Helicopters have been flying over the island’s shops and beaches for several days now, and it’s not surprising. Earlier last week, military planes unloaded government vehicles and other heavy goods off their aircraft carriers. In addition, a swarm of well-dressed Secret Service operatives has descended on ordinarily sleepy luxury hotels.
President Biden is in town for Thanksgiving, and he’s bringing more than just his family with him to enjoy the festivities.
Jack Fritsch, owner of the Antiques Depot, which is conveniently located near the local boat drop-off point, described the process as follows: “Team after team after team of folks walk through wearing jeans and T-shirts, but then you realise they have a tiny clipboard with the White House emblem.” “You’re familiar with the hairstyles. The Secret Service has sent them.”
In choosing to spend Thanksgiving on Nantucket this year, the Bidens are continuing a family tradition that began in 1975, when Mr. Biden and his future wife spent their first holiday together. Mr. Biden said in his book, “Promise Me, Dad,” that he and his wife had received several invites to Thanksgiving dinner that year. At the suggestion of Mr. Biden’s chief of staff, Wes Barthelmes, they chose to spend the holiday on the island with Mr. Biden’s two young children, Beau and Hunter, rather than disappoint anybody.
In addition to their children, grandkids, and in-laws, the Bidens have a much larger extended family accompanying them on the journey. Because of this, they are staying at a house that they have already visited, namely that of David Rubenstein, co-founder of the private equity company Carlyle Group.
A query concerning President Barack Obama’s choice to live in a billionaire’s mansion was avoided this week by Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, who ran on a platform of championing the middle class and criticising the wealthy for failing to pay their fair share of taxes.
Prior to becoming president, Mr. Biden was able to blend in with the local populace. Residents speculated that he would be seen strolling down cobblestone streets near the port in quest of a cup of coffee or enjoying a dip in the frigid waters of the Atlantic to commemorate the holiday celebrations in style.
House Democratic Leader William Keating of Massachusetts said his phone line has been overwhelmed with calls from locals who have expressed concern about the increased security presence on the island.
While on vacation in Nantucket in 2015, the Bidens took a break from their Thanksgiving preparations, barely six months after Beau Biden died from brain cancer at the age of 46. Instead, they travelled to Rome for the year. Because of the travel obligations associated with President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, the family has visited the island many times since then. However, the family did not spend Thanksgiving on the island in 2019. The couple remained in Rehoboth, Del., last year because they were concerned about the epidemic.
When it comes to labour shortages, the president will not be able to get away from them during his holiday break. That includes the nearby Faregrounds Restaurant & Pudley’s Pub, where customers are greeted with a notice warning of possible delays.
Despite the passage of time, Bill Puder, the proprietor of Faregrounds and Pudley’s, still recalls a phone call from an unknown Dr. Jill Biden over two decades ago, asking if the restaurant would be willing to serve Thanksgiving dinner for her family.
Mr. Puder claims that the Bidens have picked his restaurant, which is decked with Boston sports memorabilia, to serve their Thanksgiving lunch on a regular basis. They are more likely to obtain the traditional Thanksgiving fare, such as turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, yams, and pies. Upon not receiving an order from the Bidens in 2019, he phoned the first lady to double-check his assumptions.
However, this year, instead of preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the Bidens, Mr. Puder will be preparing Thanksgiving meal for 100 members of the Secret Service. In the days leading up to the holiday, he has already come into contact with a large number of agents and Massachusetts state police.
Nonetheless, he underlined that the villagers were used to prominent guests and were seldom taken aback by their appearance. A president, on the other hand, was unlikely to generate the kind of enthusiasm aroused by local celebrities.