when he was a United States Senator

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Since taking office four months ago, the President has spent more weekends away from the White House than he has stayed there, almost three times as many. Counting this Memorial Day weekend, Biden has been in Wilmington nine weekends and passed five weekends at the presidential retreat, Camp David, in rural Maryland. The numbers far exceed any modern president’s weekends off-campus at this point in his tenure.

President Joe Biden steps off Marine One earlier this month after spending the weekend at Camp David.President Joe Biden steps off Marine One earlier this month after spending the weekend at Camp David.

“He thinks of (the White House) more like a Monday-through-Friday kind of place,” said one of several people familiar with Biden’s thinking who spoke to CNN for this story and were granted anonymity in order to preserve relationships. This person said the people’s house was akin to presidential corporate housing. “Really, really high-end corporate housing.”

“Joe Biden has always been the guy who goes home to Delaware,” said another person who has worked with the President. “The White House isn’t going to change that.”

The residence is, however, the symbolic pinnacle of political achievement, which begs the question why he would rather not have been there for 14 of the 19 weekends he has been president
Despite its 54,900 square feet, bowling alley, movie theater, tennis pavilion, acres of grounds and dozens of staff, Biden’s instinct — sometimes last-minute, say those familiar with his schedule — is to get away from it for a weekly breather. One person said it’s the escapism aspect of getting away from “the office” that drives him to seek another location.

“Even if it’s Tuesday and the schedule says he will be at the White House for that weekend — or it doesn’t say he’s going anywhere — in the back of my mind, I know he’s going to not be at the White House,” said another person who works as part of the presidential entourage, acknowledging that now used to Biden’s habits, they plan accordingly. “The worst is when the decision happens on a Wednesday to leave on Friday, or even a Thursday to leave on Saturday.”

Part of the issue is that Biden is quite simply no longer “Amtrak Joe,” and that moving the President of the United States from point A to point B requires dozens of people, military precision planning and the coordination of law enforcement, from the Secret Service to local police officers. Tension is building between White House staff tasked with delivering the news of a weekend away and the logistical apparatus that allows it, said another person familiar with operations.

“President Biden is deeply proud of his roots and his family and it has been a staple of his time in public life to never lose touch with either,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement to CNN.

“Presidents of the United States are constantly on the job, regardless of their location – whether they’re on a state visit overseas or just 100 miles from the White House for a short trip to Wilmington, DE. And as all Americans can agree, it’s important for leaders to avoid becoming ensconced in Washington, DC.”

Miami-Dade police investigate near shell case evidence markers.
The El Mula Banquet Hall had been rented out for a concert.
Getty Images
The shooting at the El Mula Banquet Hall broke out just after midnight at a concert west of Miami Gardens, Ramirez said, according to the Miami Herald.

The hall, inside the Country Club Shopping Center, had been rented out for a rap concert as part of a Memorial Day weekend album release party, according to the Miami Herald. Ramirez told the newspaper that a white Nissan Pathfinder pulled up and the three shooters stepped out with assault rifles and handguns and opened fire on the crowd.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Danielle Levina Cava said she was “horrified” by the holiday weekend carnage.

Miami-Dade police investigate near shell case evidence markers
Miami-Dade police investigate near shell case evidence markers.
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
“Horrified and heartbroken by this start to the holiday weekend,” she tweeted.

“I urge our community to be safe and smart. Please—don’t let any more lives end in senseless violence.”Within hours of the shooting, relatives of the victims gathered outside Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital — some joining hands in prayer.”Words can’t explain how I feel right now,” Chad Harris, whose 19-year-old daughter was among those shot, told WSVN-TV. “She’s in surgery right now. We’re just praying.”

The Miami-area mass shooting comes after a disgruntled San Jose railyard worker Samuel Cassidy allegedly killed nine and injured multiple people on Wednesday.

It was also the third shooting in the Miami area since Thursday, when three people were injured in a shooting and car chase near Casino Miami Jai-Alai, the Miami Herald said.

Miami-Dade police investigate near shell case evidence markers.
Two people were killed and over 20 people injured in a shooting outside the banquet hall.

On Friday, one person was killed and six wounded in a drive-by shooting in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, the newspaper reported.

Two people were killed and more than 20 wounded early Sunday in a mass shooting at a rap concert in the Miami area, police said.

Cops said three gunmen jumped out of an SUV and fired into the crowd with assault rifles and handguns in the suspected targeted shooting just after midnight at the El Mula Banquet Hall.

“I am at the scene of another targeted and cowardly act of gun violence, where over 20 victims were shot and 2 have sadly died,” according to a tweet from Miami-Dade Police Department Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III.

Miami shooting dead body
A covered body is seen near the doors of the billiard club that was rented for a concert after three gunmen killed two people and injured at least 20 people overnight in the Hialeah area of Miami Dade county on May 30 2021.

“These are cold-blooded murderers that shot indiscriminately into a crowd and we will seek justice. My deepest condolences to the family of the victims.”

Ramirez told CBS that the attack was a “targeted act of gun violence.”

Eight people were taken to the hospital by medics and at least a dozen victims went to various area hospitals by private means, according to reports.

Beginning in 1973, when he was a United States Senator from Delaware, Joe Biden had a ritual: nearly every evening he would hop a train back to Wilmington after his work day on Capitol Hill, spending most nights and weekends at the place he considered home, 100 miles from Washington.

Doing so earned him the nickname “Amtrak Joe,” and in 2011, the Wilmington depot was renamed the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station. In all, he took more than 8,000 of those roundtrips during his 36 years in the Senate and, though less frequently, his eight years as vice president, no small feat for a busy politician.
Turns out old habits die hard.

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