The US media constantly paid attention to the visits of now-former President Trump to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where he liked to spend all his free time playing golf away from the spotlight, spending almost as much time on the fairway in four years as Obama did in eight.
President Joe Biden spent 28% of his first year in office at home in Delaware, and it is all because he simply enjoys being at home, according to his public relations staff, The New York Post reported on Monday.
In total, in his first year in office, Biden spent at least 101 days in Delaware, virtually entirely in either his regular residence in Wilmington or at his holiday home in Rehoboth Beach.
Biden’s love for home sweet home raises concerns among transparency advocates, who point out that when he disclosed the records of who visited him, he exempted his personal properties. Critics are concerned about who might be trying to influence public policy by paying a visit to Biden or his family.
“Generally speaking, the American people have a right to know what the president is up to. This president specifically changed policy to presumably disclose who’s been visiting the White House,” Tom Fitton, president of conservative legal group Judicial Watch, said.
Back in 2009, the Obama administration made it a policy to release select visitor logs in order to settle litigation brought by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Former President Donald Trump ended the practice in 2017, calling it “phony transparency” because officials had redacted many names.
“The decision to keep secret who is visiting Delaware makes a mockery of that transparency. It turns it into a joke,” Fitton said.
Despite promising to head the most transparent administration in history during the election campaign in 2020, Biden is drawing criticism for staying out of the spotlight and giving fewer interviews and news conferences than his predecessors.
On Wednesday, the last day of his first year in office, the president will hold his second solo White House press conference. Nevertheless, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told The Washington Post in August that no visitor logs from Biden’s Delaware homes would be provided, so the mystery of who is visiting the president while he is at home is reportedly set to persist.
Trump, who was chided by the mainstream media for his favorite pastime, while his aides told reporters that the president was working “tirelessly”, once chastised the outlets for over-publicizing his golf outings, pointing out that former President Barack Obama’s golf game did not generate headlines, whereas every time he visits a golf course, the “fake media” portrays it as a “mortal sin”.
According to Trumpgolfcount.com, the former president teed off 298 times during his four years in office.