President Biden Arrives in Nantucket for Thanksgiving

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President Biden and his household are spending Thanksgiving connected Nantucket, renewing a household contented that dates backmost to 1975.

The Bidens spent their archetypal  vacation  unneurotic  connected  Nantucket successful  1975.
Credit...Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times

Zolan Kanno-Youngs

Nov. 24, 2021Updated 4:51 p.m. ET

NANTUCKET, Mass. — Helicopters person been buzzing implicit the island’s boutiques and beaches for days. Military craft unloaded authorities cars and different dense cargo earlier this week. And a question of clean-cut Secret Service agents has filled different quiescent luxury inns.

President Biden is successful municipality for Thanksgiving, with much than conscionable his household successful tow.

“Team aft squad aft squad of radical travel done with jeans and T-shirts, but past you announcement they person a small clipboard with the White House insignia,” said Jack Fritsch, who runs the Antiques Depot conscionable adjacent the section ferry drop-off. “You admit the haircuts. They’re Secret Service agents.”

The Bidens’ determination to walk Thanksgiving connected Nantucket this twelvemonth renews a household contented that dates backmost to 1975, erstwhile Mr. Biden and his wife-to-be spent their archetypal vacation together. In his memoir, “Promise Me, Dad,” Mr. Biden said the mates had aggregate invitations to Thanksgiving meal that year. Instead of disappointing anyone, they decided to walk the vacation connected the land with Mr. Biden’s 2 young boys, Beau and Hunter, astatine the proposal of his main of staff, Wes Barthelmes.

“‘What you request is simply a atomic Thanksgiving,’” Mr. Biden wrote Mr. Barthelmes told him. “Meaning the atomic household alone. Only Wes Barthelmes was a Boston guy, truthful what helium really said was ‘nucle-aah Thanksgiving.’”

Now, the Bidens person a acold much expansive household on for the travel — including children, grandchildren and in-laws. So they are staying successful a location they person visited successful the past, that of David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group backstage equity firm.

Jen Psaki, the White House property secretary, deflected a question this week astir the president’s determination to enactment astatine a billionaire’s location aft having tally arsenic champion of the mediate people and criticized the affluent for not paying their just share.

“This is simply a clip to enactment authorities aside, walk clip with your loved ones, and speech astir what you’re grateful for,” Ms. Psaki said.

Before helium was president, Mr. Biden managed to blend successful with the section crowds. Residents said they mightiness spot him walking cobblestone roads adjacent the harbor successful hunt of a java oregon taking a plunge successful the icy waters of the Atlantic to observe the holiday.

“Obviously erstwhile helium was legislator determination wasn’t that overmuch commotion,” Mr. Fritsch said. Even arsenic vice president, “no 1 minded.”

But with his caller job, Mr. Biden brings a dizzying array of information personnel, members of the media and White House officials, not to notation a parade of household members: his children, Ashley and Hunter; Hunter’s wife, Melissa; grandchildren Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie, Hunter Biden II and Beau; and Naomi’s fiancé, Peter Neal.

“There’s a small spot of excitement,” said Noah Karberg, the adjunct manager of Nantucket Memorial Airport. He noted that the land has welcomed erstwhile caput of authorities John Kerry and erstwhile vice president Mike Pence. Still, helium has asked his unit to enactment a small aboriginal than accustomed for the accomplishment of Air Force One connected Tuesday night.

“We get to grip a truly large aircraft,” helium said.

Rep. William Keating, Democrat of Massachusetts, said his telephone enactment has been inundated with calls from residents describing the further information beingness connected the island.

“These are radical who are utilized to celebrated radical coming and going,” said Mr. Keating, who represents Nantucket arsenic good arsenic Martha’s Vineyard, wherever the Obamas ain a home. “But I conjecture it’s conscionable the entourage.”

The Bidens took a interruption from Thanksgiving successful Nantucket successful 2015, conscionable six months aft Beau died of encephalon crab astatine property 46. They went to Rome that twelvemonth instead. The household has returned to the land occasionally since then, but did not walk Thanksgiving connected the land successful 2019 due to the fact that of the question commitments of Mr. Biden’s statesmanlike campaign. Last year, they stayed successful Rehoboth, Del., due to the fact that of concerns astir the pandemic.

“People missed him, but mostly it was sympathy,” Mr. Fritsch said.

One happening the president volition not beryllium capable to flight during his vacation getaway are reminders of the labour shortages that person deed employers nationwide, including the section Faregrounds Restaurant & Pudley’s Pub, wherever patrons are welcomed with a motion informing of imaginable delays.


Credit...Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times

Bill Puder, the proprietor of Faregrounds and Pudley's, inactive remembers astir 2 decades agone erstwhile an unfamiliar Dr. Jill Biden called the edifice and asked if it would cater Thanksgiving meal for her family.

“I didn’t adjacent cognize who helium was,” Mr. Puder said of the then-senator.

Mr. Puder said the Bidens person regularly chosen his restaurant, which is decorated with Boston sports memorabilia, to cater their Thanksgiving meal. They thin to get the usual: turkey, mashed potatoes, greenish legume casserole, yams and pies. When helium did not person an bid from the Bidens successful 2019, helium called the archetypal woman to beryllium sure.

“It went to an answering instrumentality and she called maine close backmost and said, ‘No, I’m sorry, I should’ve told you,’” Mr. Puder said.

This year, alternatively of cooking for the Bidens, Mr. Puder has different task: cooking Thanksgiving meal for 100 members of the Secret Service. He has already encountered galore agents and Massachusetts authorities constabulary successful the days starring up to the holiday.

“You tin archer who they are due to the fact that they accidental ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’,” Mr. Puder said. “They say, ‘That’s however we’re trained.’ I say, ‘All right.’”

Still, helium emphasized that locals were accustomed to celebrated visitors and seldom became starstruck. If anything, a president was improbable to stoke the benignant of excitement elicited by section celebrities.

“Belichick has travel successful here,” Mr. Puder said with a smile, referring to Bill Belichick, the caput manager of the New England Patriots.

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