Bidens journey to U.S. Virgin Islands for temporary trip


President Biden on Tuesday traveled to a spot very acquainted to him — the U.S. Virgin Islands — to take pleasure in some downtime and hotter climate and to ring in a brand new 12 months with household.

The president and his spouse, first woman Jill Biden, flew from Washington on Tuesday to St. Croix, certainly 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 have 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 a minimum of since he was vp, from 2009 to 2017.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden and first woman Jill Biden disembark Air Force One at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in Christiansted, St. Croix, one of many U.S. Virgin Islands, on Dec. 27, 2022. 

SAUL LOEB/AFP by way of Getty Images

“We’ve missed him the last couple of years,” Beth Moss Mahar, a retired lawyer and island resident for practically three a long time, mentioned in a phone interview.

Mr. Biden spent the vacations at his house in Delaware in 2020 and 2021, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This week’s go to to St. Croix shall 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.

“In the past, when he and his family have come, of course sightings of President Biden were almost a thing of legend,” she mentioned.

Any sightings will now be altered by the truth that Mr. Biden is thought to be one of many world’s strongest males. As such, he now travels with a considerably larger footprint than when he was vp, together with a big contingent of U.S. Secret Service brokers, White House employees and journalists overlaying the journey.

Mr. Biden and his spouse take pleasure in spending the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day in a hotter local weather, and Jill Biden likes a seaside, aides mentioned.

“We always look forward to his coming and we really understand that this is a place of relaxation for him and Jill and whatever other family he may bring with him and so we leave him alone and let him just relax,” mentioned Donna Christensen, who was Plaskett’s predecessor in Congress.

“He usually says, ‘In my next life, I’m living in St. Croix,’” she mentioned in a phone interview.

Both Plaskett and Christensen expressed hope that spotlight 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, equivalent 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 growing older infrastructure.

Mr. Biden was scheduled to return to Washington on Jan. 2. That’s the day earlier than the president’s Democratic Party cedes management of the House of Representatives to the Republican Party following the November midterm elections, probably complicating Biden’s legislative agenda for the remaining two years of his time period.

Democrats will proceed to regulate the Senate within the Congress that shall be seated on Jan. 3.


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