After being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, Biden wasted no time in going to work. When he took office, he wasted no time issuing executive orders to reverse the Obama administration’s disastrous actions.
He wasted little time after taking the oath of office to get to work restoring Obama’s legacy, which he will continue in the tradition of the previous 45 presidents. This includes signing 14 new executive directives and returning to the Paris Climate Accord.
People watching the scene would have noticed, however, that Biden had a variety of pens laid out in front of him before he actually got to the point of signing his instructions. In case the pen he’s using at a bad time suddenly runs out of ink while he’s scrawling something, he must have backups, right?
It turned out, though, that Biden would use every single pen in the box, starting fresh with each new signature. Read what pen does the president usein detail.
The President’s office must have dozens of pens, but why?
All of this is motivated by a deep respect for tradition
It is unclear when the practise of the President using multiple pens at the time of signing executive orders and other legislative acts initially originated, but it has been normal practise at least since the administration of John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s.
A video from the Obama White House’s YouTube channel in 2010 features Lisa Brown, former Press Secretary explaining the practise and suggesting that it can go back much further, maybe to the 1930s FDR government.
The pens serve as historical keepsakes in their most basic form
Brown adds in the video that the president uses many pens and then distributes the pens to those who worked especially hard on a measure, who sponsored the bill, who really struggled to get it done, or to whom the bill means a great deal. “Those who contributed significantly to the passage of a measure are then awarded the pens.”
How many pens the President had
The number of pens needed depends on the total number of documents that need to be signed, thus there is no hard and fast rule on how many should be used.
Yet in 2010, when Obamacare legislation required his signature, he used 22 different pens. That’s a classic case of where too many pens were utilised.
President Joe Biden, after taking his seat to sign a number of executive orders following his inauguration, found a wooden box to the side of a stack of navy files.
A set of navy pens with gold trim from the Cross Century II series were neatly stacked in a row within the box.
But why are there so many pens? The increasing number of executive orders signed by Vice President Biden — 17 on Wednesday and another 13 in the days that followed — prompts the question of whether or not a single order would be adequate.
Like most things associated with the White House, this is mostly owing to longstanding custom
Decades of routine
It’s not entirely clear which president was the first to use multiple pens to sign separate pieces of legislation. Nonetheless, scholars of the past know that this practise has deep roots. After the event has concluded, the pens are often given to the attendees as a historical keepsake.
Mark Lawrence, director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, says it’s a way to show gratitude for others’ achievements while also giving those efforts a wider audience.