Biden’s Secretary of State Nominee Tony Blinken Met With Grover During a 2016 Visit to ‘Sesame Street’

During the 2016 General Assembly of the United Nations, then Deputy Secretary of State (and President-Elect Biden‘s current Secretary of State nominee) Tony Blinken came across a rather confused Grover who was wandering around Sesame Street looking for the “un-building”. The Deputy Secretary clarified for Grover that he was actually looking for the U.N. Building.

[Grover:] I am trying to find the big UN-building. And it is so confusing. Because, well, you know “untied” means not tied. And “unhappy” means not happy. So UN-building must be not a building! And I have been looking and looking everywhere and I cannot — what does an UN-building even look like?

[Blinken:] No, no, Grover. It’s not the “UN-building,” it’s the U.N. building. U.N. stands for United Nations — a place where nations, or countries, from all over the world come together to cooperate on important issues.

Deputy Secretary Blinken also gently explained to the fuzzy blue monster about refugees, one of the subjects on the agenda that year’s General Assembly.

You know, this is the week that all nations come together. It’s called the General Assembly,
and one of the issues we’re going to talk about is something really important: refugees. …These are people who have had to leave their homes because life in their countries was not safe for them.

Grover was greatly upset by this as he couldn’t imagine leaving behind his buddy Rufus, but understood the importance of the issue and wanted to help his new friend spread the word.

I would never want to leave Sesame Street. And I cannot imagine leaving my apartment or my pet turtle Rufus behind. …We are all different in some ways, but in a lot of other ways, we are the same. …Now let us go and tell everyone that refugees are just like us.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.