While First Lady Dr. Jill Biden conveyed a message of unity with her Gabriela Hearst outfit on inauguration night, one accessory that evening had a romantic meaning. In the first couple’s recent interview with People magazine, President Joe Biden’s wife revealed that her white corsage was a gift from her husband, who according to TODAY “has a habit of buying her corsages made from white gardenias.” Recalling when the tradition began, the first lady said, “I think it was for Valentine’s Day.” The president noted, “The first time.”
“It’s just a tradition, and he surprised me with it,” Dr. Biden shared. “I was surprised that people actually saw it on my wrist, but I guess with a zoom lens you see everything.”
The commander-in-chief added, “I think it’s important to — and Jill does the same thing — let each other know no matter how much time has gone by — I got criticized for saying this a while ago, but ... she comes down the steps, (my heart) still goes a little boom, boom, boom, boom. For real.”
After five proposals, the couple married in 1977. When asked the secret to their marriage, the president answered, “She has a backbone like a ramrod. Everybody says marriage is 50/50. Well, sometimes you have to be 70/30. Thank God that when I’m really down, she steps in, and when she’s really down, I’m able to step in. We’ve been really supportive of one another. I’ve read all that data as well about families under pressure, and that’s why I’m glad she kept her profession.”
“It’s really important that she’s an educator, although she took off two years when we first got married because the boys were little. It’s important that she has the things that she cares a great deal about, her independence. And yet we share each other’s dreams,” he continued.
Had Dr. Biden not been by his side, the president admitted that he doesn't think he “would have stayed involved in public life.” “Jill came along at a really important point and put my family back together,” he confessed. “She’s the glue that held it together, and I knew that I wanted to marry her shortly after I met her. … It’s not that we don’t fight and argue sometimes. I’m just lucky.”
Dr. Biden pointed out, “Well, after 43 years of marriage there’s really not that much more to fight about.”