Most Inauguration Day proceedings are immaculately planned out, with every detail, no matter seemingly minute, being attended to with extreme precision. From the setting up of the stage to the speeches and processional to the White House, not a single stone seems unturned.
And yet, Biden’s day in the sun didn’t exactly go that way.
No, there weren’t glaring mistakes in this speech or a lack of décor anywhere. But somehow, the whole thing seemed to lack something.
And it all came to a head when the Biden’s arrived back at the White House to assume to their new roles and rooms.
As you can see from the video below, the First couple walked to the North Portico doors and then were forced to stop and wait, seemingly locked out of their new home.
It wasn’t all that long, about ten seconds or so, according to The Daily Mail’s video. But it happened nonetheless.
You’d think someone would have been waiting there to greet the new leading couple right away, right? Ushering them inside, out of the cold, and into the next four years of American history?
And we aren’t the only ones to find the scenario rather odd.
Lea Berman, who served as White House social secretary for President George W. Bush, was one such soul. She said, “There was a protocol breach when the front doors were not held open for the first family as they arrived at the North Portico.”
Another former staffer, White House curator Betty Monkman, told the New York Times, “The delay in opening the door did puzzle me a bit.”
Then again, maybe it’s not so odd, seeing as how the Bidens had fired their chief usher that very morning.
Former White House chief usher Timothy Harleth was brought into the position by the Trump family, and First Lady Melania Trump, to be exact.
According to the Times, Harleth had previously served as the rooms manager for the Trump International Hotel in Washington and had done so well that Melania had been rather impressed. Naturally, when the family was allowed to move to the White House, Melania rewarded his excellent work ethic by handpicking him for the job.
Harleth’s loyalty was not, however, just to the Trump family.
As The Times reported, Harleth’s leaving statement said, “It has been an honor to serve as chief usher, a position whose loyalty is not a specific president, but rather to the institution of the presidency. I am proud that I had the opportunity to lead the resident staff to receive the incoming first family with the utmost respect and dignity, not just for this administration, but for the future success of the office of the president.”
It was clearly his intention to serve the Biden family just as he had the Trumps. In fact, according to Harleth, he had been arranging furniture for the incoming family at around 11:30 am when a member of the Biden staff abruptly came in and fired him.
The Daily Mail reported that one former senior administration official for Trump noted “that the firing came at the request of the Bidens. The head usher enjoyed the confidence of the Trump family throughout his tenure. Any suggestion that his resignation was at the direction of anyone other than the Biden team is false.”
And this was pretty much confirmed by CNN when they reported that a “Biden White House official confirmed Harleth’s departure.”
Now, I guess I could give Biden the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe, like the Trumps, he had a particular person of his own in mind for such a position.
Then again, as with everything else, he could be merely doing away with anything that was around to remind him of Trump. Kind of petty, if you ask me.
Maybe he should have considered the consequences of changing everything before actually doing so. At least, then he and his family might not have been left out in the cold on their very first day in office.