Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

On Wednesday morning, a day after President Biden skipped town to prepare for his family’s Thanksgiving celebration in Nantucket, White House chief of staff Ronald Klain and White House deputy communications director Jennifer Molina tweeted out a list of talking points “for chatting with your Uncle at Thanksgiving.”

With all due respect, stop it.

I get that spreading the word about Biden’s accomplishments is the administration’s job. And I’m even thankful that it accomplished various things on this list. But the White House is misunderstanding the deal that I and 81 million of my fellow Americans tacitly struck with Joe Biden. We turned out to vote for him in 2020 precisely so we wouldn’t have to show up to Thanksgiving with talking points.

As I noted exactly one year ago, one perk of electing Biden was the end of a particularly annoying pre-holiday journalism trope:

In the lead-up to every Thanksgiving of the Trump era, I was subjected to a barrage of guides to arguing about the president with my relatives. Suddenly, it wasn’t enough to show up to Turkey Day with a sloppily constructed Libby’s “famous” pumpkin pie and an ability to explain all the musical acts in the Macy’s parade to the assembled boomers: I was supposed to have a strategy for discussing authoritarianism with my mom.

One of the best things about Biden is that I rarely have to argue with anyone about him. Sometimes I go several days without even thinking about him. Did he pardon a turkey this week? I assume so, but I don’t know for sure because he didn’t say something megalomaniacal, like declaring that this year he’s mainly thankful for himself.

Also, what’s the point of defending Biden’s accomplishments at the Thanksgiving table this year? The midterms are (mostly) over, and we’re two years out from a presidential election we’re not even totally sure Biden will participate in.

So for the love of God, please do not show up to Thanksgiving dinner with this list or any other political talking points. If you must talk to your Trumpy relatives, just make some cracks about Elon Musk trying to destroy Twitter and save your strength for 2024.


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