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Joe Biden goes to Costco after executives cozy up to the White House

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Charlie Spiering,Politics Digest

Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Costco this morning for the warehouse store’s grand opening in Washington D.C.

According to the White House the Vice President was greeted at Costco by CEO Craig Jelinek and co-founder Jim Sinegal.

The visit is the latest sign of the friendly relationship Costco leaders have with Obama as they have publicly supported Obama’s economic agenda.

Sinegal, Costco’s former CEO, gave a speech praising President Obama at the Democratic National Convention in September.

Sinegal retired as CEO in January, but gradually took a greater interest in Obama’s re-election campaign.

Sinegal hosted a fundraiser for Obama in July at his Seattle area mansion at Hunt’s Point. Tickets for the event ranged from $5,000 to $35,000 and reportedly raised more than $1.4 million.

Sinegal also defended Obama’s record on small business, after the Romney campaign’s ads featuring Obama’s “You didn’t build that” remarks.

“You might be seeing some ads or hearing some folks say that President Obama doesn’t support small business owners,” Sinegal wrote in an email sent by the Obama campaign. “But he understands that small businesses grow and prosper because of individual initiative – because entrepreneurs like you and me do the hard work it takes, and we can’t do it alone.”

Jelinek, the new CEO, revealed in a statement that he spoke with Obama last weekend, and urged him to extend middle class tax cuts. “It is imperative that both sides of the “aisle” compromise… to eliminate uncertainty, and allow for continued economic recovery,” he wrote.

In the short term, Costco doesn’t appear to be very worried about the looming tax hikes on investors.

Reuters reports Costco Wholesale Corp will pay a special $3 billion dividend to investors as the company posted monthly same-store sales that beat forecasts.

According to CNN, that allows investors to pay the lower 15% tax rate currently in effect on dividends.

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