Biden is back at the WH for briefings and tonight will speak at a memorial in the Russell Senate Office Building for former Sen. Warren Rudman, R-NH.
Biden was greeted by Costco CEO Craig Jelinek and Co-founder Jim Sinegal, who were at the grand opening ceremony earlier in the morning.
Biden flashed his membership card as he walked in, and told the crowd it was his.
"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.’ "
After he and Ivey got the cart, Biden told her, “I’m looking for pies,” and they spent some time perusing the baked goods before he dropped a pie in the cart.
It was often hard to hear what he was saying to people, as shoppers at times abandoned their carts for a glimpse of the vice president.
"Four more years," one man shouted as he saw Biden and a crowd in the bakery department broke out into applause.
He spent some time in the childrens’ book area, looking quickly at the books before dropping at least a dozen in his cart. He told reporters they were bound for a Delaware charity that his wife, Jill, had started, and that he was picking titles based on “things I know my grandkids like.”
Asked if was optimistic about reaching a deal to avoid the fiscal crisis, he said “I am.” And he said, “all these folks in this store, man, it’s going to make a difference. Take $2,200 out of their pockets next year, you have a big problem.”
At one point, the press was herded toward the registers, but Biden and Ivey sailed past, this time with Biden holding two flowers. He headed for the jewelry department and checked out the watches.
More from his closing: Biden stood with his cart — some of the items were loaded into a box that once carried Jack Daniels, the TV was riding on the bottom of the cart — and joked, “now you know why my wife doesn’t let me shop alone.”
He called the shoppers “hard working folks who don’t need to see their taxes go up.”
It was hard to hear his entire remarks over the din of excited shoppers, but he extolled Costco and called the new store “the renaissance of a whole neighborhood here.”
"I think it’s important Congress acts now, I mean right now," he said. "All it has to do is take a single vote to extend the middle class tax cut. If they don’t do that….it’s been estimated that $200 billion less will be spent next year…"
"We have a lot we have to settle, but there’s one thing we should all agree on and that’s the middle class tax cut should be made permanent."
He closed by thanking the press for “shopping with me,” and added, “And I know you won’t tell anybody what I bought for Christmas.”
As Biden began filling his cart, Sinegal called the visit “fantastic” and said the company was flattered, “as you can see he draws quite a bit of attention.,” Sinegal said.
He said the store opened at 8 a.m.
Sinegal said he was optimistic that a deal would be reached on the fiscal cliff, “I think they’re going to solve it, it appears everybody is motivated to do it and I hope they do. It’s so important for the nation.”
He said Costco — which opened a store in Canada on Wednesday — has “sensed” that consumer confidence is rebounding: “We’re looking forward to a reasonably good Christmas.” He said sales were up 7 percent over last year in stores that had been open for a year.
#bidenatcostco VP Pool Report, Because It Really Happened
——- Original Message ——-
From: Lesley Clark
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 10:36 AM
To: Allen, Liz
Subject: VP pool report 4
Motorcade rolled from Costco at 10:12 am, w VP stopping to talk toreporters 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 dash that.”
He said that he’d talked to people around the store a 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 tire department.
"Hey man I don’t need tires," he said "I don’t drive anymore."
Back at WH at 10:30 w/o incident. [Ed. note: I am guessing the WH has a pretty low bar for “without incident” when it comes to Joe.]
Per WH official: On background:
The Bidens have been Costco members in the past. The Vice President and Dr. Biden’s Costco memberships were re-activated yesterday; they paid the $55 membership re-activation fee to receive their new cards. The Vice President received his own card which he is carrying today while shopping at Costco.
"Our representative democracy is not working because the Congress that is supposed to represent the voters does not respond to their needs. I believe the chief reason for this is that it is ruled by a small group of old men."
"I ran for the Presidency, despite hopeless odds, to demonstrate the sheer will and refusal to accept the status quo. The next time a woman runs, or a black, a Jew or anyone from a group that the country is ‘not ready’ to elect to its highest office, I believe that he or she will be taken seriously from the start."
"The Constitution they wrote was designed to protect the rights of white, male citizens. As there were no black Founding Fathers, there were no founding mothers — a great pity, on both counts. It is not too late to complete the work they left undone. Today, here, we should start to do so."
#Thankstumbling (Like it's a tradition or something)
Not in order, except when they are.
My dad (who would actually be first, if this list were in order), who never gave up on me
The boyfriend and his incredible family (Jersey tough, Jersey sentimental, Jersey generous), who never gave up, period
The many, many friends, some of whom I will forget to list: Tracy, Amy, Elise, Chris G., Shannah, Ted, Seth, Choire, Jason, Fabian, Kat, Ross, Olivier, Tyler, Mitch, Marissa, Jake, Jamie, Becky, Cody, Kevin, Chuck, David C., all the Twitter pals (Duke, Delrayser, Ali, MorningMoneyBen, anyone who #ivoted)
Guardian folks, are and were (Matt, Janine, Gennady, other Matt, Brad, Nicole)
St. Paul, always vaguely autumnal
Kitties: the bewhiskered and bewildered Alexander, the plump and pleased-with-himself Moby
So we come to the part of the evening when the Fox crew must grapple with Virginia not falling neatly into the Romney column. THEY HAD FEELINGS THAT IT WOULD. And now the feelings are hurt.
