WASHINGTON For security reasons, the president and vice president rarely venture abroad at the same time. But events next week may compel both Barack Obama and Joe Biden to be out of the country on the same day, at least for a matter of hours.
President Obama leaves on Tuesday night on a trip to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. Earlier on Tuesday, Vice President Biden will be attending ceremonies in Rome surrounding the installation of new Pope Francis.
What is uncertain is whether Biden will be back in the United States by the time Obama departs on his trip. His official schedule has not been released.
Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser, said he did not know for certain whether both Obama and Biden would be out of the country at the same time.
"We do take those considerations into account and do prudent planning to ensure that we are prepared for any contingencies and we often seek to coordinate their travel for that purpose," Rhodes told reporters.