Bidens late to Christmas tree lighting ceremony; crowd told to redo applause

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A crowd was told to redo their applause after President Biden showed up late to a Christmas tree lighting.  

The president and first lady were introduced at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony by LL Cool J, but the crowd waited nearly two minutes for the couple to come out. 

A video shows the rapper introducing the pair as music plays. As the crowd stands up, however, the president and first lady are nowhere in sight.


President Biden speaks as first lady Jill Biden listens during the National Christmas Tree lighting on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. 
(Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

After a few minutes, LL Cool J tells the audience they “are going to do it again” while someone else could be heard asking for applause.

The president and first lady were then greeted by a cheering crowd as they welcomed everyone to the Christmas tree lightening on the Ellipse, south of the White House. 

National Christmas Tree Lighting 2021 with the attendance of President Biden in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 2, 2021.
( Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Biden expressed his gratitude to the service members and their families. He remembered those who died from the pandemic. 


U.S. President Joe Biden, left, and First Lady Jill Biden attend the National Christmas Tree lighting on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.  
(Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

His speech ended with optimism for the future. 

“And as we look out across the country with the promise of a new year ahead, we know this: We are a great nation because [of] you — the American people,” the president said. “You are a good people. And because of you, we will never be more optimistic about the future. You’ve made me so optimistic I can’t — I tell you what … we have so much ahead of us.” 

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