President Joe Biden He has long been known to make personal connections at political events and always grab ice cream on the go.

Now a close aide has revealed that Biden is also trying to share his love of ice cream with the next generation at events – even carrying around cash to give kids cash for ice cream when they have to endure one of his political speeches.

“I’ve seen him comfort people who were in tears as they talked about personal struggles, console those recently diagnosed with cancer, honor a service veteran with a handshake and one of his coins, and give a young man money for an ice cream just for what was sitting during the speech – and all in the same line,” said former “Biden man” Steven Goepfert.

Goepfert accompanied Biden to hundreds of events during the campaign and in The White House before he left in August.

President Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington on Monday. Later, he called the children on stage at an event at the White House. Sometimes he offers cash to small children so they can buy ice cream

Biden relishes the moments after his events when he can connect with voters one-on-one.

During a recent trip to a taqueria in Los Angeles, the president was seen with a wad of cash, although he left more than $20, asking the cashier to pay for the people behind him, rather than as a large tip like reported.

Finally freed from crowd fencing because of his COVID protections early in his term, Biden has returned to taking selfies with strangers and photos with supporters and fundraising.

Like any good politician, he was interested in children. On Monday, he unexpectedly summoned two children to a White House Diwali reception, pointing to two lawmakers in the audience, Ro Khanna and Raja Krishnamurthy.

“Are these your children? God love you, they should have been yours,” he said with a laugh. “Is that dad over there?” Mom? he asked.

“We’ve got a lot in common mate, we’re both married,” he said before thanking ‘Raja’ for his guidance.

Biden told the kids they could walk off the stage if the event got too boring.

Biden is famous for his love of ice cream, something he likes to pass on to younger generations

Biden is known for his love of ice cream, something he likes to pass on to younger generations

Former 'Biden man' seen him 'give a young man money for ice cream just for giving a speech

Former ‘Biden man’ seen him ‘give a young man money for ice cream just for giving a speech

Biden paid cash during a visit last week to Tacos 1986 in Los Angeles

Biden paid cash during a visit last week to Tacos 1986 in Los Angeles

Dancers perform as U.S. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and First Lady Jill Biden look on during a Diwali reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., on October 24, 2022.

Dancers perform as U.S. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and First Lady Jill Biden look on during a Diwali reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., on October 24, 2022.

Biden has never been at his best in big speeches, where his delivery can be stilted and his stories sometimes meandering. It’s the end of his speech, which often marks the beginning of Biden’s favorite part of the event — the tightrope walk, in the parlance of political operatives. He circles, surveys the crowd, and zeroes in on his first target for one-on-one contact.

It could be with someone like Tim Eichinger, the Milwaukee brewery owner who asked Biden a question during a televised town hall 20 months ago and has since had a one-on-one video conference with the president and seen Biden send a couple of letters to his grandchildren.

After Biden gave a speech on student loans Friday at the University of Delaware, there were plenty of handshakes and photos with students on stage. Last Tuesday at the Democratic National Committee event in Washington, Biden invited one audience member backstage for a personal photo, autographed some of the abortion rights signs that attendees waved and posed for a few selfies.

Aides say the 79-year-old has perfected his selfie arm, which has gone viral on social media.

He said he prefers that tactic to letting people take close-up pictures of him on their own phones.

At an event for Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore in August, Biden spent more than 75 minutes in three different rooms greeting people after the speech ended. He drew a standing ovation when he grabbed the middle school drummer’s baton and posed for a photo with it in front of the marching band.

It’s all part of an approach Biden has largely perfected during decades of philanthropy in his home state of Delaware, which has a population of just over 1 million and was roughly half that number when Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972.

Bringing such personal politics to the presidential level has been a challenge, first when Biden was campaigning for the Oval Office during the COVID-19 pandemic, which curtailed his public engagement, and now when he’s in a White House where the demands on him are time — and security. – more.

