Vice President Joe Biden’s rolled from the Naval Observatory shortly after 9 a.m. this morning, headed for a secret location.
That turned out to be Washington’s first Costco store, which opened today on the east side of town by the Anacostia River.
Biden was greeted at Costco by CEO Craig Jelinek and co-founder Jim Sinegal, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention this year. He plunked down $55 yesterday to bring his expired membership card up to date, and today grabbed a cart and went to town. “In all honesty, I didn’t have my own card, Jill wouldn’t let me have one,” he said. “I went to get my wife’s card, and she said, ‘No, No, get your own card.’”
Biden did a full trip through the store and stopped to wolf down the signature array of free samples.
By checkout time, his cart included a big box of fireplace logs, flowers, children’s books, a 32-inch TV, and a large apple pie.
Of course, the shopping spree was linked to a White House push to extend just the middle-class tax cuts, proclaiming “consumer confidence is growing; the last thing we need to do is dash that.”
One shopper shouted “four more years” at Biden.
Biden hugged and chatted with shoppers, including placing a call on the cell phone of one woman who burst into tears. The pool couldn’t hear what they were talking about.
He drew the line, though, when employees tried to lure him into the tire department.
“Hey man, I don’t need tires,” he said. “I don’t drive anymore.”
At lunchtime, President Obama will be sitting down with Mitt Romney at the White House in a closed-press meeting.