President Joe Biden used his first line in his first joint address to Congress to acknowledge a historical moment sitting behind him.
“Thank you, Madame Speaker and Madame Vice President,” Biden said, greeting Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “No other President has ever said those words from this podium… and it’s about time.”
All eyes are on Biden as he delivers his joint address to Congress, but directly behind him is a sight seen for the first time — two women leaders sitting behind the president.
Historically, the vice president — also the president of the Senate — and House speaker share the dais directly behind the president during the joint address to Congress. Tonight, for the first time, two women hold both positions. Harris is the first woman of color to sit in either position.
Before the speech, in her bright colored peach suit, Harris chatted amicably with Pelosi, dressed in a light blue patterned suit, through masks.
The two women remained standing at their seats, flipping through their notes in preparation for the historical address.
Minutes before the address began, they bumped elbows in unison, illustrating some of the oddities of this particular presidential address to Congress due to its occurring during a pandemic.