US Reporter

Aubrey Plaza Reflects on Formative Experience with Joe Biden as Keynote Speaker

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and talented actresses, known for her sharp wit, dry humor and quirky charm. She was born and raised in Delaware, and Plaza has always been associated with the current U.S. President, Joe Biden, who is also from Delaware. 

In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Plaza discussed her tumultuous relationship with the president and the numerous occasions she has encountered him.

Plaza first met Biden at the Joe Biden Youth Leadership Conference when she was 16. The conference, with Biden himself as a keynote speaker, was intended to provide a platform for young people to speak out on a range of issues. Plaza remembers the meeting as her formative experience, with the opportunity to meet Biden being a highlight.  

“The whole point of the conference was to allow students to speak out on different issues,” she elaborated. 

“They shuttled us from room to room, and there was a different speaker in each room, and it was all leading up to this climax where we were going to sit in the auditorium, and Joe himself was going to get up on stage and give his speech.”

Plaza’s admiration for Biden endured for the duration of her career, at the same time as she started to distance herself from her Delaware roots.

Read also: The Creativity Talks: Reconnecting with the Creative Spark in All of Us


Plaza discovered she was drawn to the liberal politics and progressive values of the city after relocating to New York City to pursue her acting ambitions. She developed a reputation as an outspoken supporter of causes like abortion rights, gun control, and marriage equality, frequently using her platform to speak out on these issues.

Despite her political differences with Biden, Plaza still felt a sense of connection to him as a fellow Delawarean. She was thrilled when he was elected Vice President in 2008, and even more thrilled when he became President in 2021. 

When Plaza was asked to host Saturday Night Live earlier this year, she was delighted to receive a personal shout-out from Biden himself in her opening monologue.

Plaza recounted the event, stating that she was “really angry” about the entire ordeal. The conference was supposed to be about the students, yet they weren’t given an opportunity to share their thoughts. 

During the conference, Plaza had a stare-down with Biden and immediately raised her hand when he asked how it went. She proceeded to tell him that it was “bulls—” and that the conference sucked.

Biden didn’t take kindly to Plaza’s criticism, and his face reportedly turned red. Plaza remembered how fiery he would get during speeches, and it was no different during their confrontation. Despite the tension, the two eventually reconnected years later.

Parks and Recreation Set

During the fifth season of Parks and Recreation, the cast filmed an episode at the White House, which featured an appearance from then-Vice President Biden. Before the tour, Plaza saw Biden, and he knew her name. 

He then proceeded to tell her the same story he always tells her about his first wife, who went to the same all-girls Catholic school that Plaza attended. Biden used to wait outside the convent for her, which he often shares as a sweet memory.

Plaza, however, had heard the story many times before and was quick to let Biden know that she already knew about it. Despite their initial confrontation, it appears that the two have a friendly relationship and were able to reconnect on the set of Parks and Recreation.

Plaza’s story serves as a reminder of the importance of allowing young people to have a voice and share their thoughts. It’s crucial to listen to their perspectives and give them a platform to express themselves. Although the conference may not have gone as planned, Plaza’s confrontation with Biden highlights the importance of speaking up for oneself and for others.

“Before the tour, I saw him, and he knew my name,” she stated. “He always tells me the same story. His first wife went to the same high school that I went to, so he always tells me about how he used to wait outside the convent for her, because it’s an all-girls Catholic school — and it’s a very sweet story, but I’ve heard it a lot. I was, like, ‘I know, Joe! She went to Ursuline!'”

Read also: Mastering Fencing and Cello: The Challenges Jenna Ortega Overcame to Bring Wednesday Addams to Life


During Plaza’s visit to the Vice President’s office, she found out that Biden had been informed about their relationship prior to her arrival.

“I saw a note on his desk that had been written by his assistant on official White House stationery that said, ‘Aubrey Plaza’ — underlined — ‘Wilmington, Delaware. You met her at the Joe Biden youth-leadership conference when she was 16,'” she stated. “I was, like, ‘I knew it! He doesn’t remember me at all!'”

Feeling betrayed, Plaza opted to steal the note.

“I pocketed it, and Mike Schur, the creator of Parks and Rec, was horrified,” she said. “He was like, ‘You cannot steal from the White House!’ And I was like, ‘I don’t give a s—! I know what he did! He didn’t know me!'”

Since then, Plaza didn’t see that piece of paper. 

“Can you imagine if I’d kept it? I could’ve framed it or sold it. Now he’s the President — I had no idea,” she said. “But, yeah, I stole it right off his desk. And there’s got to be cameras in the White House. But they didn’t do anything to me.”

During an episode of Saturday Night Live in January, Biden praised Plaza for being voted as “the most famous person out of Delaware” and surviving the White Lotus series in a humorous video message. Plaza spoke more about her win against Biden during her interview with The New Yorker.

“I beat Joe — this was before he was the President, but he didn’t get second place. He got, like, sixth place,” she said. “It was me, maybe Valerie Bertinelli, and Henry Heimlich, the guy who created the Heimlich maneuver. I’m pretty sure it was us three.”

Photo: Indie Wire

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.