A spokesperson for President Biden confirmed at a press briefing Monday that the Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs will be invited to visit the White House. That announcement quickly elicited this question from the assembled press corps: Will Taylor Swift also get an invitation?
“That’s going to be up to the Chiefs,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre replied, “and obviously their decision to figure out who’s going to come with them.
“I can’t speak to attendance and who will be here,” she added, “but we look forward to having them here.”
In other words, the White House won’t be turning the “Anti-Hero” singer away from the Rose Garden.
Shortly after the Chiefs embarked this season on their journey to another Super Bowl victory, Swift’s relationship with star tight end Travis Kelce burgeoned into a major storyline - likely to the delight of the NFL, if not every football fan. Her raucous cheering for Kelce and his team while perched in stadium suites became a familiar sight, and Swift’s support for Kansas City was never more at the forefront of the national consciousness than during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Jean-Pierre began Monday’s briefing with a nod to the Chiefs, who defeated the San Francisco 49ers in an overtime nail-biter, and the legions of fans of a certain pop superstar.
“The president was able to catch some of the game,” the press secretary said, “and on his behalf, I want to extend a big congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on their third Super Bowl win in just five seasons. And also, congratulations to all the Swifties out there.”
Of course, for Swift to accompany Kelce and his teammates to the White House, the couple’s high-profile romance probably would have to carry on for at least a few more months. Super Bowl champions usually have made the visit during the summer, when teams reconvene for practice ahead of the next season.
Given that time frame, another issue could be Swift’s busy Eras Tour schedule, which calls for her to play a slew of dates in Europe between May and August. On the other hand, she proved willing to jet from Tokyo to make it to Las Vegas in time for the Super Bowl before resuming her tour in Australia, so a hop across the Atlantic may not seem much of an impediment.
In the meantime, Biden proved happy to make light of a right-wing conspiracy theory that the Swift-Kelce relationship was artificially concocted with the ultimate goal of aiding the reelection chances of the Democratic president, whom she has supported in the past.
Moments after wide receiver Mecole Hardman caught the game-winning touchdown pass Sunday from Patrick Mahomes, Biden’s official X account shared an image referencing the “Dark Brandon” meme with the cheeky caption, “Just like we drew it up.”
Earlier Sunday, the Biden campaign made its first official foray into TikTok. In the first video, the president answered a series of questions related to the Super Bowl and made a joking reference to the conspiracy theory.
“Deviously plotting to rig the season so the Chiefs would make the Super Bowl,” an off-screen interviewer asked Biden, “or the Chiefs just being a good football team?”
“I’d get in trouble if I told you,” Biden replied as the “Dark Brandon” image flashed into view.
For his part, former president and likely Republican nominee Donald Trump grumbled before the Super Bowl about a possible endorsement of Biden from Swift.
“I signed and was responsible for the Music Modernization Act for Taylor Swift and all other Musical Artists. Joe Biden didn’t do anything for Taylor, and never will,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform hours before the Super Bowl. “There’s no way she could endorse Crooked Joe Biden, the worst and most corrupt President in the History of our Country, and be disloyal to the man who made her so much money. Besides that, I like her boyfriend, Travis, even though he may be a Liberal, and probably can’t stand me!”
When the Chiefs, who first won the Super Bowl in 1970, ended a subsequent championship drought with a defeat of the 49ers in February 2020, some Kansas City players expressed mixed feelings about visiting Trump’s White House. However, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic scuttled any plans that year for a trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Following last year’s triumph, in which Kansas City topped the Philadelphia Eagles for another title, the Chiefs visited Biden’s White House in June. The president used the occasion to joke about first lady Jill Biden’s “rabid” support for the Eagles and to salute the Chiefs as a shining example of the power of “unity.”
“It’s the power to remind us who we are as Americans,” Biden said then. “We’re the United States of America. And there’s nothing - nothing - beyond our capacity when we do it together, like these guys behind me.”
If Swift does serve as Kelce’s plus-one later this year, it won’t be the first time that celebrity tabloids had reason to provide breathless coverage of a White House visit. In 2010, reality TV star Khloe Kardashian exchanged greetings with Barack Obama when she accompanied then-husband Lamar Odom and the Los Angeles Lakers to a celebration of the team’s NBA championship months before.
On Monday, Jean-Pierre referred to the fact that the Chiefs would be repeat guests.
“The president looks forward to welcoming them back, once again,” she said, “to the White House to celebrate their latest victory.”