Joe and Jill Biden fled Washington DC and landed on the Caribbean island of St. Croix for a vacation and free stay with billionaire Democratic donors.
The president and first lady left Air Force One Wednesday afternoon with their granddaughter Natalie, 19, daughter of their late son Beau, for a break on the sunny beaches of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The family will ring in the new year as Biden faces constant questions about his 2024 prospects, disastrous polling and increased attacks on U.S. troops in the Middle East.
They will stay for free in the beachfront villa owned by their friends Bill and Connie Neville, who made their fortune in the tech industry and attended the White House state dinner with the French president Emmanuel Macron.
The property is in an area where homes can sell for up to $3 million and has three bedrooms, a pool and access to a private beach.
Biden will enjoy stunning bay views in this isolated enclave and could use one of the island’s golf courses as he faces a political storm at home.
Joe and Jill Biden and his granddaughter Natalie, 19, landed on the Caribbean island of St. Croix for a vacation and to ring in the new year as he faces a torrent of problems and questions for 2024 , back in Washington DC.
The president, first lady and her granddaughter stepped off Air Force One at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport Wednesday afternoon.
Back on the continent, the next battle for government financing will await him, the deadline for which is January 19.
And the 2024 elections will shift into high gear next month as Republicans begin the primary process to choose their presidential candidate.
There will also be more immediate and pressing political issues, including rising tensions in the Middle East and increasing numbers of migrants at the southern border.
As Biden heads south to the Caribbean Sea, two of his top officials – Secretary of State Antony Flash and Secretary of Homeland Security Alexander Mayorkas – I will head south Mexicowhere they will seek help to get through the border posts.
This politically charged issue weighs on the Biden administration.
And it’s a political hot potato for the president as he seeks a second term. Republicans – and even some Democrats – criticized him for not doing enough to secure the US-Mexico border.
Biden’s granddaughter Natalie, the daughter of his late son Beau, is a student at the University of Pennsylvania.
Waiting for Biden to return to the continent will be the next battle to fund the government, with a deadline approaching January 19.
During his trip, Biden will also have to deal with more immediate issues such as rising tensions in the Middle East that have prompted him to order airstrikes on targets in Iraq.
Meanwhile, fears are growing that a war spreading to the Middle East could draw in U.S. troops. American troops in Syria and Iraq have already faced attacks from Iranian proxy groups.
And Biden continues to try to persuade Republicans to support more funding for Ukraine as it fights Russian troops.
Amid all this, the president will spend time with family in one of the Biden family’s favorite winter destinations.
The Bidens have a long family tradition of spending time on St. Croix, traveling there almost every year since 2008.
President Joe Biden and his family are staying with a billionaire Democratic donor on St. Croix, the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The villa sits on Solitude Bay, which has access to a private beach and is owned by Democratic donors Bill and Connie Neville.
Homes in idyllic beachfront community of Solitude Bay can sell for around $3 million
The Nevilles, who made their fortune in the tech industry, welcomed the Biden family into 2022
The Bidens boarded Air Force One on Wednesday in the rain to begin their trip to the Caribbean.
The president is unlikely to escape the darkening political clouds, both at home and around the world, as he sits on the sunny beach of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Joe and Jill Biden board Air Force One’s small steps in the rain as they begin their journey to the Caribbean
The Bidens rang in 2023 on his private beach. St. Croix is the easternmost point of the United States and thus receives the first sunrise of the new year for the United States.
In the past, the Bidens have joined locals in greeting the first sunrise of the new year at Point Udall, the easternmost point under the American flag. But, as president, he needs more security, hence the private early morning tradition.
The first family passed Christmas at Camp David but returned to the White House on Tuesday for a short 24-hour stay.
Last year, the Bidens’ daughter Ashley, her husband Howard, and Biden’s grandchildren Natalie and Little Hunter joined the president and first lady on St. Croix.
The president and first lady are known for enjoying time at the beach. The Bidens own a beach house in Rehoboth, Delaware.
The Bidens will enjoy a wonderful escape from the cold: The average temperature on St. Croix is in the 80s with sunny skies forecast for next week.
Biden’s brother, James, owns property on Water Island, and in the past the Bidens often spent a week there in January, when cold weather sets in on the East Coast.
During his time as vice president, Biden vacationed on St. Croix in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Last year, he was the first president to visit the island since former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Barack Obama visited in 2007 when he was a presidential candidate.
Before Biden, the last sitting president to visit the Holy Cross was Harry Truman in February 1948.