The President and First Lady were presented at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony by LL Cool J, though the crowd waited almost two minutes for the couple to come out.
A video reveals the rapper introducing the pair as music plays. As the crowd stands up, though, the President and first lady are nowhere in sight.
After a few minutes, LL Cool J tells the audience they "are going to do it again" while someone else could be heard asking for applause.
The President and First Lady were then greeted by a cheering crowd as they welcomed everyone to the Christmas tree lighting on the Ellipse, south of the White House.
"And as we look out across the country with the promise of a new year ahead, we know this: We are a great nation because [of] you — the American people," the president announced. "You are a good person. And because of you, we will never be more optimistic about the future. You've made me so optimistic I can't — I tell you what ... we have so much ahead of us."
Singer-actor LL Cool J hosted the program, featuring performances by Billy Porter, Chris Stapleton, H.E.R., Kristin Chenoweth, Patti LaBelle, and Howard University's gospel choir.
The evergreen tree on the Ellipse, just south of the White House, was lit up in red and white lights. It is encompassed by smaller trees representing every U.S. state and territory and the District of Columbia. Students from across the nation made the ornaments used to decorate the trees.
Meanwhile, ten months into his presidency, Biden's poll numbers are, by any measure, lukewarm. According to the latest figures taken on Nov. 24, just 43 percent of Americans approve of his performance in office, while a majority believe he is doing a rather bad job. And in the week he declared that he was planning to run for the presidency again in 2024, these are indeed not the numbers he is hoping for.
There are several explanations for Biden's low approval rating, yet some context is useful. While he is recently polling lower than his three Democrat predecessors at this point in their presidency, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter were not faced with a pandemic in an era of dangerously toxic partisanship.