On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance at the grand opening of the Washington, D.C. Costco for a photo op with the warehouse-club’s co-founder Jim Sinegal, who raised over $1.4 million for the Obama campaign.
In July, Mr. Sinegal hosted a fundraiser at his Seattle mansion where tickets cost between $5,000 and $35,000.
Indeed, the Obama economy has been a boon for Costco, but not in the way some might think. In 2009, Costco surprised industry insiders when it announced it would begin accepting food stamps at its 420 stores.
“Given the economy and layoffs, this was a positive for our members and the right thing to do,” Costco CFO Richard Galanti told the Wall Street Journal in 2009.
At the time of Costco’s decision, 35 million individuals received food stamps. Today, that figure is 47 million.
Mr. Sinegal also appeared as a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. There, he lauded President Barack Obama’s status as a jobs creator:
Business needs a president who has covered businesses’ backs. A president who understands what the private sector needs to succeed. A president who takes the long view and makes the tough decisions. And that’s why I am here tonight supporting President Obama, a president making an economy built to last. See, in order for companies like Costco to invest, grow, hire and flourish, the conditions have to be right.
Today, food stamp recipients outnumber the populations of 24 states combined.