Vice President Joe Biden is attending the opening of Washington, D.C.'s first Costco this morning. From the pool report:
Motorcade arrived at dc's first Costco at 9:24 am
Today is the store's grand opening
From a WH official:
The Vice President will be greeted at Costco by CEO Craig Jelinek and
Co-founder Jim Sinegal, who were both at Costco’s grand opening
ceremony this morning.
Uneventful ride w commuters stopping for the motorcade passing down
Connecticut Ave, along Rhode Island
Sinegal was a big fundraiser for Barack Obama's reelection campaign, and even hosted a campaign event for the president at his West Coast home.
UPDATE: More on Biden's visit, from another pool report:
VP Biden engaged in an extended Costco shopping spree, to the delight
of shoppers and employees at the store, which just opened its doors
to the public today.
He flashed his Costco card as he walked through the doors to loud cheers.
Employee Ivey Stewart handled a cart for Biden, who stopped frequently
for hugs and photos
Asked about whether he was optimistic about fiscal cliff negotiations,
he said "I am."
More to come from trip, still ongoing
UPDATE II: Here's a photo of Biden loading up his shopping cart:
— Irene Johnson (@eyezediting) November 29, 2012
— Tony Tull (@TonyTull) November 29, 2012
UPDATE III: More news on the trip, via another pool report:
Motorcade rolled from Costco at 10:12 am, w VP stopping to talk to
reporters after wheeling a cart filled w among other things,
childrens' books, fire logs, a 32 inch Panasonic tv and a big apple
pie to the registers.
He called on congress to extend bush era middle class tax cuts, saying
that "consumer confidence is growing, the last thing we need to do is
He said that he'd talked to people around the store a s
that "all the people u meet and see... Folks don't need to see their
taxes go up"
He said "it's important congress acts now, right now."
Unknown if he bought a watch, though he spent considerable time at the
counter looking at them, including a $1,200 one, and put in a call to
his daughter, Ashley, saying he needed to "get some guidance"
Before leaving, he placed a call on Ivey Stewart's phone. Couldn't
hear what he said, but she broke into tears and got a vice
presidential hand on the shoulder and a hug
Biden also availed himself of several Costco food samples, and looked
like he enjoyed them.
The store was clogged w shoppers who whipped out cells and iPhones to
snap the VP
There were lots if Delaware natives in the store who got giant Biden
hugs and handshakes
He did a loop of nearly the entire store, including bakery and frozen foods
But Biden turned down the employees who were trying to lure him to the
"Hey man I don't need tires," he said "I don't drive anymore."
Panasonic, the company that makes the TV Biden purchased, is a Japanese company.