US President Joe Biden has a short fuse and is obsessed with minor details that means decisions take a long time, according to interviews with dozens of current and former policy advisers.
The New York Times has revealed how President Biden makes decision now he is leading the country – with revelations that it takes him an extraordinary amount of time to make a final call.
The 78-year-old, who has chased the presidency for over three decades, reportedly takes days or weeks to make up his mind on key issues.
These include whether to allow more refugees into the US, which reportedly angered allies when he didn’t follow through with a policy announcement to extend its quota and then quickly backtracked, as well as imposing sanctions on Russia for election interference and cyberattacks.
Advisers have claimed that he is unwilling to change his style, with one long-term employee alleging that the President needs time to process material to ensure he feels comfortable selling it to the public.
In a shocking revelation, his advisers also said it takes a lot of behind the scenes work to ensure he projects an assured figure to the public.
Biden is often still on the phone at 10.30pm or 11pm at night as he deliberates what to do, with claims he can also become impatient and is quick to cut off conversations, according to people who work with him regularly.
However, he is not prone to fits of rage like Donald Trump was accused of during his presidency.
Advisers are also expected to be able to field a huge number of questions on a topic.
“You become so hyperprepared,” Dylan Loewe, a former speechwriter for Biden, told the New York Times. “I’ve got to answer every conceivable question he can come up with.”
Others alleged that he lashed out at the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, after he failed to answer questions about the agency’s ability to take care of migrant children.
He was also frustrated in a recent meeting with his immigration advisers when none of them had been to the southwestern border, despite discussing a growing problem of children crossing unaccompanied from Central America.
“He hates blandishing fast-talk that sounds like double speak,” Chris Jennings, a former health policy aide told the publication. “Doesn’t trust it, and he’s certain voters loathe it.”
His staff have learned to add an extra 15 minutes to his scheduled meetings as he never finishes on time, the newspaper reported.
Not out of touch with popular culture
But Biden has also shown his soft side too, including one example where he spoke to an adviser’s daughter on the phone 10 years after meeting her when she was just three.
He’s also across the latest tech and popular culture via his grandchildren, who have shown him the likes of TikTok, while he has also sent them money using Venmo.
However, he’s not a fan of cable news like Trump, with the television installed in the dining room next to the Oval office rarely on during the day.
Biden only takes a 30-minute break for a lunch of either salad, soup or a sandwich. His drink of choice is orange Gatorade.
Christopher Freeman, a caterer who was employed during Biden’s vice presidency, claims staff were directed not to serve leafy green salads at event because he was worried about being photographed with leaves between his teeth.
His pantry staples included vanilla chocolate chip Haagen-Dazs icecream, Special K cereal, one bunch of red grapes, sliced cheese, six eggs, sliced bread, one tomato from the garden, and at least two apples, according to Freeman.
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