First Lady Pool Reports of November 28, 2022

November 28, 2022

Pool Reports by Emily Goodin, Daily Mail

Sent: Reports:
November 28, 2022

FLOTUS pool report #1 - National Guard Roundtable

Dr. Biden joined National Guard families and state Adjutants General for a roundtable discussion on education for military-connected children in the Roosevelt Room as part of her Joining Forces initiative.

She came into the room at 11:35 am. She walked around, shaking hands, and greeting the children and guests.

There are seven children at the table - see names below - and three adults.

"You're too quiet," FLOTUS told the kids.

Joining Forces director Rory Brosius said she tried to do an ice breaker by asking a favorite holiday movie and "Home Alone" was the consensus.

"I love the snoopy one," FLOTUS said.

FLOTUS started off talking about her ties to the military - her father's service and her son Beau being in the Delaware National Guard.

"And that is why the National Guard has a very special place in my heart," she said.

She noted she saw how Natalie and Hunter missed their dad while he was deployed in Iraq.

"I also saw how the kindness of our community made it a little easier for us."

She said Natalie's teacher hung a photo of Beau's unit in her classroom.

"And that meant so much to Natalie," FLOTUS said.

"And for many Americans our National Guard and their families are the only service members that civilians might know. Because our Guard members may not wear a uniform every day … sometimes neighbors and teachers and other students really don't realize you are connected."

"And that is why it is important for you to tell your stories to us."

"I don't think people really know that National Guard deploy during war times. I had that misconception as well when my son signed up. I thought 'oh well he'll never go to war.' But then he did. He served a year."

"So you know what it's like to put your family's life on hold – every time your mom or dad is called to duty."

"We're here to learn about how your schools and community support you and what more we can do to support you because you have served right along side your parents, because you deserve to have your courage and sacrifice recognized too.

"I hope as time goes on you'll get a little more comfortable. You'll be a little bit more open. Maybe you'll feel better. Maybe when the press is out. What do you think? to tell your stories."

As always please check quotes against transcript.

Press was pulled at 11:42 am after FLOTUS opening remarks but before the children weighed in. She could be heard telling the kids how nice they all looked as press departed.

In the Roosevelt Room, the mantle over the fireplace was decorated with pine garland, lights and gold ribbons for the holiday.

On Monday, November 28th, at 11:30 AM ET, as part of her Joining Forces initiative to support military families, the First Lady will join National Guard families and state Adjutants General for a roundtable discussion on support for National Guard children. As a National Guard mother, Dr. Biden wanted to show appreciation for, and honor, the special role the National Guard plays in serving our country. The conversation will focus on the experiences of seven National Guard children participating in the roundtable, and how their communities and schools can support them.

Each state in the United States has a senior military officer, as the state Adjutant General, who is the de facto commander of a state's military forces, including the National Guard.

Roundtable participants:

  • Veronika Ballard, 11, Daughter of Maj. Andre C. Ballard of the Ohio National Guard
  • Shaun Gurtner, 14, Step-Son of Master Sgt. Luke Hatton of the Colorado National Guard
  • Adeline Lunning, 9, Daughter of Maj. Katie Lunning of the Minnesota National Guard
  • Makayla Mayangitan, 12, Daughter of Master Sgt. Christina Mayangitan of the Oregon National Guard
  • Caleb Melton, 15, Son of Chief Master Sgt. Scott Melton of the West Virginia National Guard
  • Joseph Schmitt, 15, Son of Master Sgt. Edward Schmitt of the Wisconsin National Guard
  • Landen Schmitt, 14, Son of Master Sgt. Edward Schmitt of the Wisconsin National Guard

In one of her first events as First Lady after President Joe Biden's inauguration, the First Lady visited the National Guard at the U.S. Capitol to thank them for keeping our country safe.

Most recently through Joining Forces, the First Lady has hosted the military community at the White House including:

  • November 2022: The First Lady hosted a traditional Veterans Day breakfast at the White House to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • July 2022: The President and the First Lady hosted military families at the White House for a July 4th celebration.
  • June 2022: The President, the Vice President, the First Lady, and the Second Gentleman, welcomed wounded warriors, their caregivers and families to the White House as part of the annual Soldier Ride to recognize the service, sacrifice, and recovery journey for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans.
  • May 2022: On Memorial Day, the President and the First Lady hosted a White House tree planting ceremony, dedicating the new Magnolia to America's service members and Gold Star Families.

About Joining Forces:
First Lady Jill Biden reignited Joining Forces in April 2021, after its inception with former First Lady Michelle Obama in 2011. Joining Forces is a White House initiative to support military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors. Joining Forces' work is driven by their experiences. Learn more here:

November 28, 2022

FLOTUS pool report #2 - thanking volunteers

Dr. Biden will thank volunteers who decorated the White House for the holidays.

The East Room is filled with the 150 volunteers and many National Guard families. It is packed. All are standing.

Festive music is playing and the room is decorated for the holidays with (fake) snow covered trees.

The White House holiday theme is "We the People" and the East Room is dedicated to nature, celebrating four national parks: The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains, and Shenandoah National Park.

Event begins at 12:30 pm and is being aired on White House Live:

November 28, 2022

FLOTUS pool report #3 - FLOTUS remarks

Dr. Biden entered the East Room at 12:48 pm.

FLOTUS on the "We the People" theme:
"When our country comes together, we are stronger. What we share is so much greater than the things that pull us apart. The Soul of our Nation is—and always has been—"We the People." And that is what inspired this year's White House holiday decorations."

She mentioned the National Guard families and asked them to wave. She pointed to one little girl being held by a parent and waving: "I can see that little hand back there."

To the volunteers, FLOTUS: "All of this would not be possible without your hard work. You gave up time with your family this holiday weekend. Many of you traveled from far away to be here. And you've worked long hours in service of this gift. Now, some of you may have a little glue gun residue on your fingers, or sore backs from hanging up all that snow in the colonnade. Yesterday, you might have thought "if I have to tie just one more bow, I'm outta here!" But, I also hope you've made some life-long friends here...and felt the unique joy that only comes from the chaos of the holidays! With all my heart, thank you for everything you've done."

She called up Daria Peoples - an elementary school art teacher and children's book author from Las Vegas, Nevada, who illustrated the 2022 White House Holiday Guide.

She thanked her for her work.

More FLOTUS: "We may celebrate different holidays—we may sing different songs or say different prayers— but our shared American values endure season after season. May the promise of We the People light our path forward into the New Year and bring us together always. Merry Christmas and happy holidays. God bless you. God bless our troops and their families."

FLOTUS departed at 12:58 pm.

As always, please double check quotes against transcript.

And if folks need more details about this year's holiday theme, you can visit

Music played ahead of FLOTUS' arrival included "Let it Go" from Frozen and the Peanuts theme from Charlie Brown, which earned a chuckle from the crowd when its familiar notes began.

That's all from the FLOTUS pool for today. Have a good one.

Jill Biden, First Lady Pool Reports of November 28, 2022 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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