Vice President Joe Biden spent the weekend in Aspen at a private equity conference. That's a fact the White House tried to downplay.
This is his how Biden's official public schedule read:
Saturday, September 20, 2014
On Saturday, the Vice President will attend a private conference in Aspen. This event is closed press.
But Biden's presence at the private equity conference was picked up by local press. "Vice President Joe Biden is in town through this evening for an event sponsored by the private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co.," reports aspendailynews.com.
The invite-only gathering is an annual autumn affair in Aspen, and typically attracts big names from the worlds of politics, business and entertainment for off-the-record discussions. A sitting vice president would be one of the bigger gets in recent memory.
Biden’s 40-car motorcade sped to Aspen after landing at the Eagle County Regional Airport, arriving in town around 8:30 p.m. Law enforcement personnel escorting the motorcade blocked every intersection as the caravan passed along the 70-mile route using Interstate 70 and Highway 82. The operation, which a Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy said went smoothly, will be repeated in reverse this evening when Biden leaves town.
“I’ve never got here that fast from Vail before,” said a local who was hired to drive one of the cars and asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the press.
The area around the St. Regis hotel was crawling with Secret Service agents, local cops and private security shortly after the vice president’s arrival. Around 9:45 p.m., a second motorcade left the St. Regis for the Hotel Jerome.
Of course, the 2012 Barack Obama reelection campaign made an issue of Mitt Romney's work in private equity. So perhaps that's one reason the White House didn't publicly announce the vice president's attendance.
It does not appear a pool reporter from the White House press corps was along with the vice president for his trip.