Joe Biden's 40 Car Entourage Angers Aspen Law Enforcement

Joe Biden went to Aspen this weekend to speak at a private corporate event. Local law enforcement, including the sheriffs of Pitkin County (Aspen) and Garfield County (Glenwood Springs) are justly critical. It cost them thousands of dollars in overtime and security, the Secret Service didn't chip in (either did the corporation), he was only there for 24 hours and his speech wasn't open to the public. On top of that, he had a 40 car motorcade they had to monitor for 70 miles between the Eagle County Airport (near Vail) and Aspen, both for his Friday arrival and Saturday departure.

Helicopters buzzing above Aspen and multiple road closures along Highway 82 and Interstate 70 on Friday and Saturday accompanied Biden’s entourage, which involved a 40-car motorcade and at least nine local law enforcement agencies.


He flew into Eagle (near Vail) Friday night on Air Force 2, a 757, which is too big to land in Aspen. Police had to close every intersection along the 70 mile stretch of I-70 and Highway 82 from Eagle to Glenwood to Aspen), during rush hour no less. Why did he need a 40 car motorcade? What a waste of taxpayer funds.
Sheriff Joe DiSalvo (who I think is terrific, and have strongly supported, see here, here, here and here) says:

“He is speaking on global issues, and I would have liked to hear what he had to say,” DiSalvo said. “It’s certainly an honor to have the vice president come to this community as long as it’s a state visit, but when a big corporation comes in and cloisters him away and he doesn’t speak publicly I [have a problem with that].”

The public was also put out.

Vallario said he received calls from residents wondering what was going on, particularly those who live on the motorcade route where Secret Service agents had bomb-sniffing dogs around mailboxes and garbage cans.

Di Salvo got the runaround from both the Secret Service and the corporation. The corporation also didn't respond to the reporter who wrote the article. The ever-reasonable Di Salvo offers this constructive advice to the corporation:

DiSalvo said he suggested to [corporate representative]McFadden that, in the future, the event planners should donate to a local charity to offset the impacts it makes when it hosts high-profile politicians here. “I hope they stand up,” DiSalvo said.

I blame Joe Biden. For someone who continually touts his working class roots and presents himself as the "common man," he's remarkably tone-deaf. If he really cared about the common people, he would have insisted the corporation send a private jet small enough to land in Aspen, or at least pay for the cost of Air Force 2, and the accompanying security his over-nighter entailed. And he would have dismissed the idea of a 40 car motorcade as absurd.

I sure hope he's given up the thought of running for President.

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    You know how, when you're driving along (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Anne on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 09:55:12 AM EST
    in the early morning, or at dusk, and you spot deer on the side of the road that look like they're thinking about whether they should cross, you automatically slow way, way, down because you just know that with the choice of staying put until you are safely past them, or jumping out into the road just as you get right up on them, they're going to go with Door No. 2?

    Well, that's Joe Biden.  He says stupid things and he does stupid things, even though he has so many other, better choices, and even though he's allegedly a pretty bright guy.  He can make so much sense, and then he sabotages himself by saying something that is just so off-the-charts insensitive it makes people forget about whatever else he was saying.

    The entourage/motorcade thing doesn't speak well for him, or for the people advising him; if Biden couldn't see what a bonehead move this would be, someone in his inner circle should have, don't you think?

    Maybe the job of VP doesn't provide enough opportunities to feel really, really, important, so he has to take the glory and the perks when he can.

    I don't know, I'm just so over him I could scream.  

    Good analogy with the deer Anne. (none / 0) (#11)
    by fishcamp on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 10:16:50 AM EST
    We used to encounter large herds up there all the time and we being young and invincible back then drove fast.  Our method was to steer through them, but carefully.  Joe doesn't seem to have mastered this phenomena.

    40 cars? Seriously? (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by sj on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 12:16:33 PM EST
    Who were in those cars? This is 100% Biden, though. Completely tone deaf.

    Worse than tone deaf, now that I think on it. It's more than just optics; it's a mind set that has lost touch with what life is like for mere mortals.

