Obama sends Biden on fact-finding trip to eastern Russia; will be away until mid-November

17 Aug

WASHINGTON–in response to what he called “an important national-security issue,” President Obama today announced that Vice-President Biden will be departing immediately on a fact-finding trip to the small Russian village of Magladansk in Siberia.

“Although I deeply value Joe’s counsel, and appreciate all his help on the campaign trail, it is of critical national importance that he leave immediately on his trip to Russia,” said Obama at a brief press conference. “I look forward to welcoming him back as soon as the situation is resolved.”

Citing a credible threat against Biden, the Secret Service will not allow him to travel by plane or overland. Instead, he will proceed to Siberia by slow tramp steamer, sailing just out of cellular-phone range around the southern tip of South America and then north through the Pacific Ocean. The trip is expected to last about three months, allowing Biden to return in approximately the second week of November.

Biden later released a statement saying that he was looking forward to spending time in Magladansk, a town of 600 people on the banks of the Yenisei River, where the average annual temperature is four degrees below zero. “My only regret, is that I’ll be unable to participate in the upcoming vice-presidential debates,” he said. “Also, I was really looking forward to addressing the annual NAACP conference coming up.”

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