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Biden benchmarks Roosevelt’s ‘fireside chats’

Posted February. 08, 2021 07:30,   

Updated February. 08, 2021 07:30


U.S. President Joe Biden benchmarked former President Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) who unprecedentedly served four terms by overcoming the Second World War. Biden consoled Americans suffering from COVID-19 and the economic downturn by publicizing a phone call with an unemployed citizen similar to Roosevelt’s “fireside chats.”

The White House introduced a chat between President Biden and Michele Voelkert, a white woman who lives in Roseville, California and lost her job in July, on Saturday via social media. “It’s been a tough time as far as trying to find work,” said Voelkert in the phone call that lasted two minutes and 28 seconds. “Working is part of who you are. Like my dad used to say, ‘A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity, it’s about your respect. It’s about your place in the community. […] We’re putting together a plan that provides for emergency relief to people who are in desperate need now.” Biden said, mentioning the 1.9-trillion-dollar COVID-19 relief plan.  

Voelkert wrote a letter to Biden about her difficult situation before the phone call. The two of them talked about the administration’s vaccination plan as well. Roosevelt promoted main policies and consoled citizens on the radio when the financial market was on the brink of collapse due to the Great Depression. The talk was named fireside chats because it sounded like he was having a chat with his family by the fireside.

Jong-Yeob JO jjj@donga.com