Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday went on a holiday shopping spree for the opening day of the District of Columbia's very first Costco, and kicked off his expedition an apple pie. The visit was designed to be a public appeal to Congress to extend middle-class tax cuts as part of President Obama's deal to avoid the looming "fiscal cliff," and Biden was joined by CEO Craig Jelinek and retired co-founder Jim Sinegal, on hand for the store's debut. Pushing a shopping cart, Biden made a beeline for the bakery section and perused the vast pie selection as soon as he arrived (above).
"I'm looking for pies," Biden announced to the scrum of media following him around the store in the Northeast part of the city. Thrilled store patrons watched and waved.
The Veep became a Costco member yesterday, according to the White House, ahead of his PR push. From the aiseles of the warehouse, he announced that Congress should act on the middle-class tax cuts before Christmas to spur consumer confidence, and wait until later to hash out tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000 a year.
"It’s important Congress acts now--I mean right now," Biden said. "All it has to do is take a single vote to extend the middle-class tax cut."
has gone on the record that he loves Costco's $1.50 hot dog and Pepsi deal. (Above: Biden at the checkout counter)
In addition to his apple pie, Biden also bought children's books, a 32-inch Panasonic TV, fire logs and a watch. He said the books were intended for a Delaware charity supported by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.
But the Veep resisted attempts by employees to lure him into the tire department, saying "Hey man, I don’t need tires. I don’t drive anymore."
At the end of his 45-minute visit, Biden thanked the pod of reporters who joined him, and looking down at his overstuffed cart, joked, "now you know why my wife doesn't let me shop alone."
"I know you won't tell anyone what I bought for Christmas," he added.
On Tuesday, the President gifted small business owners visiting the White House to discuss the fiscal cliff with bottles of his White House homebrewed beer, something of a cliff dive door prize.
Mr. Obama will himself take the fiscal cliff show on the road on Friday with a visit to the Hatfield, Pennsylvania manufacturing facility for Rodon Group, the toy company that makes Tinkertoys, K’NEX Building Sets and Angry Bird Building Sets.
Update: The White House on Thursday afternoon released a video of Biden's visit, showing a montage of his tour through the warehouse with a voice-over of his remarks: