Former President Barack Obama’s director of the US Office of Government Ethics has issued a subtle warning to President Joe Biden about his lavish holiday getaway to a billionaire’s compound in Nantucket.
Walter Shaub warned Biden that, despite the bad optics, he will need to cuugh up for this lavish trip or disclose it.
“If you’re a world leader spending the holiday at a billionaire’s beach house in a millionaire’s island paradise, I hope you’ll spend the weekend getting ready to care about voting rights.
“Just a friendly reminder, @WhiteHouse, that @potus will have to pay fair market value for the stay on Nantucket or disclose the gift of free lodging in his annual disclosure in May 2022.
“I’m not suggesting he wouldn’t, just reminding not to let it slip through the cracks.
“There’s a disclosure exception for personal hospitality, but that only applies if the head of the Carlyle Group is staying there with the Bidens.
“I suspect the WH is all over compliance with the rule — and oblivious to the ethical optics.”
The Bidens are expected this week to revive a longstanding Thanksgiving family tradition that goes back to 1975, opting to spend this year’s dinner in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
In his 2017 memoir, ” Promise Me, Dad,” Biden wrote that Thanksgiving was the first holiday he and his now-wife Jill spent together.
The couple, and Biden’s two young boys Hunter and Beau, had several invitations for Thanksgiving at the time. But Biden realized that “no matter which family we chose (to spend the holiday with), we were going to hurt somebody’s feelings, which was the last thing either Jill or I wanted to do.”
“I was in my Senate office one day that fall, explaining this predicament to my chief of staff, and he said, ‘What you need is a nuclear Thanksgiving.’
Meaning the nuclear family alone. Only Wes Barthelmes was a Boston guy, so what he actually said was ‘nucle-aah Thanksgiving,’” Biden wrote.
“I wasn’t sure what exactly he was trying to say, until he explained it might be easiest on everybody if the four of us — me and Jill, Beau and Hunt — went away alone. He suggested the island of Nantucket, which was an hour by ferry south of Cape Cod.
Neither Jill nor I had ever been there, but we decided to go ahead and make an adventure of it.”