To listen to Joe Biden tell it, he grew up in a log cabin and studied by the rude light of a candle. Never mind that he’s practically old enough to have done that, but Biden’s has of late been laying on his “us little folks from humble beginnings” routine pretty thick. A couple of weeks ago he claimed — falsely as it turns out — that he was the first in his family to attend college. Last week, his populist target was the stock market. “In my neighborhood in Scranton,” he said at a rally, “not a whole hell of a lot of people owned stock.” Stock: Isn’t that that highfalutin’ thing millionaires make their money in? Millionaires like Biden, whose net worth is estimated to be somewhere between $9 million and $15 million, including $4 million in cash and investments as well as real estate?
This week Biden’s everyman spiel is grounded in another lie — that he is the first president without an Ivy League degree. “When you guys started talking on television about Biden, if he wins he’ll be the first person without an Ivy League degree to be elected President,” he said to the press, “I’m thinking who [sic] the hell makes you think I need an Ivy League degree to be President?” But as CNN (yes, CNN!) notes, if he wins in November, Biden will be the first president without an Ivy League degree since Ronald Reagan.
The most noxious aspect of Biden’s transparent populist persona is the fact that he accumulated his wealth by plying the oldest profession known to man: a career in Congress. According to Forbes:
When Joe Biden was a student at the University of Delaware in the early 1960s, he spent a lot of time chatting with friends in his dorm. One day he asked a question: “You guys could be guaranteed — upon graduation — a job at the DuPont company, with a nice starting salary and a job for life, but you would never make more than $40,000 a year (some $340,000 today). Or you could take a job at half the salary, no guarantees, but there would be no limit to the money you could make. Which would you take?”
We know which way Biden went. As a U.S. senator and later vice president, Biden used his positions to make deals that would enrich himself and family members. One of these was with Delaware credit company MBNA, which paid his sleazy son Hunter a six-figure salary fresh out of college and then paid Joe Biden “hundreds of thousands more in campaign contributions to win his favor.” He hasn’t clarified yet whether a whole hell of a lot of people in his neighborhood in Scranton had credit cards, but don’t be surprised if he does.