WASHINGTON – President Biden thanked first responders with an awkward phone call into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday that provided some cringeworthy TV for viewers of the annual parade.
From the Massachusetts island home of private-equity billionaire David Rubenstein, the president and first lady Jill Biden engaged in a call that started with a lengthy and uncomfortable silence as NBC’s Dylan Dryer, on scene at the parade, seemed unable to hear the pair for about 30 seconds.
“I’m not one to take a phone call during TV, but I think I should answer this one,” Dreyer said.
“Hello, Mr. President?” the reporter said.
But no one answered as Jill Biden could faintly be heard in the background after seconds of dead air and confusion.
“I don’t think I can hear you…” Dreyer then said. “Can you hear me, Mr. President.”
Biden could then be heard saying something to the first lady and then Dreyer chimed in, “Hello? Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. President. Are you there?”
That seemed to get Biden’s attention and he responded: “We’re here.”
“I want to say thanks to the firefighters and police officers, first responders,” Biden said once the connection finally became clear. “They never take a break.”
Jumping in, the first lady added, “And God bless our troops for sure.”
“And by the way, we’re going to be talking to some of our troops later in the day, both here and abroad. I hope everybody remembers,” the president said. “We remember them every single day. God bless our troops for real.”
It was the second year the Bidens called into the annual parade, which this year features 27 giant balloons and 31 floats.
The pair are scheduled to call US service members at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. But first, they visited a Nantucket fire station with grandson Beau, 2.
The Bidens dropped off some pumpkin pies for the firefighters, who in return gave Beau a miniature fire hat. The boy is the Bidens’ youngest grandchild – the son of Hunter Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen.