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.
Around 7:00 p.m. this evening, as the polls closed in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, and as a populist, anti-Big Government and anti-Big Business challenger was about to record an amazing upset of the House majority leader in the GOP primary, an email arrived in TWS inboxes.
In Washington, the wail of voices crying "shutdown" is so loud one can hardly hear anything else this morning. But the further away you get from our panicked capitol, the less alarmed people seem to be. On Wall Street, before the opening, Bloomberg headlined that:
Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York who resigned in 2008 after it was revealed he was a client of a prostitution ring, has a new campaign ad for his run for New York City comptroller in which Spitzer admits he "failed. Big time." The 60-second ad, which features one news anchor saying the "Sheriff of Wall Street is back," mainly focuses on Spitzer explaining why he'd like to run for comptroller, which controls the city's budget as well as the pension funds for city workers.
President Barack Obama pledged this morning in his weekly radio address to continue to crackdown on "irresponsible behavior."
"Here in America, we know the free market is the greatest force for economic progress the world has ever known. But we also know the free market works best for everyone when we have smart, commonsense rules in place to prevent irresponsible behavior," Obama began.
Joe Biden, speaking at a campaign event in Virginia:
"Look at their budget, and what they are proposing," Biden said. "Romney wants to let--he said in the first hundred days, he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They gonna put y'all back in chains."
Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren backed away from her statement that supporters of hers from Wall Street tell her she could "save capitalism." The Boston Herald reports on the Democratic candidate's walkback:
Is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney now the candidate of big finance and Wall Street? Several financial industry donors who gave to Barack Obama in 2008 have shifted their dollars to Romney, the Hill reports.
According to a review of fundraising data, 67 people who work in the financial sector and live in the New York City metro area gave to Obama in 2008 and the former Massachusetts governor in 2011.
This is a tale of two cities. Well, two streets, Wall Street and Main Street, with a stop on Pennsylvania Avenue along the way. On Wall Street all is cheery, if you don’t count the investment banks that are faced with rising costs, lower incomes, and the need to pare staffs. Investors have watched shares soar: the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P index of 500 stocks and the Nasdaq are all well up on the year – by 9.3 percent, 6.8 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, even after the sell-off that followed today’s jobs report.