Tucker Carlson, who is a friend and I suspect also some kind of performance artist, points out — correctly! — that there are a lot of blacks in Virginia! Also in Pennsylvania. He makes this point, too: ”There’s something what went basically unnoticed by the press and that was the Obama campaign making a push of social issues, particularly abortion, and that seems to have worked. I don’t recall seeing a single national TV show taking on abortion.” Later: “If you were a voter in a white, working class state, you had no idea that they were running a campaign based on abortion!”
Dana Perino concurred: Yes, abortion was a thing for Obama, a topic “which NOBODY on the Republican side was bringing up as an issue.” Unless they were were talking about rape, of course.
Yes, this was definitely A SECRET OBAMA PLAN. Not a part of his stump speech or anything. There definitely weren’t ads. Not in, say, a white, working class state such as Missouri. Hey, remind me: Was abortion an issue in the race there?
If Tucker is correct, then we need a new category: no-information voters.
This might be my favorite moment so far, just because I love cranky old men with no self-awareness (yes, this explains why I cover the GOP, mostly). Bill O’Reilly, expounding on how Sandy blew Romney off the teevee screen:
I TOLD their campaign, and this is not self-aggrandizement, I TOLD them, do you realize you’re invisible? I don’t think that registered for them.
Bill O’Reilly, if only MORE PEOPLE DID WHAT HE SAID. Truly, the Cassandra of prime time cable.
General discussion of Sandy seems to be that FOR SOME REASON Sandy mattered more to voters than Benghazi. They seem surprised by this.
This is how Bret Baier framed the results coming in from Indiana (at 6% in, Mourdock leading Donnelly by a few points). It’s a closer race than it had been, he said, since “Mourdock made some comments on rape and abortion that Democrats used against him.”
Yes, “that Democrats used against him,” like it was a controversial vote or something weird he did in college versus, oh, I don’t know, “that thousands and thousands of reasonable people of many different ideological mindsets found personally offensive.”
The Republican party is not going to be able to shake the influence of their socially conservative base until their views become so far outside the mainstream that merely speaking frankly about them is considered offensive — the way that no racist (no matter how racist) would consider saying in public what they actually believe. (If that doesn’t work for you, go deeper into taboos — imagine if Mourdock had said something along the lines of “Babies are delicious.” Is that something that would be “used against him”? Or just political suicide?)
It’s not fair to compare that directly to conservative religious views on abortion — being no-exceptions pro-life is NOT like being a racist, not at all, NO (I even have sympathy for that argument, provided it lines up with a stand against the death penalty) … but wanting to force your personal definition of when life begins on others, and to believe it’s okay for government to weigh in on what women who have already been violated once should or shouldn’t do — that’s the thing that has to become not just socially unacceptable but for reasonable people unthinkable. Making laws that would make women’s decisions about their lives for them should be as weirdly alien to us laws against interracial marriage.
Baier describing Mourdock’s situation the way he did, even in that offhand remark, may say something about how far away that shift may be. For people who are on Fox News at least.
Fox News’ emergence as a watchdog of voting rights and defender of the popular vote is one of 2012’s totally expected yet still weird developments.
Really, my experiment in watching Fox News for my election news is not a perfect one. I have no “control,” really — just the stuff that I pick up from our consensual reality, which I find hard to let go of. But let’s pretend I’ve done nothing but watch Fox for months. These are things I would believe to be true, just for now:
No one is receiving federal help in Sandy’s aftermath. Particularly one redheaded woman on Staten Island, whose clip is run on average once an hour. BUT THEY DESERVE THIS HELP. To be clear: People whose homes’ mortgages are underwater? LET THEM ROT. Sandy survivors? WHERE ARE YOU OBAMA?
Romney is going to win Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Iowa, and possibly Minnesota. He will win. This is because people “feel” this to be true. Numbers are for magician pagans. Numbers are gay. Unreliable and possibly un-Christian.
Dick Morris is a sober judge of character and the national mood.
Karl Rove is the only wizard you can trust, if you believe in that numbers shit.
Obama has deliberately let Americans die: diplomats in Benghazi, and other, unnamed people. He’s just that bad.
Everyone has perfect, poreless skin.
Catheters are as vital to daily living as air.
ADDED: Obv, obv: MASSIVE VOTER FRAUD EVERYWHERE ESPECIALLY WHITE PEOPLE BEING INTIMIDATED. Ignore the long lines of black and brown people. They do not exist.
I have some respect for Megyn Kelly. It’s true! She is not a dummy. But today she is sounding like a Valley Girl being told Orange Julius is going out of business: each sentence is a raising-pitch exclamation.
Everything with respect to polling is manipulation! 2004! 2004! They congratulated John Kerry for being president! The only person we can trust is is Rassmussen! And he says he can’t tell us! It’s honest! It’s honest!