    He is Worried About Getting Offed (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 12:18:48 PM EST
    Who were in those cars?

    He had a double in each of the cars just in case.

    Plastic surgery and all..


    Okay, that made me laugh. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by sj on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 12:19:56 PM EST
    A Mitt Memorial Moment: (none / 0) (#1)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 05:52:08 AM EST
    According to an Aspen paper, the sponsor was the private equity company, Forstman, Little & Co..  Forstman and Little are both dead, physically, but as corporate "persons" they have eternal life, and thanks to Citizens United, eternal powers of speech.

    Teddy Forstmann also owned Guflstream (none / 0) (#12)
    by fishcamp on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 11:50:53 AM EST
    and when he came to Aspen each year he would have the newest and first G3, G4, G5, and would undoubtedly have the new G650 were he still alive.

    I'm sure they cleared that (none / 0) (#2)
    by Uncle Chip on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 08:03:52 AM EST
    40 car motorcade with the protesters in New York and Robert Kennedy Jr, of course.

    It was a cold winter up in the mountains and it's been a cool summer.

    So those poor mountain folk need a little global warming up there in Aspen to keep those carbon-generating heating bills to a minimum as another cold winter rolls around.

    The VP just doing his part and look at the gratitude he gets -- sheeeesh.

    During the many years I lived in Aspen (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by fishcamp on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 09:20:39 AM EST
    I'v witnessed these types of events several times.  This Joe Biden fund raiser seems to be the worst yet since he landed the big plane over near Vail at the Eagle County airport thereby clogging many miles of Interstate 70 before turning onto Hwy 82 In Glenwood Springs.  Then it is 42 more miles to Aspen and passes through several smaller rural towns that were basically shut down for the day.  Even when President Clinton visited closed fund raisers, several times, he flew a smaller plane into the Aspen airport and played golf with some locals.  Many other dignitaries such as Margaret Thatcher and the Dali Lama have visited Aspen but they spoke to the people at public venues and were loved for that.  Biden will now be hated for his ridiculous, overbearing visit.  Aspen folks are quite used to stars and don't get bothered unless they pull ridiculous stunts like Charlie Sheen did.  There have been a few others we refused to tolerate like Don Johnson with his I'm so cool attitude and large entourage but we put up with him because we all loved Melanie Griffith.

    The first time I visited friends (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 09:27:59 AM EST
    there I was surprised what a small town it is.

    Quite true Howdy Aspen is a tiny town (none / 0) (#9)
    by fishcamp on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 10:06:41 AM EST
    of 6,600 people.  However the towns down valley have grown to over 20,000 people, mostly Latinos that work at the restaurants and lodges in Aspen.  They were unable to get  to work or back home during Biden's stressful money event.  They are mostly Mexicans from Culiaçan  whereas down here in the keys the Mexicans come from Guanajuato.  They are usually shy quiet people but there are a few drug runners that like to stab with knives instead of shoot with guns since they can't get guns.  There are a few down valley bars that when a gringo goes to the bathroom a Mexican follows and asks if you want buy a kilo of really good blow.  Our standard answer was always no, but I'll buy a gram.

    Any dollar spent on Joe Biden... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 09:54:58 AM EST
    ...is fifty dollars wasted. He's so full of hot air, his nuclear farts should be protective enough.

    nuclear BRAIN farts (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 09:56:16 AM EST
    Had my own and forgot to add that as I had intended to.

    I thought what you originally wrote made (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Anne on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 10:01:41 AM EST
    perfect sense!  Wouldn't want to be under a blanket with him, or stuck in any other confined space with him, for sure.

    It's bad enough that when he smiles, all I can see are Ross Geller's teeth glowing in the black light (Friends reference - right up there on the hilarious scale with the leather pants episode)...

    Poor Joe.


    Well, I like both Dadler's comments (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by fishcamp on Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 10:10:15 AM EST
    and that's probably why he had to bring the big fart proof plane.