OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
First Lady Jill Biden is actively involved in her husband’s administration, mostly to serve as a shield for him.
According to sources, Jill Biden is directly involved in the selection of administration officials, sits in meetings, shields her husband from exhausting events, and performs numerous other tasks that appear to protect her husband from having to handle too much on his own.
“Jill Biden’s reported influence in the White House comes as Joe Biden has been scrutinized for being led off stage by the first lady, and appearing to be physically led away from reporters’ questions. Jill Biden has been appearing frequently at public events and plans to hit the campaign trail going into the 2024 election,” the outlet reported.
The Guardian reported similar details in a separate report, noting that Jill Biden is “running the show” behind the scenes:
Behind the scenes, First Lady Jill Biden might be running the show. In an interview with David Muir, President Biden was asked about a second run, and he joked, “I gotta call [Jill] and find out.” He was kidding, but there is some truth behind his wife’s influence. A former senior adviser told Politico, “She is always his final gut check.” As of April 2023, the president officially made his re-election bid. He released a campaign video where his wife can be spotted embracing the vice president, speaking out, and politicking on the campaign trail.
A former advisor to the Head of State shared, “She is usually in the room when senior campaign staff is presenting a strategy to her husband. She will ask questions. But she never weighs in on the decision.”
“The first lady, Jill Biden, encouraged her husband to seek a second term. According to the president’s senior advisers, he will often consider her opinion before making final decisions on official matters. She is also expected to play a large role on the campaign trail as Biden faces backlash from his family. A career educator, she offers a perspective over GOP fights about book bans and other policies in schools and has served as a connection to suburban voters, particularly women,” the outlet added.
This comes as a separate report found that the payroll at the White House has seen a significant increase during his term, according to a recent report.
In the third year of President Biden’s administration, there are now 524 people on the payroll for the White House, an increase of 50 employees.
The significant increase in the number of people working on First Lady Jill Biden’s staff was a significant factor causing this surge.
The 2023 report to Congress on the White House staff included payroll information.
“The payroll figure is higher than last year’s total of 474, though lower than Biden’s first-year White House payroll of 560. However, the total payroll bill for 2023 still tops the $50,276,976 that made up White House salaries in 2021, according to OpenTheBooks, a nonprofit group that focuses on government spending,” The Western Journal reported.
The group reported that the total payroll for the White House was between $52 million and $53 million.
In 2022, Jill Biden’s team consisted of a relatively small group of only eight staff members. However, this year, the number of staff members has increased significantly to 20. Of particular interest is the inclusion of a new position called “social media platform manager,” with an annual salary of $113,039. This position was not listed in previous years’ staff rosters, including the one released in 2021, as noted by The Western Journal.
“That means that out of the 50 more employees the White House has in 2023 compared to 2022, more than 20 percent of the growth has come from the 150 percent increase in Jill Biden’s staff. How many private employers grow their staff by 150 percent in one year?” the outlet added.
As per a report published on June 28, 2019, during the third year of former President Donald Trump’s administration, the entire White House payroll consisted of only 416 employees.
In contrast, the staff under former First Lady Melania Trump comprised a maximum of 12 staffers, which was slightly over half the size of Jill Biden’s current staff.