The hard fact politically is that one-on-one warmth and empathy only go so far. They helped him build bipartisan ties in the Senate, but from the White House, most voters see the president only in scripted or staged moments. Biden’s aides have been looking for ways to show voters the president’s personal interactions with behind-the-scenes footage of some of the meetings, even if they’re unlikely to have the chance themselves.

Still, Biden insists that time is built into his schedule so he can interact with people at his events — meetings like these that seem to energize him and help inform his policies.

There can also be awkward moments from time to time, such as when a presidential joke goes wrong, which in today’s partisan environment is often broadcast online by his political rivals. But they outnumber the positive interactions that have defined Biden’s career and tested the mettle of his aides.

“He’s going through us,” White House deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon told The Associated Press of Biden’s tendency to spend 30 minutes, an hour or sometimes longer shaking hands.

“He’ll take as long as he wants,” added Stephen Goepfert, Biden’s former personal assistant or “body man.”

The president, whose ratings have risen in recent months but remain in negative territory, has held relatively few major political events ahead of the midterm elections. Many candidates from the Democratic Party do not consider the appearance of Biden a plus. Aides say his schedule — and the size of his audience — will pick up as his party pivots to get out on the ballot.

But don’t expect small encounters to disappear.

Biden, aides say, seems to identify when someone might be going through a personal or family crisis — perhaps driven by his own experiences of grief and trouble: the deaths of his first wife and daughter in a car accident, the loss of a son to cancer, his recovery from a pair of life-threatening aneurysms brain, decades of struggle to overcome stuttering.

“He just instinctively knows how to show up to get what that person needs, no matter what,” O’Malley Dillon said.

As he makes his way through the crowd, Biden often summons an aide to escort someone backstage for a photo, gather information for follow-up, or jot down the phone number of a loved one who couldn’t be there for the president’s surprise call.

In his armored limousine after the event, Biden is “ready to connect with the people he’s met with, and he’s already making those phone calls,” Goepfert said.

These fleeting encounters sometimes turn into lasting relationships.

Before he became president, Biden often gave out his cell phone number to young people seeking advice on how to overcome speech impediments. Now that he’s in the Oval Office, Biden still keeps in touch with many of them by phone and sends taped testimonials and words of support from Air Force One.

Thirteen-year-old Brayden Harrington’s speech about how candidate Biden coached him to overcome his stutter was an emotional moment at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Another 13-year-old boy, Ryan, of Arlington, Virginia, continues to exchange text and video messages with Biden through staff after meeting the president at a 2019 rally. Ryan, whose mother asked that his last name not be used, said Biden “helped me be brave” and join his school’s choir.

Another time, Biden’s brief meeting with France’s deputy ambassador about their shared ties to Ireland led to a touching “over the moon” letter to the diplomat’s son.

Annie Tomasini, the Oval Office’s chief operating officer, and her staff monitor Biden’s communications and coordinate the phone calls and letters that often follow the meetings. Some of these relationships have lasted more than a decade.

“He makes those commitments and they stay with him,” Tomasini said, adding that they are reflected in Biden’s policy goals.

“It’s really driving the way he comes back and says, ‘Hey, listen guys, we need to focus on these pieces,'” she said. His staff has become accustomed to asking about specific problems that Biden hears from Americans on the cable car or that he encounters on his way out of church.

“He really is,” O’Malley Dillon said. “He was in the place where the American people are.”

Eichinger, co-owner of Black Husky Brewing in Milwaukee, didn’t think twice about it when Biden promised to answer a question he asked the president during a televised town hall. A couple of days later, he got a call from Ashley Williams, the deputy director of operations in the Oval Office, to contact Biden’s economic staff for a briefing and to schedule a Zoom with Biden that ended up lasting 30 minutes.

“I said I really didn’t expect them to do that,” Eichinger recalled. She said, “No, he’s not like that.” When he says something, he expects us to follow through on it and support that relationship.”

Eichinger and his family later visited the White House for Christmas, and Biden sent his grade-school grandson a letter praising his violin playing after Williams showed him a video Eichinger had sent.

“I’m just one of 330 million people here,” Eichinger said. “They continue to feel that what I have to say is important.”