President Joe Biden has ‘short fuse’ and is ‘obsessed with detail’, aides reveal in new portrait

‘Quick decision-making is not Mr Biden’s style’

Alice Hutton
Sunday 16 May 2021 02:01
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President Biden marks 200million vaccine shots

More than two dozen former and current aides have claimed that President Joe Biden has a “short fuse” and is “obsessed” with details that can delay decisions by weeks, but that he also has moments of ‘unexpected warmth’, calls his grandchildren regularly and likes to drink Orange Gatorade.

In an extensive new portrait by The New York Times the former and contemporary staffers paint a picture of a president who will “often snap”, occasionally hanging up the phone mid-conversation.

The aides, most of whom spoke anonymously, revealed that “quick decision-making is not Mr. Biden’s style” and that he demands “hours of detail-laden debate from scores of policy experts, taking everyone around him on what some in the West Wing refer to as his Socratic “journey” before arriving at a conclusion. Three people who work closely with him said he even occasionally hangs up the phone on someone who he thinks is wasting his time.”

The 78-year-old’s quest for detail was “difficult” for advisors, the NYT reported.

Dylan Loewe, a former speechwriter for Mr. Biden, revealed: “You become so hyper-prepared. You’ve got to answer every conceivable question he can come up with.’”

One person who Mr Biden allegedly “lashed out” at for being underprepared was Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, for reportedly not being able to answer enough questions about the agency’s ability to take care of migrant children, two people familiar with the exchange told the NYT.

But the NYT report was ridiculed by some on social media, who pointed out that listening to experts and evaluating decisions was a refreshing habit after four years of a Trump White House.

Biden’s schedule involves exercise in the morning, and meetings padded with 15minutes extra time to allow for his tendency to go over schedule, the NYT said.

During his 30-minute lunch he eats soup, sandwiches or salad, which he eats alone apart from once a week when he eats with vice president Kamala Harris.

By 7pm he has dinner with the First Lady who is described as a “an oenophile of the first degree” and the kitchen is always stocked with his drink of choice, Orange Gatorade.

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