President Biden on Tuesday traveled to a spot very acquainted to him — the U.S. Virgin Islands — to get pleasure from some downtime and hotter climate and to ring in a brand new yr with household.
The president and his spouse, first girl Jill Biden, flew from Washington on Tuesday to St. Croix, considered one of three islands that make up the U.S. territory within the Caribbean. St. John and St. Thomas are the opposite two islands. The Bidens had been joined by their daughter Ashley and her husband, Howard Krein, in addition to grandchildren Natalie and Hunter, whose father was the president’s late son, Beau.
St. Croix is a tropical getaway that Mr. Biden has been getting away to not less than since he was vice chairman, from 2009 to 2017.
“We have missed him the final couple of years,” Beth Moss Mahar, a retired lawyer and island resident for almost three a long time, mentioned in a phone interview.
Mr. Biden spent the vacations at his dwelling in Delaware in 2020 and 2021, principally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This week’s go to to St. Croix might be his first as president to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“We’re tremendously honored,” Del. Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat who represents the Virgin Islands in Congress, mentioned in a phone interview Tuesday.
“Prior to now, when he and his household have come, after all sightings of President Biden had been nearly a factor of legend,” she mentioned.
Any sightings will now be altered by the truth that Mr. Biden is considered one of many world’s strongest males. As such, he now travels with a considerably larger footprint than when he was vice chairman, together with a big contingent of U.S. Secret Service brokers, White Home employees and journalists overlaying the journey.
Mr. Biden and his spouse get pleasure from spending the week between Christmas and New Yr’s Day in a hotter local weather, and Jill Biden likes a seaside, aides mentioned.
“We at all times stay up for his coming and we actually perceive that it is a place of rest for him and Jill and no matter different household he could deliver with him and so we depart him alone and let him simply calm down,” mentioned Donna Christensen, who was Plaskett’s predecessor in Congress.
“He normally says, ‘In my subsequent life, I am residing in St. Croix,'” she mentioned in a phone interview.
Each Plaskett and Christensen expressed hope that focus paid to the place Biden spends his year-end trip will amplify challenges going through the U.S. Virgin Islands and different U.S. territories, comparable to threats from local weather change, together with extra highly effective hurricanes and rising sea ranges, in addition to issues these governments have dealing with ageing infrastructure.
Mr. Biden was scheduled to return to Washington on Jan. 2. That is the day earlier than the president’s Democratic Celebration cedes management of the Home of Representatives to the Republican Celebration following the November midterm elections, doubtlessly complicating Biden’s legislative agenda for the remaining two years of his time period.
Democrats will proceed to manage the Senate within the Congress that might be seated on Jan. 3.