First Lady Jill Biden firmly secured her role as President Joe Biden’s ‘best political asset’ with a ‘classy and elegant’ display at the inauguration that earned her a swathe of praise from spectators.
The 69-year-old teacher proudly stood by her husband’s side as he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, holding up the Bible that he placed his hand on while taking an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution.
Standing alongside Jill were her stepson Hunter, 50, and her daughter Ashley, 39, who recently paid tribute to her mother for helping to keep Joe ‘grounded’ throughout his political career.
Right-hand woman: First Lady Jill Biden cemented her status as President Joe Biden’s ‘best political asset’ at the inauguration when she earned high praise for her ‘classy’ demeanor
Emotion: The 69-year-old teacher proudly kissed and hugged her husband after he was officially sworn in as the 46th President of the United States
Close: The couple have been married for 43 years, and Jill has long-been viewed as one of Joe’s strongest allies and confidantes – a label she certainly lived up to at Wednesday’s event
Allies: Many inauguration spectators were quick to highlight the very close and very visible bond that Joe and Jill share
He made it! The couple also shared a sweet embrace upon their arrival at the White House
All the way: Jill has remained by her husband’s side throughout his journey to the White House, even hosting her own school-focused tour during which she promoted his policies in 10 states
Her position as the new President’s right-hand woman and closest confidante couldn’t have been more clear on Wednesday, when she remained close by his side during the day’s proceedings – which began with a mass at St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral in D.C.
From there the couple, who have been married for 43 years, traveled to Capitol Hill for the inauguration, where Jill proudly held Joe’s hand as they walked out onto the stage for the swearing in ceremony.
Within seconds of her arrival at the event, social media had been flooded with praise for Jill, who received compliments on everything from her calm and respectful demeanor to her chic choice of outfit, which drew comparisons with Jackie Kennedy from some impressed Twitter users.
‘Dr Jill Biden is stunning, gorgeous, elegant and classy. So proud to have her as our First Lady,’ one person shared.
Another added: ‘Dr. Jill Biden, bringing back strong, classy , intelligent, beautiful women in the white house.’
‘The First Lady Jill Biden is STUNNING! I love her outfit!’ a third person chimed in. ‘Classy, Exuberant, and All together American. I love it!’
One user stated: ‘Dr. Jill Biden served us all a plate of Jackie O realness this morning!!! the monochromatic looks today we’re fab,’ as another agreed, saying: ‘Jill Biden is so classy, a real Jackie O.’
Family: Following the swearing in, Jill embraced her husband, stepson Hunter Biden, 50, and her daughter Ashley, 39
Heartfelt: Ashley appeared overcome with emotion while watching her father take his oath, days after she praised her mother for keeping him ‘grounded’ throughout his career
She’s got his back! One heartwarming snap from the event showed Jill resting her hands on Joe’s shoulders in a gesture of comfort and reassurance
Consistent: The English professor has been a steadfast source of support and advice for Joe during their marriage, and was credited with ‘making him whole again’ after his first wife died
Viewers were also moved by Jill’s enthusiastic embrace of her husband, whom she hugged and kissed proudly after he was sworn in, before drawing her stepson Hunter and their daughter Ashley in for a family hug.
Although the inauguration certainly provided a platform for Jill to shine, away from the glare of the spotlight, she has long been viewed as an essential force behind her husband’s political career.
Earlier this week, Jill and Joe’s only daughter Ashley heaped praise on her mother, reaffirming the long-held perception that the newly-minted First Lady is one of her father’s greatest assets. .
‘I agree [that she is his best political asset],’ Ashley told former First Daughter and Today host Jenna Bush Hager. ‘You know she’s straight up with dad. She’s fierce and extremely loyal.’
The new First Daughter then heaped praise on her parents’ relationship, agreeing with Jenna’s description of their ‘inspiring love’, while revealing how her mother helps to ensure that Joe has remained ‘grounded’ throughout his time in politics.
‘They really do [have a great love that is inspiring],’ she said. ‘Mom keeps dad grounded. She will always remind him to take out the trash. Dad loves his Raisin Bran in the morning, and she’s like, “Joe, wash that bowl, don’t put it in the sink.”‘
Jill has shown unwavering support to Joe throughout his political career, serving as his Second Lady during the eight years he spent as Vice President to former President Barack Obama.
Milestone: The professor appeared to tear up as her husband took his oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution
Elated: The First Lady couldn’t hide her excitement as she arrived at the Capitol ahead of her husband’s inauguration
Team: Jill formed a close friendship with former First Lady Michelle Obama while their husbands served in the White House together, and the women were seen tightly embracing
Side by side: Joe’s Vice President Kamala Harris is also understood to be close with Jill, and the two women were seen entering the Capitol together with their husbands on Wednesday
Prior to that was credited with helping to ‘make her husband whole again’ after he suffered the tragic loss of his first wife Neilia and their infant daughter in a car crash in 1972.
The new First Lady was 24 when she met her now-husband – who was 33 at the time and serving as the Delaware Senator.
She had divorced her first husband – former college footballer Bill Stevenson – just a dew months prior, and was set up on a blind date with Joe by his brother Frank, who she knew from college.
Joe famously had to propose to Jill five times before she accepted his offer of marriage – and the English professor later revealed that she avoided marrying him for so long because she was afraid that their union might bring too much disruption to his sons’ lives.
I loved the boys so much,’ she said in an interview in 2019. ‘I had to be sure that it had to be for ever.’
The couple married in 1977 at the United Nations chapel and a reception lunch at Sign of the Dove in New York City, and then took sons Beau and Hunter on their honeymoon. Their daughter was born in 1981.
