Apparently the former SECDEF wasn’t the only one regularly flying home most weekends. It seems as if our VP loves flying on government aircraft, too.
The VP has an official residence in DC. He also owns a home in Wilmington, DE – about 110 miles away.
As a Senator, he apparently took the train from DC to Wilmington on weekends. Once he became VP, according to Biden the Secret Service put the kibosh on that for security reasons.
However, as VP most weekends he’s still been going home. He’s a member of a rather exclusive club in Wilmington, and likes to golf there. And since it’s his home, presumably he likes the area too.
So he’s been flying home. He’s generally been using Air Force Two to fly to Wilmington.
Air Force Two is a modified Boeing 757. It has an operating cost of around $8,800 per hour. Add to that operating cost whatever it costs to get him to/from Andrews AFB to catch his flight and to/from his home in Wilmington, DE, of course. Plus crew salaries, and travel expenses if they stay for the weekend. Plus the travel expenses for his protection detail – as well as additional salaries for same whenever his family doesn’t come with him.
Ya know, if it were me I think I’d just drive. Seems to me that would be possible for the VP, too – even if he might have to wait until after rush hour to leave. By the time he gets from his Naval Observatory residence to Andrews, catches his flight, flies to Wilmington, gets off, and then goes home, I’m guessing he burns at least an hour – if not closer to an hour and a half. At off-peak hours, it’s only about a 2-hour drive. And I’ll guarantee someone else will be doing the driving, too.
And if the Secret Service nixed that (which is entirely possible due to security concerns if being done on a regular basis), I think I’d either just stay in DC most weekends – or at least see if Marine 2 might be available to take me vice Air Force Two. Even a VH-3D has to be less expensive to operate than a 757.
But we should feel sorry for our poor Mr. VP. According to recent remarks Biden made to the National Association of Attorneys General, sequestration is going to force him to go back to using the train.
Which brings a question to mind: if it’s OK for you to resume using the train due to sequestration, Mr. VP – then why in the hell haven’t you been using it all along?