Michelle Obama hugs Joe Biden’s grandchildren as she arrives at inauguration

Andrew Naughtie
·3-min read
<p>Barack and Michelle Obama arrive to the Biden inauguration</p> (Getty Images)

Barack and Michelle Obama arrive to the Biden inauguration

(Getty Images)

Former first lady Michelle Obama has warmly greeted members of Joe Biden’s family – hugging his grandchildren as she stepped onto the inaugural platform.

Ms Obama was accompanied by her husband, former president Barack Obama, and donned a bipartisan-coloured purple outfit, also one of the colours of choice for the Suffragettes. She appeared delighted to be reunited with old friends, greeting several other attendees with warm smiles.

As he prepares to take the oath of office, Joe Biden was also celebrated by the former president and first lady with whom he served as vice president.

Mr Obama – who attended the inauguration alongside all former presidents except for Donald Trump – shared a picture of him and his former deputy walking arm-in-arm out of the Oval office, captioning it “Congratulations to my friend, President @JoeBiden! This is your time.”

Meanwhile, Ms Obama also shared a picture on Instagram from her husband’s own swearing-in in 2008, and accompanied it with a thoughtful post about the challenge facing the Biden administration.

“Today is the day,” she wrote. “After a disturbing era of chaos and division, we are entering the next chapter of American leadership with the inauguration of @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris. Right now, I’m feeling more than just relief at putting the past four years behind us. I’m feeling genuinely hopeful for what’s to come.”

Both Obamas are known to have a good relationship with the president-elect and his wife Jill. While Mr Obama has been credited with talking Mr Biden out of running against Hillary Clinton in the 2015-16 Democratic primary, he has also spoken warmly about his former running mate many times, and even gave a eulogy at the funeral of Mr Biden’s son Beau, who died suddenly in 2015.

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Ms Obama, meanwhile, has previously described Dr Biden as her “partner-in-crime” during their White House years. In a 2016 interview, they described the “instant bond” they felt when they and their husbands first appeared on the campaign trail as a foursome.

“We just knew we would be friends,” Dr Biden said.

The Obamas have also previously expressed their admiration and warmth for vice president-elect Kamala Harris. In September, Mr Obama recorded a video conversation with Ms Harris in which he gave her advice on what to expect from serving with Mr Biden.

“Ice cream is big,” the president said. “Pasta with red sauce, he can really go deep on that. He really does like those aviator glasses, he knows he looks good in ‘em.

“But look, the main thing to know about Joe is that Joe has never lost his sense of why we do this. And we do it because of, for him, memories of his family back in Scranton and the people of Delaware he represents, the folks on the Amtrak train he met each and every day.

“He’s constantly aware that that is why we do this, and that everything that comes up, his focus is gonna be how that helps those people who sent him there.”