner together: Sometimes we eat on the balcony; last night we ate in the yellow Oval, upstairs. It’s just part of the day that we set apart, and we still light the candles, still have the conversations, still put the phones away.’
Speaking to Vogue, the President also gushed about how well his wife is doing in her position as First Lady, recalling the first time he watched her speak before a huge crowd.
‘I was like, “That’s my girl.” So proud. She would just go do it, and she got better and better. And she started saying, “Joe, you gotta put a little more emotion into what you’re doing,”‘ he said.
The cover story this month also reveals that when they lived in Wilmington, the President once planed a rose garden for his wife on her birthday.
Sweet: Joe also gushed about how proud he is of his wife, recalling watching her first big speech and thinking, ‘That’s my girl’
Bonding: They still manage to squeeze in some together time, like on this bike ride in Delaware on June 3
PDA: The couple is pictured at the inauguration on January 20 (left); Joe also snuck a forehead kiss during the DNC (right)
The Bidens have been in the public eye for decades, and have shared plenty of details about their lasting romance.
They met in 1975 through Joe’s brother, when he was in his first term as a US Senator and she was a college senior.
Though they had a nine-year age difference, they had also both previously been married, and Joe had two sons with his late wife.
Jill admitted in a previous interview with Vogue that when he showed up for their first date, she wasn’t convinced that they were a match — but she’d warmed up to him by the end of the evening.
‘I was a senior, and I had been dating guys in jeans and clogs and T-shirts, he came to the door and he had a sport coat and loafers, and I thought, “God, this is never going to work, not in a million years.”
‘He was nine years older than I am! But we went out to see A Man and a Woman at the movie theater in Philadelphia, and we really hit it off. When we came home … he shook my hand good night … I went upstairs and called my mother at 1:00 a.m. and said, “Mom, I finally met a gentleman.”‘
Flashback: They met in 1975 through Joe’s brother, when he was in his first term as a US Senator and she was a college senior. They married in 1977
Mwah! Biden is pictured kissing Jill’s forehead after announcing his bid for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination
They’ve seen each other through hard times, like Joe’s two aneurysms and pulmonary embolism in 1988, as well as Beau’s illness and death (pictured on Memorial Day this year)
But it took five proposals before Jill agreed to marry him.
‘I said, “Not yet. Not yet. Not yet.” Because by that time, of course, I had fallen in love with the boys, and I really felt that this marriage had to work. Because they had lost their mom, and I couldn’t have them lose another mother. So I had to be 100 percent sure.’
Beau and Hunter, though, were sure they wanted Jill permanently in their lives.
‘Joe wasn’t just asking on his own accord,’ Jill wrote in her memoir, as excerpted by Time in 2019. ‘Beau and Hunter had recently cornered him in the bathroom one morning while he was shaving. “Beau thinks we should get married,” six-year-old Hunter told him. With their father understandably confused by this pronouncement, seven-year-old Beau explained, “We think we should marry Jill.”’
She ultimately knew, though, that they were good together.
‘In many ways, Joe’s temperament and mine complement each other,’ she wrote. ‘He tends to pull me out of my shell, and I help keep him grounded. He’s affectionate enough for both of us.
‘Even now, his staff members laugh about it, joking that the answer to “Where’s the vice president?” is always, “Well, where is she?”’
They tied the knot at the United Nations chapel in New York City on June 17, 1977, following the ceremony with a honeymoon that included Hunter and Beau.
‘One thing in my life has stayed the same: Joe and I have always had each other,’ said Jill
‘She gave me back my life. She made me start to think my family might be whole again,’ Joe wrote of Jill in his 2007 memoir.
They went on to have a daughter, Ashley, in 1981.
The two have shared PDA over the years, and Jill was there to hold the bible when Joe was sworn in as Vice President in 2009 and again in 2013.
Jill has also gushed about her husband’s thoughtfulness.
‘I love gardenias and so Joe would buy me a wrist corsage of gardenias. I think it was for Valentine’s Day [the first time],’ she told People. ‘I wore it to school, to teach. It’s just a tradition and he surprised me with it.’
On the holiday in 2010, he even had a plaque put on a tree at the Vice President’s residence reading ‘Joe loves Jill.’
But they’ve also seen each other through hard times, like Joe’s two aneurysms and pulmonary embolism in 1988, as well as Beau’s illness and death.
‘There have been tragedies. We have had our hearts wrung and broken. But the only place we are safe from all the dangers of love is hell. And one thing in my life has stayed the same: Joe and I have always had each other,’ said Jill.