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.
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.”