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 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, one among 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 at the least since he was vp, from 2009 to 2017.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden and first girl Jill Biden disembark Air Power 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 Pictures

“We have missed him the final couple of years,” Beth Moss Mahar, a retired lawyer and island resident for almost three a long time, stated in a phone interview.

Mr. Biden spent the vacations at his dwelling in Delaware in 2020 and 2021, largely 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, stated 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 stated.

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 Home employees and journalists masking the journey.

Mr. Biden and his spouse get pleasure from spending the week between Christmas and New 12 months’s Day in a hotter local weather, and Jill Biden likes a seaside, aides stated.

“We all the time stay up for his coming and we actually perceive that it is a place of leisure for him and Jill and no matter different household he might convey with him and so we depart him alone and let him simply chill out,” stated Donna Christensen, who was Plaskett’s predecessor in Congress.

“He often says, ‘In my subsequent life, I am residing in St. Croix,'” she stated in a phone interview.

Each Plaskett and Christensen expressed hope that spotlight paid to the place Biden spends his year-end trip will amplify challenges dealing with the U.S. Virgin Islands and different U.S. territories, akin 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 getting old 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.