In honor of her first Valentine’s Day as First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden celebrated on Friday (Feb. 12) with a surprise for her husband, President Joe Biden. Overnight, Dr. Biden, 69, had large red, white, and pink hearts installed on the North Lawn of the White House. These decorations mimicked the candy hearts given out during the holiday by bearing a specific message, like “Compassion” and “Love.” On Friday morning, President Biden, 78, and their two dogs – Champ and Major — joined his wife for a “surprise stroll,” per CNN’s Betsy Klein, where he saw the decorations for himself.
President Biden: "#ValentinesDay is a big. Jill's favorite day. For real."
Q: "What inspired you to do this?"@FLOTUS: "I just wanted some joy. With the pandemic, just everybody's feeling a little down. So, it's just a little joy. A little hope. That's all." pic.twitter.com/JW0S1cclNO
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 12, 2021
“Valentine’s Day is a big day, Jill’s favorite day,” the president told reporters as he viewed the decorations. When asked why she had the decorations put up, Dr. Biden said she wanted to bring a little holiday cheer. “I just wanted some joy, and I think just, with the pandemic, everybody’s feeling a little down, so it’s just a little joy, a little hope. That’s all.” The display reminded President Biden of a time when he was serving as Vice President to President Barack Obama. “First year…I walked into my office, and every single pane…she had taken the school-kind of paint that kids put on posterboards? She had put a heart that says ‘Joe Loves Jill.’ ”
“None of them said ‘Jill Loves Joe,’ ” joked the president. When asked how they could “extend that love story to the American people who are so down right now,” President Biden said, “Tell them there is hope. There is hope. They just have to stay strong.” That message was echoed by the words Dr. Biden had on her decorations. “Healing. Courage. Love. Compassion. Gratitude. Peace. Amor. Strength. Kindness. Family. Unity. Love, Jill,” she posted to the official FLOTUS Instagram.
“The First Lady is known for her sense of humor, love of surprises, and celebrating traditions, especially with her family,” the office of the First Lady said in a statement, per NBC News. “Valentine’s Day has always been one of her favorite holidays. Sending messages of healing, unity, hope, and compassion, this is her Valentine to the country.”
The heartfelt display is sure to earn Dr. Biden some more kudos from her fans – and possibly aggravate the former First Lady, Melania Trump. Though Melania’s taste when it came to White House decor often resulted in mockery – and she famously dissed the Christmas decorations in a secret recording shared by her ex BFF, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff — she at least made it seem like she put forth some effort when it came to the holidays. Since leaving the White House, Melania has reportedly felt a “most fervent ire” in watching Dr. Jill take to the First Lady role with ease and get universal praise while doing it.