Does First Lady Jill Biden Have Her Own Walk-Up Song?

- July 12, 2024
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For some Democrats, President Biden's recent press conference, while managing to exceed some expectations, did little to salvage his reelection campaign. His performance, marred by numerous gaffes, has led to calls for a change in leadership.

Rep. (D-Conn.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, voiced his concerns following Biden's unscripted and often awkward interaction with the press. Himes emphasized the risk of relying on an 81-year-old president prone to off-script mishaps.

“Imagine that three months from now, we get another performance like there was in the debate.

's arrival at events recently became a subject of interest due to a musical arrangement performed by the Marine Corps Band.

The composition “Fanfare for the First Lady” is a “Hail to the Chief”-style theme, known for its unique association with the first lady's appearances.

Traditionally, “Hail to the Chief” is played solely for the president of the United States. However, recent events have highlighted a departure from this norm, with Jill Biden being granted her own distinctive musical introduction.

The choice to develop a personalized theme for the first lady is unprecedented and has sparked a mix of reactions.

Critics argued that this musical arrangement blurred established protocol, which traditionally reserves such honors exclusively for the president. They viewed the decision as potentially diluting the significance and historical weight of “Hail to the Chief.”

There are also concerns about the symbolic implications of introducing a similar musical tradition for the first lady, who is increasingly seen as a gatekeeper to the addled president.

As the Washington Examiner reported:

“Fanfare for the First Lady” has created both amusement and confusion within the band, with some remarking that in the many years they've played in the group, this is the first time the group has had to provide the first lady with an exclusive entrance theme.

Someone in the White House apparently “had the bright idea, ‘Oh, tell the band that we want music for Jill,'” a source said. “The band had to provide music.”

The band was “rushed” to provide the entrance song for the first lady, the source said, adding the Marine Corps band submitted a few options for the White House's consideration. The first lady's handlers settled eventually on the original piece “Fanfare to the First Lady.”

Executive Office of the President of the United States via Wikimedia Commons

Michael LaRosa, Jill Biden's press secretary, says the entire story is bunkum.

According to the first lady's office, the 's new theme was composed voluntarily by the band itself, a claim an inside source denied.

“The song is terrible,” they complained.

The Marine Corps Band, renowned for its rich history and exceptional precision, seldom creates music by request.

Historically, “Hail to the Chief” has been closely associated with the president since the early 19th century. The composition's majestic melody has been a symbol of the office's dignity and authority. Its use is carefully regulated to ensure it remains a distinct honor reserved solely for the president's entrances.

The introduction of a similar musical piece for Jill Biden represented a departure from this long-standing tradition. The departure from tradition has sparked a broader conversation about the evolving roles within the White House.

Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Following the Examiner's reportage, the White House retired the theme from the rotation.

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