WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden's grandkids say anyone who wants to take a crack at their “Pop” has to go through them first. When Biden calls to check in, he doesn't stop with one grandchild but ends up dialing all of them for updates. Even son Hunter Biden gets a nightly call from Biden.
Biden’s big Irish American family has been a prominent part of the White House scene during his first 100 days in office, with his wife, children and grandchildren providing the grounding that people close to the president say has served Biden during nearly a half century of public service.
“Anyone who wants to get to @JoeBiden will have to get past us first,” says the caption on a photo granddaughter Naomi Biden tweeted of herself, her sisters and cousins. She added emojis of a flexed bicep, a high voltage sign, a fist and a winking face with a stuck-out tongue.
During a family getaway to the Camp David retreat in Maryland over Presidents' Day weekend, she tweeted photos of Biden wearing a tan cap they bought him. The front of the cap sported the presidential seal. The back was inscribed with “Pop" — “just to make sure the job title doesn't get to his head,” she wrote.
Biden was shaped in part by the loss of his first wife, Neilia, and their baby, Naomi, in a 1972 car accident in Delaware after he was first elected to the U.S. Senate. The accident also injured sons Hunter, 3, and Beau, 4. The loss was compounded by Beau's death from brain cancer in 2015.
The president and his second wife, Jill, also have a daughter, Ashley, 39.
“Joe and Jill Biden are incredibly close to their children and their grandchildren,” said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who has known the president for decades. “Having lost Beau, in what was a great tragedy in their lives, has made them even more intensely close to both children and more determined to be good grandparents.”
The Bidens “have a sense of joy and of open-heartedness that comes even more abundantly clear when they're in the presence of their grandchildren," Coons said.