Vice President Joe Biden was in New York—and New Jersey—yesterday and Monday for a little executive branch visit. While Biden did not appear to descend into the subway system (we know how he feels about that, given swine flu), he did:
- Use a Queens manufacturer as an example: The NY Times reports that Crystal Window & Door System of Flushing benefited from the federal stimulus bill's "tax credit for homeowners who install energy-saving windows and doors. Last year, Crystal began improving the energy efficiency of its products, a shift that has been more effective than it could have hoped...A day after the president signed the bill, Crystal began getting calls for its products that met the standards to qualify for the tax credit." Which avoided layoffs and further reductions.
- Defend the pace of stimulus spending: Biden said, "There's been some criticism that we've not gotten enough money out so far. Well look, since I'm the guy who was put in charge of it, I want to make sure in the first 100 days we do it right...The one thing that could undermine this whole effort is if you'd read stories in the last 100 days about how this money is being wasted in the tens of billions of dollars." He did promise that spending on roads and bridges would speed up in the coming months.
- Have a bit of a gaffe: On Monday night, Biden referred to Governor Paterson as NY's "once and future" governor, which was taken as an endorsement. Biden later said, "It was a statement of friendship and admiration for the governor, and was not intended as a political statement."
- Buy a suit at Barneys: The Post reports that he dropped over $2,400 on an Ermenegildo Zegna suit. A salesperson said, "He was looking for an inexpensive suit."