Blogosphere blasts Biden for Snowmass ski trip

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenMarch 29, 2011

A rolling roadblock down Highway 82 provided a smooth exit for Joe Biden's motorcade on Monday.

But the reportage of the vice president's trip here has been a far bumpier ride.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

Conservative blogger Kerry Picket of The Washington Times blasted Biden yesterday for "hiding out from questions he should be answering" on the eve of President Obama's address to the nation Monday night to defend air strikes on Libya.

After flying into the Eagle County Airport on Thursday night, Biden and his family traveled more than 70 miles in a motorcade to Snowmass Village where they vacationed in a private residence and went skiing. On Sunday night, Biden gave a surprise address at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic where he quoted John Steinbeck and John Milton, but did not address the U.S. military action in LIbya or other current events nor did he take questions from reporters.

"It's one thing for the President or Vice President to make secret surprise visits to the military in dangerous areas of the world due to security reasons but holding back information on a trip to Colorado for the same reasons just does not cut it now," Picket wrote.

The vice president's Colorado getaway comes just days after a video surfaced showing Biden, when he was a senator, threatening former President George W. Bush with impeachment if he were to attack Iran without congressional approval. Now that the Obama administration is in the throes of military action in LIbya without congressional approval, critics are serving up the footage as evidence of the administration's hypocrisy.

The blogosphere also has been abuzz with reports that Biden's handlers locked an Orlando Sentinel reporter in a storage closet during a portion of a fundraiser for Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. The reporter and the newspaper, however, have said the matter is overblown.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke to hundreds of disabled veterans Sunday in Snowmass.
White House photo

The Daily Mail in London is among the right-wing media outlets that took note of both of the vice president's recent controversies in its snarky report of Biden's trip to Snowmass.

"Joe Biden has done himself no favours by holidaying in Aspen and having to apologise to a political reporter who had been locked in a closet," Oliver Pickup opined. "The Vice President has recently suffered a string of embarrassing leaks — and the American public will struggle to take the 68-year-old seriously as he buckles up his ski-boots in the glitzy snow resort. ... Rather than answer questions about the video — as well as being supportive of America's assault on Libya (which was decided without Congress) — Biden was taking the chairlift in Aspen."

Not to be outdone, Fox News penned this headline: "Biden Locks Reporter in Closet, Then Vacations in Aspen During Wartime."

The vice president was, however, back in Washington D.C. for President Obama's speech on the Middle East on Monday.

The rhetoric of Republicans whose job it is to morph molehills into mountains isn't exactly surprising. But it may be harder to ignore Democrats who fear the exit strategy for Libya will not be as easy as the one for Snowmass.

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