WASHINGTON — President Biden thanked first responders with an awkward phone call to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday that provided viewers of the annual parade with some hair-raising TV.
From Massachusetts Island home of private-equity billionaire David Rubenstein, the President and First Lady Jill Biden had a phone conversation that began with a long and awkward silence when NBC’s Dylan Dryeron the scene during the parade, the pair seemed unable to hear for about 30 seconds.
“I’m not one to take a phone call during TV, but I think I should answer this one,” Dreyer said.
“Hello, Mr. President?” said the reporter.
But no one answered because Jill Biden could be heard faintly in the background after seconds of dead air and confusion.
“I don’t think I can hear you…” Dreyer said then. “Can you hear me, Mr. President.”
Biden was then heard say something to the first lady and then Dreyer chimed in, “Hello? Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. President. Are you there?”
That seemed to get Biden’s attention, and he replied, “We’re here.”
“I want to thank the firefighters and police officers, first responders,” Biden said when the connection finally became clear. “They never take a break.”
The first lady jumped in and added, “And God bless our troops for sure.”
“And by the way, we’re going to talk to some of our troops later today, both here and abroad. I hope everyone remembers,” the president said. “We remember them every day. God really bless our troops.”
It was the second year the Bidens participated in the annual parade, which this year features 27 giant balloons and 31 floats.
The pair will call U.S. service representatives at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. But first, they visited a fire station in Nantucket with grandson Beau, 2.
The Bidens brought some pumpkin pies for the firefighters, who gave Beau a miniature fire hat in return. The boy is the youngest grandchild of the Bidens – the son of Hunter Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen.