Biden’s image of “authenticity” and being “one of us”

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Amidst questions of Joe Biden’s chances of running for president and possible outcome in a primary race, comes this gem of a knee-slapper:

“One of the great assets that Biden has is that he’s authentic in a campaign year that really seems to prize authenticity,” one Democratic former presidential strategist said.

“Fairly or unfairly, Hillary Clinton—people have doubts about how much reality there is there. Nobody thinks there is anything about Joe Biden that isn’t real.”

There’s nothing “authentic” about Joe Biden’s image and self-promotion as a man who comes from a middle-class, blue-collar background. That’s a bit of myth-making.

Biden might be the “poorest” senator (I think Marco Rubio ), but he’s still authentically wealthier than your “average Joe”:


To be fair, Joe Biden is close to telling the truth: As BuzzFeed notes, he was the “poorest” senator when he joined the Obama ticket in 2008, and he lists assets valued at between $276,000 and $940,000, including a rental property. By contrast, President Obama’s assets were listed as valued between $2 million and $7 million. Clinton’s personal wealth is reported to be in the tens of millions of dollars.

But in a country where the U.S. Census Bureau says median net worth (including home value) is only $68,000, even Biden is a wealthy man.


Keeping it real:

Biden and his wife do, indeed, own multiple savings and stock accounts, but most have less than $15,000 in them. That makes Biden relatively poor, compared with his former colleagues in the U.S. Senate, whose average wealth is nearly $1 million.

But the vice president is much better off than the typical U.S. family, which has a savings account balance of only $3,800. More than half of all Americans own no stock at all, and only one-third have stock accounts worth more than $5,000.


According to Census Bureau figures, half of all U.S. households earn less than $53,000 a year.

Those voters aren’t likely to extend much sympathy to a vice president crying the blues about saving nothing while earning a federal salary of $233,000 a year or an ex-Cabinet member, ex-senator who commands $200,000 per speech.

The CNN writer Errol Louis goes on to mention about Biden’s “working class roots”; but even that is not 100% accurate. Linked in a previous post:

Biden also got caught for plagiarizing a speech and exaggerate his academic record. I guess that makes for “authenticity”.

Almost all of the strategists agree that a Clinton implosion would almost certainly bring him into the race.

“The reason I think he’s waiting is he wants to be a savior not a spoiler,” one said.

But the prevailing wisdom is that while Clinton’s poll numbers are sagging, it’s still too early to sound the alarm bells.

Said one strategist, “For Democrats, he’s becoming break glass in case of emergency. I don’t think it’s an emergency right now.”

Run, Joe, run!


8 Responses to “Biden’s image of “authenticity” and being “one of us””

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    It’s common knowledge that the party of FDR, JFK, John Kerry, Al Gore and now Hillary Clinton despises rich politicians. So of course Biden and Sanders are considered paupers, and thus in lefty mythology “closer to The People.” One reason I’ve never been able to take democrats seriously, among many, is the way these ultra-millionaires (and house-flipping millionaires like Liz Warren) going on about The Evil Rich victimizing The Poor and Working Families, without a hint of embarassment. If being poor or middle class is so awesome and good for the soul, why don’t these dedicated public servants live among the Little People, who will welcome them at public school functions and the local Starbucks?

  2. 4


    @Mully: Biden:$369 one year. (0.03% of his income–I’ve made less than $20k a year and given more than that). Their fans have no comeback for that.

    (Romney was known for such things as investing personal time with people in need. In one case he closed Bain Capital for the day and flew 30 employees to New York to look for an employee’s missing daughter. The story has been vetted by snopes, politifact, and everyone else democrats ran to to try to disprove it.

    I bring up Romney because he’s no one’s idea of a ‘regular Joe,’ and yet he has done more on a personal level to help The Regular People than any of these big-mouthed, big-money dems. Biden has suffered personal tragedy, so you’re mean if you point out that has zero to do with helping others, like he and his party are always claiming everyone else must do. I’ve never met someone who got so much mileage out of genuine personal tragedy–it’s kind of gross the way these terrible things which have befallen him are used as a shield against political criticism.

    Biden is a grinning, self-righteous a-hole, very snide, very self-loving and creepy. He’s a Washington insider’s idea of an outsider, a ‘regular guy’ because he SAYS he is.

  3. 5


    Don’t forget many people thought he “won” in the debate against Sarah Palin because he is able to make up stuff and say it with such utter conviction that people thought it must be true. He didn’t need Candy Crowley to back up his lies/errors like Obama did.

  4. 6


    @boxty: boxty, It’s funny you mention that, because I was just saying to someone this week, “Remember how everyone talked about what a moron Palin is and how Biden would wipe the floor with him, and then after the debate–silence?” I’m neither a big Palin fan nor a hater, but any governor should have been destroyed by someone with Biden’s decades of Washington experience (whatever I think of THAT). You’d think even if Biden narrowly won, the dems would be crowing about how he DESTROYED her. And yet, they moved on very quickly after that. His debate against Ryan was different, but I think even his fans found his constant smiling and “malarkey” a bit unnerving. He’s a frickin’ loon, I hope he runs, it’ll be monstrously awful with him grinning inappropriately, touching women, and basking in sympathy all at once.

  5. 7

    Nanny G

    In chess (and other strategic games) going after an imaginary threat while a real threat is staring you in the face is suicide.

    I think Biden is a distraction… imaginary threat.
    He has not invested one penny into running yet he gleans so many headlines for it away from Hillary and her problems.
    As long as Hillary is ahead of other potential nominees, I say, cover her and her problems extensively.
    There is a great danger that she will successfully pull the ”its old news,” ploy with regards her emails if we let it slide.

  6. 8



    Oh and let us not forget how generous they are when it comes to donating to charity.

    Why, the Clinton’s have donated millions to chairty… the Clinton Foundation which, of course, goes right back to fly them around the country in luxury and put them up in posh hotels.


    I bring up Romney because he’s no one’s idea of a ‘regular Joe,’ and yet he has done more on a personal level to help The Regular People than any of these big-mouthed, big-money dems.

    Democrats and liberals believe that helping people can only be done by throwing money at the issue… preferably money earned by someone else.

    Biden would not be even considering entering this race against Hillary unless he felt (and had “inside information”… giggle) that she was mortally wounded by the FBI’s hound-dogging her about her emails… something that would NOT be happening if Obama had not personally authorized it.

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