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Saturday, Mar 06, 2021
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A Weekly Conversation: On the Line With Michele

Biden is bringing back the weekly YouTube presidential address. Step back in time and revisit the first addresses from Trump and Obama.
White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, on Friday announced that President Biden would be bringing back the weekly presidential address, a tradition that began under President Ronald Reagan.

Presidential briefings given directly to the US people dated back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's fireside chats. Reagan, however, was the first to hold a weekly presidential radio address in its current form, according to Psaki.

"President Biden will continue that tradition, and we expect it to take on a variety of forms," Psaki said at a press briefing on Friday.

Biden's first installment, "A Weekly Conversation: On the Line With Michele," was posted Saturday morning on the White House's social channels, including YouTube, Twitter.

The video featured a phone conversation between Biden and Michele, a Californian who lost her job last year. The two chatted about Michele's life and work in a two-and-a-half minute video, which included information about Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan.

A day after it was posted, the video had about 1.2 million views on Biden's official Twitter account and 60,000 views on YouTube.

President Donald Trump used his first weekly address on January 28, 2017, to discuss the executive orders he'd singed in his first week in office, including an order to begin building the Keystone and Dakota pipelines.

"Since my election, many companies have announced they are no longer moving jobs out of our country but are instead keeping and creating jobs right here in America," Trump said.

The Trump administration stopped giving weekly address by October 2017, saying they weren't being used to their "full potential."

"We're looking at different ways that we can revamp that and make it where it's more beneficial and gets more information out," White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, told a Voice of America reporter at the time.

President Barack Obama was the first president to take his weekly address to YouTube, instead of just a radio address. Like Biden, Obama used his first video, posted January 24, 2009, to roll out his economic stimulus plan.

"In short, if we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse," he said.

Eight years later, Obama gave his final weekly address, posted January 14, 2017.

In it, he asked the country to work together after a bruising election contest between Trump and former senator Hillary Clinton.

"All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into the work of citizenship. Not just when there's an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime," he said.

President George W. Bush addressed the nation every Saturday morning via radio, not YouTube.

In his first address on January 27, 2001, he said, "A week ago today I received a great honor, and all the great responsibilities that come with it. The first order of business is education reform, and we have started strong."
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