Biden unexpectedly skips gala dinner at G-20 summit, retires to hotel
Published: Tuesday, September 8, 2001, 12:00 [ET]
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)-US Vice President Joe Biden went to his hotel room at the Washington Hilton a little after midnight Tuesday, rather than for a dinner at the G-20 conference later in the evening, according to a senior aide.
“They don’t always have dinner together at the G-20,” the aide said of the Biden’s aides who accompanied Biden to the summit.
The vice president left the Hilton under the impression he was getting a private dinner at the summit but found it was instead a pre-conference activity, he said.
“I was pretty shocked. I didn’t know he was going to leave early,” said the aide.
Biden, who has been in regular touch with US President-elect George Bush, was one of the most visible US figures at the summit. He arrived at the Washington Hilton at about 1:30 am and made a brief statement to the press.
He and Vice President Dick Cheney and their wives later met with President Bush at the White House.
The aides said Biden has not had “an especially good day” in Washington, where many feel his style of diplomacy has run counter to the Bush-Cheney administration.
Biden’s press entourage said late Tuesday that Biden would host an informal dinner at the Washington Hilton later in the evening to celebrate the vice president’s birthday.
A Biden aide said the official presidential dinner at the Hilton was canceled.
Aides said Biden wanted to have one with the vice president and his wife, Jill so that he could personally thank her for her service to him.
“I felt they had done an outstanding job. I want to personally thank them,” said Biden, who returned to the vice president’s residence after the dinner.
“We have a lot of work to do, and our job will be to get back to work,” he said.
“My wife appreciates it. I appreciate it,” he said. “I have to get back to work.”
“This is an exhausting thing, not only our office at the White House, but the whole country. I love her very much. We have to get back into the office as soon as it