The Biden administration is bringing back weekly addresses from the president, but with a twist that may appeal to modern, younger audiences. According to the White House, the new weekly chats will have an informal podcast-like style, mimicking the sort of casual chats the public is used to hearing in popular audio shows.
On Saturday, the White House published the first of Biden’s planned weekly chats, which was shared in a video on its YouTube channel. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that these chats will include ‘a variety of formats,’ some of them a traditional presidential address, others more casual with everyday Americans who were selected ahead of time.
In the first weekly chat (above), President Biden spoke with Californian Michele Voelkert about her struggles to get unemployment after getting laid off last year, as well as the effort to find a new job. The conversation also included talk about online school, which has replaced traditional schooling during the pandemic.
The idea behind these new digital, online weekly chats is that the average person will be able to engage with the content using the platforms they’re used to. The Biden team embraced digital and alternative formats over traditional methods due to the pandemic; it makes sense that the administration would continue with this more modern alternative.
Weekly presidential addresses have been something of a traditional, but an inconsistent one, with some presidents regularly engaging with the populace in this way and others abandoning it. President Obama was the most recent president to regularly conduct weekly addresses, a practice that persisted for only a short time during Trump’s term.