Jan 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

First look: Biden inaugural to blanket airwaves today

Mike Allen

President Biden's Presidential Inaugural Committee will mark his first anniversary in office by blanketing today's airwaves — from breakfast to evening news to prime time — with a video promoting a recovering, resilient America.

  • The video is narrated by Tom Hanks, who was part of Biden inaugural festivities, and features cameos by everyday Americans — a UPS driver, a Teamster from Michigan and a bed-and-breakfast owner in Wisconsin.

"I can feel the change," says Sandra Lindsay, a New York nurse who was the first person in the U.S. to get the COVID vaccine.

  • President Biden says near the end: "I've never been more optimistic about America's future."

What's happening: The committee, which was nominated for an Emmy, is spending several million dollars in leftover inaugural funds to air the ad on broadcast and cable TV today.

  • The PIC then will spend a similar amount over the next week to amplify the video on digital platforms.

The committee said in a statement to Axios: "In recognition of the President’s first year in office, the Biden-Harris Presidential Inaugural Committee believed it was important to celebrate the strength and perseverance of the American people in the face of extraordinary adversity, just as we did a year ago today."

  • "Through the voices of those Americans — including some who participated in last year's celebration — the video also highlights the progress that's been made over the last year."

Between the lines: With COVID limiting events at the White House, the ad aims to connect with the public as past inaugural committees have done in person.

The context: Past inaugural committees have used leftover funds in various ways, including donating to the White House Historical Association or renovations in the presidential residence.

  • The ad doesn't comment on a candidate or party. As a 501(c)(4) organization, the committee is free to comment on the president whose inauguration it staged, Axios was told.

Watch the video.

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