How Biden and Harris’ families are using social media to offer insight into the country’s new leaders

Over the last four years, the president has largely used his social media accounts to spread hate and misinformation, and incite violence.

But, with the Biden-Harris administration about to commence, a new era of social media use – and with it, potentially unprecedented access into the White House and to the country’s leaders – seems to be upon us.

While president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president elect Kamala Harris both have social media accounts, it isn’t the two of them who will be behind the change.

Rather, this new insight would come from their family members, who have taken to platforms such as TikTok, Twitter and Instagram over the past months to share behind-the-scenes looks at the future leaders, to the joy of their thousands of followers.

For Mr Biden, the cheering and support has largely come from five of his and Dr Jill Biden’s seven grandchildren: Naomi Biden, 26, Finnegan Biden, 20, Maisy Biden, Natalie Biden, 16, and Robert “Hunter” Biden, 14.

From a Twitter account with more than 220,000 followers to a TikTok boasting more than 145,000 followers, this is how Mr Biden’s family has used their social media accounts to offer access to the future president.

Naomi, the eldest of the Biden grandchildren, and the daughter of Mr Biden’s son Hunter Biden and his first wife, Kathleen, is, not unlike the current president, a regular user of Twitter.

Unlike Mr Trump, however, Naomi uses her Twitter to connect with her followers, correct misinformation, and praise her grandparents.

“Though the whole world knows his name, no one knows who he is. Here’s a thread on my dad, Hunter Biden – free of charge to the taxpayers and free of the corrosive influence of power-at-all-costs politics,” she wrote on Twitter. “The truth of a man filled with love, integrity, and human struggles.”

After the presidential election, when the path to victory was not yet clear for either candidate, Naomi shared her relatable side, tweeting: “I’d kill to be one of those people who ‘can’t eat when they’re stressed’ right about now.”

And, when her grandfather emerged as the new future president, Naomi tweeted a photo of the family hugging in celebration.

Mr Biden’s eldest granddaughter also manages to inject humour into her account, with a pinned tweet on her profile showing a photo of herself and her cousins with the caption: “Anyone who wants to get to @JoeBiden, will have to get past us first. We may not look intimidating, but remember, our nana is @DrBiden…”

In one of her latest tweets, she shared a photo of her grandfather posing with his rescue dog Major.

“Ready for #indoguration,” she wrote, prompting comments from people praising everything from Mr Biden’s dog to the relatability of his somewhat-messy home.

While Naomi is the most outspoken politically of the future president’s grandchildren, she is not the only one with a viral social media account occasionally featuring the country’s next leader.

TikTok is Maisy Biden’s platform of choice, where the youngest of Hunter Biden’s daughters with his ex-wife, who is in her late-teens, has amassed more than 145,000 followers under the username @scoobeydoobey.

In the TikTok, Maisy takes a black marker and crosses out the word “vice,” before showing the amended T-shirt to the camera.

“Hey hey hey goodbye Trump,” she captioned the clip, which has been viewed more than 1.8m times.

Mr Biden’s granddaughter Natalie has had a presence on social media as well, despite her own social media accounts being set to private.

In October, the 16-year-old joined her cousin Naomi for an Instagram interview with Kaia Gerber, during which she discussed the importance of knowing “what’s going on” and the part social media plays in that.

“I think it’s so important to know the current events and what’s going on – especially climate change, something that’s going to affect my generation and the world younger than me so much more than the people in office right now,” she said. “I think we all have social media platforms, even if it’s not a public Instagram, to inform people and let them know what we stand for.”

Vice-president elect Kamala Harris has also found herself the subject of viral social media posts over the past months, largely due to her niece Meena Harris.

Meena, a New York Times best-selling children’s book author who refers to her aunt as “Auntie,” regularly features the future vice president on her Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

While she frequently shares clips from interviews or other notable occasions, some of the 36-year-old’s most-popular posts see Ms Harris interacting with her family behind-the scenes.

“Vice president auntie,” Meena captioned the TikTok, which has been viewed more than 6m times.

In another TikTok from 4 November, Meena featured Ms Harris’ step daughter Ella Emhoff, 21, who could be seen dancing with McDonald’s while the family watched the election results.

She captioned the clip: “Ella Emhoff is the main character (who just tried Filet-O-Fish for the first time EVER) #biden2020.”

Emhoff also has a social media presence of her own, however, it does not feature her father Doug Emhoff or her stepmother, but rather, an inside look into her own life as a student at Parsons School of Design in New York City.

According to historian and journalist Kate Brower, the display of individualism makes the social media use of the first and second families even more notable.

“I think that this is really a first, where we’re seeing this kind of individualism and the support of the family,” she told NPR of Emhoff’s Instagram. “She’s capturing that individualism, and I think there’s been this sense of uniformity for the past four years in Washington with Ivanka and the Trump kids looking a certain way and being a certain way. And now you have this blended family representing different cultures.”

While it is not clear whether this authentic look into the lives and families of the country’s leaders will continue, for the time being, it has been met with encouragement and gratitude.

“Make sure to give us a tour of the White House,” some have joked in comments directed at Mr Biden’s grandchildren, while others have praised the family’s closeness.

“How refreshing. A family that loves each other and has a relatable sense of humour,” another person wrote.



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