By Alexander Jaffe, associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden spent his third week visiting the Pentagon, visiting the National Institutes of Health, and working on the administration’s COVID-19 response.
He closes it by beating his first granddaughter during a visit to Kent David, a historic retreat for American leaders.
Camp David has traditionally offered presidents: a respite from Washington where they can shed their ties and rest with family. Compound in Maryland Just 60 miles (97 km) from the capital is everything from a bowling alley to an archery range.
It has been used by every president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt first visited there in 1943 as a personal hideout and has been the site of major diplomatic negotiations and policy discussions throughout history, according to Michael Giorgione, who led President David Clinton Served as Commander of Camp David. And George W. Bush and the book “Inside Camp David.”
With the exception of Donald Trump – he generally preferred his private clubs – each president has used Camp David “for a personal getaway, an escape from clamor and noise and the White House’s choice, and indeed this exclusive Go to the mountain retreat. This is one purpose. And the other is to bring the world’s leaders there, “Giorgio said.
When Roosevelt first arrived, the rustic retreat was rising with little warm water and with brushes on the windows, “former Associated Press White House reporter Dale Nelson wrote in his 1995 history, is President Camp David Are in Nevertheless, Roosevelt somewhat fictitiously called it “Shangri-La”, the name of the utopian community in the 1933 popular novel “Lost Horizon”.
When Dwight Eisenhower took over, he added a green and a new name after his father and grandson: Camp David.
Over the years, presidents have upgraded to suit their tastes. Richard Nixon added a heated swimming pool, and George HW Bush installed a regulation horseshoe range. Barack Obama, known for his love of basketball, built a court.
The complex also has a movie theater, skeet shooting range, horse riding and tennis courts.
“I leave my troubles outside the gate,” Lady Bird Johnson, President Lyndon Johnson’s wife, once said of the camp.
Biden himself told reporters before leaving for the compound for Washington that his main plan for the long weekend was to “just hang out with the family and do what we always do.” While the president usually takes Marine One helicopters for brief journeys, the weather forced the president to fly to Hagerstown, Maryland, via Air Force One before taking him on a motorcycle to campus.
Her granddaughter Naomi posted a clip of Biden on her Instagram Saturday night in which she captioned the video game, “A little rusty, but she still (barely) won”.
Biden worked with him, however, meeting with national security advisors on Saturday, issuing a statement on Saturday acquitting Trump in his impeachment trial, and Sunday re-establishing the White House office on religious engagement Signed an executive order.
The history of the campus includes games of golf and winter sledding. It also hosts foreign dignitaries and has been a gathering place for diplomacy. Giorgio says the camp’s serene atmosphere lends itself to relationship-building.
“There is a definite feeling of going to the camp opposite the White House, which is a bit more formal, a little more full if you would say, and some presidents get a much better connection than the White House in the camp.” They said.
Roosevelt hosted Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1943, on his first visit to a foreign leader to help work on the ground for the Normandy invasion.
The camp became synonymous with feverish, last-ditch diplomatic negotiations after President Jimmy Carter invited Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Staart and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1978 to negotiate a peace deal. After 13 days of tense negotiations, the two agreed on a roadmap that eventually led to peace between the two nations.
Bill Clinton tried to replicate that diplomatic alchemy when he invited Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2000 for the midwest peace talks from Camp David. After two weeks of negotiations, the summit ended without an agreement.
George W. Bush frequently visited the camp, it was used for an array of foreign leaders, as well as a retreat for the cabinet, to plot his administration’s response to the Sept 11 attacks.
In 2012, Obama hosted eight summits of a group of world leaders there after the Occupy Wall Street protests that put Chicago, his hometown, out of the question. World leaders stayed in the compound’s 12 cabins, and could spend their free time on the field.
Trump spent very little time there and did not host any foreign dignitaries. He once jokingly told a reporter: “You know how long you would like it? For about 30 minutes. “
But Giorgione said he hoped Biden, along with his appreciation for diplomacy, would use the location to host foreign leaders in the aftermath of the coronovirus epidemic, which has halted most person-gatherings, under control. He said that when foreign leaders land at Camp David, it could be like an “adult sleepover”.
“Going to the camp in the cabin creates an environment where the leaders are very close together,” he said. There is no large conference room with chandelier and coffee service. It is a homespoon, it gets rustic, ”he said.
Attendees “walk the trails together, we go for a bike ride, we sit at a nice table in a small conference room.”
He said, “It created this art of getting down into each other’s personal space, and getting time to talk legitimately.”
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