On September 11th, 2023, the anniversary of the tragic events of 9-11, the absence of President Biden from the commemorative observances in New York City, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the White House is raising eyebrows and generating political debates. The decision has sparked controversy and is being met with disapproval from both Republicans and Democrats. To shed light on this political choice, Max Schaeffer interviewed political strategist Raven Harrison on the matter.

WHO September 11th, 2023 with Raven Harrison

Max & Amy in the Morning

Raven Harrison, a political strategist and daughter of two retired Air Force Lieutenant colonels, expressed her strong disapproval of President Biden's decision. Harrison considers it a terrible political, emotional, and PR move, as it overlooks the significance of 9-11 and disrespects America, the military, and the lives lost on that fateful day. She emphasizes that 9-11 showcased both the worst and the best of America, with the nation uniting in the face of tragedy. Not attending the observances, she argues, is an insult to the heroes and a missed opportunity for unity.

Harrison also touches on the political implications of President Biden's decision. With the president's declining poll numbers, even members of his own party are expressing concern about this choice. Harrison suggests that it may be part of a long-term strategy to blame Biden for unpopular decisions and ultimately replace him with another candidate. She believes that the unpopularity of certain policies, such as canceling oil and gas leases in Alaska, could be used to further tarnish Biden's image. In her view, the decision not to attend the observances is part of a larger political plan.


  • Max Schaeffer: So this on the anniversary of 9-11, of course, we've been covering a lot of our memories here this morning from that day. But something sort of unprecedented. Well, it is unprecedented. It's happening today. It's the first time that a president will not attend any of the observances that have been held annually in New York City, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or at the White House on one of the worst events in our country's history, 9-11.
  • And we thought, Hey, let's talk to a political strategist about this because from a politics standpoint, just how smart is this choice this morning as President Biden will be commemorating 9-11 at a military base in Alaska joining us this morning here on the Davidson family dentistry newsmaker line. Political strategist Raven Harrison, Good morning, Raven.
  • Raven Harrison: Good morning.
  • Max Schaeffer: All right. So your take on the the the political choice that the president is making by not being in New York on this day.
  • Raven Harrison: I will summarize it first and say it is horrible. I will also give a little bit of context because I'm also the daughter of two retired Air Force Lieutenant colonels, one of which was in the Pentagon when it was hit. And I'm telling you that this is across the board, an insult to America, the military, and everyone who lost their life. So we saw the very best and the very worst on 9-11.
  • We saw the worst and on the 12th, we saw the very best America was. We were never more unified. And for him to skip it, he's coming back from Asia. So tell people we should be renaming everything Ukraine so he will find it. But he is going to Alaska where right now he's hugely unpopular because he is canceling Trump era oil and gas leases. The people there are fighting, you know, for a crippled economy, oil and gas is huge in Alaska. So him making a stop there and sending the most unpopular VP to New York and then Jill Biden to the Pentagon is a horrible political, emotional American and PR decision across the board.
  • Max Schaeffer: With President Biden's poll numbers the way they are. And you have pretty much, you know, you have a lot of members, the Democratic Party who are saying, wow, this is really a bad decision on his part. Too, it's not just Republicans who are saying this.
  • Raven Harrison: Correct.
  • Max Schaeffer: So where is, how can he be so blind to this? I mean, he they made this announcement back on the 28th of August. So he's had a, he's he it immediately met with what you're doing. What, you know, why not change your mind? What's going on? The people that are managing his life and managing his political career have got to be aware of this.
  • Raven Harrison: Oh, they're absolutely aware. What people don't realize is this is part of the plan. I think what it is now they see that strategically that Biden is falling apart in real time. So how are they going to spin and play this? What they're going to do is they're going to pin every bad decision, continue that unpopularity and down slide he is in, attach everything to Biden. And then the last minute they're going to flip another candidate in and they're going to say, but you know, this is all Biden's fault.
  • We got this guy here and it's not his fault. Elect him. You know, he don't elect Trump. So that's what they're going to do. I really believe that because at this point, it's no way that they don't know that the things that they're doing are unpopular. They're just proceeding anyway. And this crippling, you're going to go to Alaska where you're crippling. I mean, he just canceled, you know, seven of their 10 oil leases from 2021.
  • So they are really hurting and struggling right now. But more importantly, you know, our heroes deserve this day. This day, you know, three, over 3000 people who had no intention of being heroes that day, lost their lives. And we cannot forget, we cannot allow ourselves to get that complacent to forget what people gave for us to be here today.
  • Max Schaeffer: Tell me, you know, what your memories are of this day since it, you know, was so close to you personally and your family.
  • Raven Harrison: It was a real eye opener. I was doing an internship in England. So I was across the pond.
  • Max Schaeffer: Oh my gosh.
  • Raven Harrison: They turned the television on and said, hey, we're sorry. And they turned it on and left. And I saw New York and I went, oh my goodness, I knew immediately we were under attack and I'm thousands of miles from home. But then they came back in and said, are you okay? And I said, why wouldn't I be? I said, I don't know anybody in New York. And they said, but they hit the Pentagon too when I went, what? And didn't I'm trying to backtrack or my parents there.
  • And turns out I called my mom, got very lucky, called my mom and I said, mom, what's going on? They're saying that they hit the Pentagon. And she goes, I'm just leaving it. And as I was talking to her, a wall caved in behind her as she was walking out of the Pentagon. And the line with dead, I couldn't reach her for four days. So for four days, I knew I had heard her voice. I thought she was still alive. But it was really harrowing and telling that I had to wait four days, got a hold of her.
  • She was stuck in DC because they closed the airspace. We had never been through anything like that. She goes, honey, we're under attack. And I went, you know, I got to get home. How do I get home? And I left England forever a few months later and said, I need to be home in America and I'm, I have to stay here. So our memories are it really she lost a lot of good people in the Pentagon, which is a stronghold. It's like a floating city down there.
  • So it was a really strike to our military might of having friends, people she lost, she had just seen a few minutes ago, you know, buried under rubble and fire and ash, and it was absolutely horrific. So I never want to forget I'm so glad that my mother's still here. She's crippled under Alzheimer's now, so probably has no recollection of this.
  • But the end of the day, I just people want to know that made us all family. But that 12th of September, we all were Americans. We pulled together, we put that flag back up, and we showed what America is really made of. And we got to get back there again.
  • Max Schaeffer: Raven, thank you. Raven Harrison, appreciate your story this morning. And you have a good day today.


The decision by President Biden to not attend the 9-11 observances has sparked controversy and criticism. Raven Harrison, a political strategist, strongly disagrees with this choice and considers it a disservice to America, the military, and the lives lost on that tragic day. She highlights the importance of unity and remembrance on September 11th, emphasizing that it was a time when the nation came together in the face of adversity.

As we reflect on the anniversary of 9-11, it is vital to remember the sacrifices made and to honor the heroes who emerged that day. Let us not forget the lessons learned and the strength of our nation when united. It is essential for our leaders to prioritize commemorating such significant events and to stand alongside the American people on this day of remembrance.