The short-hand of just “2004” to mean “you can’t trust polling data” for conservatives specifically is ironic-ish, since a lot of people believe that the reason that the 2004 exits were so off is that Republicans refused to participate in them.
Proud, as always, to be a part of a hashtag movement, but today discovered that one can Tweet OVER THE LIMIT FOR THE DAY. It’s a little embarrassing, like being kicked out of an all-you-can-eat buffet.
So I could not post my last, favorite, #RomneyDisappointment. Thus it is here, Tweeterless:
"Whites not, in fact, getting whiter."
Goodnight and goodbye until tomorrow, Tumblrverse.
Panel on Greta Van Sustren show has burgeoning consensus that Romney wins Wisconsin. Sober nodding to AB Stoddard’s reflection that she “feels” this is true. Byron York receives a transmission from our universe through his fillings or something, and spurts: “We should point out, that in all these poll [from Wisconsin], Pres. Obama is ahead.”
Then the moment passes and he says, “What we’re talking about is gut feelings.”
For some reasons, we do not see the actual cast-out entrails they must be talking about.
Palin quotes Corinthians 7:14 in explaining the SURPRISE EVANGLICAL TURNOUT that is going to break the Nate SIlver-bank. She abridges it a bit: “As it says in Corinthians 7:14, ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face…then I will heal their land,” and then chirps, “And I think that’s what a lot of Evangelicals are thinking about when they come out tomorrow!”
Okay, bad enough that apparently having a black president is a wound of some sort (I think mostly is just stings some folks in the ego-part). But the part she abridged is the part that keeps her from sounding (even more?) like a intolerant scold (though why stop now?):
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
#IWatchFox: So It Begins with an Apology to Dick Morris
AS FOR THOSE ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTES not adding up right (325-219, I said Dick Morris said, which is wrong)!
In fairness to Dick Morris (a collection of words I will not likely put in that order ever again), I am “watching” Fox News out of the corner of my eye as I hobble around my hotel room, trying to un-high-heel myself.
I am going to make a more serious project of this as the hours tick by. Watch this space. OR Twitter. Or, you know, Fox.
When the winds died down last night, at about 11 p.m., I drove down to Dumbo/Brooklyn Bridge Park with a few friends to see the blacked-out cityscape from across the river. The view was eerie and surreal—a bit like the mid-point of any apocalyptic movie ever set in New York.
Here are a few photos from our walk, all courtesy Yujin Yohe.
“Fox News anchor Jon Scott promoted the debunked claim that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused certain women of “whining.” In fact, Clinton was actually talking about the character Holden Caulfield from the novel The Catcher in the Rye.”—
— From the election cycle that brought you that guy talking to an empty chair, Fired Big Bird, the Great Cher-Halperin Smackdown, the world’s most beloved Amazon reviews and a magazine correction that upgraded someone from an “interior designer” to Deputy Secretary of State (and I’m just think of the last month, if anyone wants to extend this list to That Time a Pizza Magnate Was Going to Win, feel free).
“[Y]ou go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital,” Romney said. “We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”—
Who are all these ‘real people’ who ‘create business and politics’? and of whose approval I should be so covetous? Do you mean grafters who keep sugar in their ware houses so that people have to go without or the cheap-jacks who by bribery and high-school sentiment manage to controll elections. I can’t pick up a paper here without finding that some of these ‘real people’ who will not be satisfied only with ‘a brilliant mind’ (I quote you) have just gone up to Sing Sing for a stay… Who in hell ever respected Shelley, Whitman, Poe, O. Henry, Verlaine, Swinburne, Villon, Shakespeare ect when they were alive. Shelley and Swinburne were fired from college; Verlaine and O Henry were in jail. The rest were drunkards or wasters and told generally by the merchants and petty politicians and jitney messiahs of their day that real people wouldn’t stand it. And the merchants and messiahs, the shrewd the dull, are dust — and the others live on… The Rosseaus, Marxes, Tolstois — men of thought, mind you, ‘impractical’ men, ‘idealist’ have done more to decide the food you eat and the things you think than all the millions of Roosevelts and Rockerfellars that strut for 20 yrs. or so mouthing such phrases as 100% American (which means 99% village idiot), and die with a little pleasing flattery to the silly and cruel old God they’ve set up in their hearts.
“‘Both Mitt and I have summer places up in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. And a few summers ago I was taking my grandchildren and children to town in the boat for ice cream. And we got into the docks and they were all full and I looked around, there was no place to park, so we stopped at the end of a dock. They all jumped off and ran up the dock. And I realized there was nobody in the boat to help me dock the boat, handle the ropes, do anything – they just left me out there at sea. So I finally found a place to park after about 20 minutes, and I pulled in, I said, ‘Who’s going to grab the rope?,’ and I looked up and there was Mitt Romney. So he pulled me in, he tied up the boat for me. He rescued me just as he’s going to rescue this great country.’”
"You read all these articles—it makes it sound as if this is some sort of you know, dirty endeavor, or wrongful thing to do. This is a patriotic endeavor.” Rubio closed with a joke: “Did I break any laws, in that speech?” — Sen. Marco Rubio, to the American Crossroads breakfast in Tampa during the RNC