WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden dropped in on Washington’s first Costco on Thursday. He was greeted by Costco’s chief executive officer, Craig Jelinek, and co-founder Jim Sinegal, both of whom earlier attended a grand opening ceremony for the store.
The vice president flashed his Costco card as he walked through the doors to loud cheers. Employee Ivey Stewart handled a cart for Biden, who stopped frequently for hugs and photos.
“In all honesty, I didn’t have my own card. Jill wouldn’t let me have one,” he said.
At the grand opening, District of Columbia officials spoke of creating jobs and bringing business to an economically depressed neighborhood. Costco executives said the 154,000-square-foot store is the biggest on the East Coast.
Biden’s cart held, among other things, flowers, children’s books, fire logs, a 32-inch Panasonic TV and a large apple pie. The books, he said, were for a Delaware charity that his wife, Jill, had started. He said he picked titles based on “things I know my grandkids like.”
Biden did a loop of nearly the entire store, including bakery and frozen foods.
He spent some time looking at watches, including one that cost $1,200, and he put in a call to his daughter, Ashley, saying he needed to “get some guidance.” But it’s unknown whether he actually purchased a watch.
Biden also ate several Costco food samples and appeared to enjoy them. But he turned down employees who tried to lure him to the tire department. “Hey man, I don’t need tires,” he said. “I don’t drive anymore.”