'See You Sometime': Democrats Ditch Biden To Attend Joni Mitchell Concert

President Joe Biden and singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell / Getty Images
March 2, 2023

Eleven House Democrats skipped President Joe Biden's speech at a House Democratic retreat so that they could attend a concert honoring singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, who won the 2023 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Reps. Maxwell Frost (Fla.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Dan Kildee (Mich.), Mark Takano (Calif.), Andy Kim (N.J.), Katie Porter (Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Lloyd Doggett (Texas), Hillary Scholten (Mich.), and Greg Casar (Texas) all showed up Wednesday night to watch Mitchell and others sing songs such as "Both Sides," "The Circle Game," and "Big Yellow Taxi." The lawmakers were ditching Biden's speech at a House Democratic retreat in Baltimore, Punchbowl News reported.

The representatives' desire to hear singing over speechifying may be the latest sign of Democratic discontent with Biden. In private, party officials have admitted that the president is "too old" for his job, while many Democratic voters are openly doubting Biden's ability to run for a second term.

Nearly 70 percent of registered voters, including almost half of Democrats, say Biden is "too old for another term," according to a poll released Wednesday.

Biden's speech focused on "implementing the sweeping laws passed during the 117th Congress," discussing how Republicans "want to reduce spending," and "taking shots at his favorite GOP foils," Punchbowl News reported.

Mitchell, meanwhile, sounded "sultry and languid" as she sang George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward's "Summertime" at the concert, USA Today reported. Other musicians, including James Taylor and Cyndi Lauper, sang Mitchell's songs in tribute to her six-decade musical career.