7:18 AM, Mar 24, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The White House has been tight-lipped about the cost of First Lady Michelle Obama's trip to China, but based on the choice for lodging, it could be considerable. Mrs. Obama and her entourage, which numbers seventy according to the Washington Times (including her two daughters and her mother), booked the Westin Chaoyang Hotel close to the U.S. embassy in Beijing for their first stop. According to USA Today, the presidential suite at the hotel is listed as $8,400 per night.
But when Vice President Joe Biden visited China in December 2013, he and his team stayed at the St. Regis Hotel after the contracting officer responsible for booking rooms determined that the Westin Chaoyang hotel "price was prohibitive when compared with St. Regis." This is according to the justification and approval documents just released on a government contracting website:
The following other hotels were reviewed but were not adequate because of the following:
Grand Hyatt Beijing—cannot meet security requirements for travel into and out of the building.
Westin Chaoyang—price was prohibitive when compared with St. Regis—otherwise met requirements.
According to the documents, the estimated cost for the vice president's visit was $384,479.19. A total of 1,345 room nights were estimated for advance preparation for the visit as well as the vice president's actual stay:
An estimated 1345 room nights are required to support this visit. Starting on November 19 with 4 rooms and hitting a peak of 213 rooms on the days of the visit, the hotel will provide lodging rooms as well as office space for security, communications and staff as necessary.
The State Department, the department that arranges such trips, has said in the past that hotel contracts and the like are supposed to be posted within 30 days if the cost exceeds $150,000. Occasionally this has included trips made by the first lady, such as her 2009 trip to Copenhagen to boost Chicago's efforts to bring the Olympics to that city. It is unclear if this current trip to China will meet the requirements for contract disclosure.
'I'm learning to speak without a TelePrompter, Joe's learning to speak with one.'10:38 AM, Mar 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden has some problems speaking with a TelePrompter today at the National Association of Community Health Centers 2014 Policy and Issues Forum:
"Stop moving that, that, that, that, uh, you know, what's this thing called? You know, a TelePrompter," said Biden.
8:34 AM, Mar 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Appearing with the president of Latvia and Lithuania, Vice President Joe Biden warned Russia "that there is a price to pay for naked aggression."
4:27 PM, Mar 18, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden wandered a little off course on a trip down memory lane today.
“Fifteen years ago, I was honored, as the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to lead the fight for Poland’s admission into NATO,” Biden said in Warsaw during a visit designed to reassure America’s Eastern European allies in the wake of Russia’s move to take control of Crimea.
The only problem: Biden wasn’t chairman back then.
7:01 AM, Mar 7, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House announced that Vice President Joe Biden would spend the weekend vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It's his second vacation there in three months.
His White House schedule reads:
DAILY GUIDANCE FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT
8:37 AM, Feb 28, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The White House's Let's Move campaign released the following video of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spending time together through exercise. Watch the video below:
9:09 PM, Feb 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
During a celebration of African-American History Month, Vice President Joe Biden said, "I may be a white boy, but I can jump." The comments were made at Biden's home, the Naval Observatory.
Via the pool report:
8:59 PM, Feb 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden admitted that the number of Obamacare enrollees will likely fall short by one or two million people.
"We may not get to seven million, we may get to five or six, but that's a hell of a start," Biden told folks in a Minneapolis cafe today. "I'm here to say thanks."
The Obama adminstration hoped that seven million people would enroll in Obamacare during the first open-enrollment period.
1:04 PM, Feb 19, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
As the clock ticks down toward the end of Obamacare's first open enrollment period on March 31, the White House continues to invest considerable resources in publicizing the president's signature domestic program.
3:46 PM, Feb 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Vice President Biden spoke to Democratic members of the House of Representatives. He was upbeat and feisty, as Emma Dumain of Roll Call reports, telling his audience that:
1:53 PM, Feb 10, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Vice President Biden going off unscripted always makes a day more interesting. In his most recent bit of spontaneity, he says what in the mouth of a civilian would be a commonplace observation:
10:01 AM, Jan 31, 2014 • By JAY COST
Another poll shows Hillary Clinton leading the pack of would-be Democratic nominees by an outsized margin. This one is courtesy of ABC News-Washington Post, which has her at 73 percent support among would-be Democratic voters—with Joe Biden trailing at just 12 percent.
What to make of this?
10:39 PM, Jan 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Almost immediately after tonight's State of the Union Address, Vice President Joe Biden sent an email to supporters of the Democratic party asking for money.
"Friend," Biden wrote, "I am so proud to stand with Barack tonight. If you are too, chip in $3 or more to support Democrats, and let's go follow through."