In his 2007 biography, Promises to Keep, Joe thanked his wife for ‘giving him back his life’ and making him feel ‘whole’ again, writing: ‘She gave me back my life. She made me start to think my family might be whole again.’
Momentous: Jill and Joe took a moment to take in the significance of the occasion as they posed for pictures outside of the White House
First couple: Jill will have a rather more blunt introduction to life as First Lady – after her predecessor Melania Trump declined the opportunity to show her around as per tradition
Nearly there: Traditional protocols dictate that the outgoing First Lady hosts her successor at a ‘tea and tour’ event ahead of the inauguration to introduce them to staff and answer questions
Together: Joe and Jill made clear how important family is to them by heading to the White House with their children and grandchildren surrounding them
Despite her fears about Hunter and Beau struggling to embrace her in their lives, Jill served as an anchor for the family that had been all but torn apart when Neilia and Naomi died; when Ashley was born, she raised all three children as her own, and her daughter speaks to this day of what a close bond was formed between her and her stepbrothers.
Jill was by her husband’s side when tragedy struck the family again in 2015 when Biden’s eldest son Beau died from brain cancer at the age of 46, leaving behind wife Hallie, and their two children, Natalie and Robert II.
The proud mother and educator has also helped her husband to weather several scandals surrounding his son Hunter, whose troubled personal life has been the source of much controversy over the years.
Hunter faced a long battle with drug abuse that has seen him admitted to rehab on more than one occasion, and in 2018, he hit the headlines again when it was revealed that he had fathered a child with Arkansas-based stripper Lunden Roberts.
Then, in October 2020, just days before the election, Hunter sparked furious scandal once again when the New York Post published emails and documents that were allegedly taken from the hard drive of a laptop that he had left at a Delaware computer store.
The Post was given a copy of the hard drive by President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. The laptop contained a series of emails, as well as personal photos, including several of a sexually-explicit nature, according to the New York Post.
Then, in December of last year, Hunter confirmed that the US Attorney’s Office in Delaware was investigating his tax affairs.
Tragedy: Biden’s first wife Neilia and their infant daughter Naomi (center) died in a car crash in December 1972. Their sons Hunter (left) and Beau (right) survived the accident
Whole again: Joe famously proposed to Jill five times before she accepted – and in 2007 he credited her with helping to make him and his family ‘whole’ again after the tragedy
Welcoming: Jill is said to have taken her stepsons Hunter and Beau, who died in 2015 from brain cancer, under her wing after marrying their father (pictured together in 1987)
By his side: While holding down a career as a teacher and professor, Jill has continued to support her husband’s political ascent. They are pictured at a Democratic Party dinner in 1987
Meanwhile Joe and Jill’s daughter Ashley has also had several public brushes with the law. She was reportedly arrested in 1999 for possession of marijuana, and again in 2002 for obstructing a police officer.
Through it all, Jill has remained a steadfast source of support and guidance for her husband and her family, with her step-granddaughter Naomi – whose father is Hunter – praising her for maintaining such a fun sense of humor and a youthful demeanor even through the toughest of times.
‘I’d say she’s not your average grandmother,’ Naomi, 26 said in an interview last year. ‘She’s the grandmother who wakes you up at 5 a.m. on Christmas Eve to go to SoulCycle.
‘She’s a prankster… when she goes on a run she’ll find like a dead snake, and she’ll pick it up and put it in a bag and use it to scare someone.’
As well as serving as matriarch to the Biden family, Jill has also continued to uphold her career as a teacher and professor, a role that she has said she will continue to uphold while serving as First Lady.
This will see her becoming the only First Lady in US history to hold down a paying job outside the White House while her husband is serving as President. For Jill however, it will likely feel natural, given that she also continued her work as a teacher throughout the eight years she spent as Second Lady to the Obama administration.
In the run to the White House, Jill once again proved herself to be an essential part of her husband’s campaign, supporting Joe every step of the way, offering guidance and support whenever the Democrat faltered.
Dedicated: Dr. Biden will make history as the first First Lady in history to hold a paid job outside the White House, after she confirmed that she will continue to teach
Staying strong: The dedicated teacher kept her job while serving as Second Lady during the eight-year Obama presidency, balancing her profession with her official duties
Success: Jill celebrated alongside her husband and Barack and Michelle when Obama won the election in November 2008
As well as joining her husband at countless rallies, events, and virtual campaign moments, she also embarked on her own multi-week ‘Back to School Tour’ that stopped in 10 cities around the country.
The tour was seen as a smart move from the Biden camp, particularly because Joe had been facing criticism for relying too much on virtual campaigning, with some even accusing him of ‘hiding’ amid the pandemic.
Then, in late October, with Election Day just a few weeks away, she put her best foot forward for the Biden Harris effort while in Michigan, a swing state that gave her husband the points he needed to go the White House.
She also made numerous appearances on the set of daytime shows, including The View, where she promoted her husband’s campaign promises, and expressed her support for Joe and Kamala’s politics.
Speaking during the ABC show she said she had positive energy about the campaign, but did not want to take anything for granted.
Talking to CNN on September 27, the former Second Lady said she could not wait to see her husband lead the country,’ and said it was ‘night and day between the two candidates.’
When she was poked by Jake Tapper about her husband’s numerous gaffes, including, she refused to discuss the issue, saying: ‘You can’t even go there. After Donald Trump, you can’t even say the world “gaffes”.’
Biden’s gaffes have included mixing up former presidents’ names at rallies, and telling his opponent to ‘s*** up, man’ during their disastrous presidential debate.