Diary

"Everyman"?

Wonder what the working class folks in Scranton think about this:

For the millions of voters getting to know him, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, portrays himself at times as an average guy who takes the train to work, frets about money and basically has led a middle-class life.

“Ladies and gentlemen, your kitchen table is like mine,” Mr. Biden said when Senator Barack Obama introduced him as his running mate. “You sit there at night after you put the kids to bed and you talk, you talk about what you need. You talk about how much you are worried about being able to pay the bills.”

Mr. Biden certainly can trace his roots to the working-class neighborhoods of Scranton, Pa., and Claymont, Del., where he was raised. But these days, his kitchen table can be found in a 6,800-square-foot custom-built colonial-style house on four lakefront acres, a property worth close to $3 million.

[. . .]

As a secure incumbent who has rarely faced serious competition during 35 years in the Senate, Mr. Biden has been able to dip into his campaign treasury to spend thousands of dollars on home landscaping and some of his Amtrak travel between Wilmington, Del., where he lives, and Washington. And the acquisition of his waterfront property a decade ago involved wealthy businessmen and campaign supporters, some of them bankers with an interest in legislation before the Senate, who bought his old house for top dollar, sold him four acres at cost and lent him $500,000 to build his new home.

Biden also got VIP treatment when he sought a mortgage from the bank, used campaign committee payments to keep up his lawn and financed his travel to and from Washington via Amtrak with them. None of this is illegal, but these perks are certainly not available to others. And they definitely cut into Joe Biden’s image as a champion of the common man.

If you think I enjoy writing these posts about the personal finances of candidates, you are mistaken. We all know that Presidential candidates live in something of a different world than most people and none of this should have any bearing on qualifications. But of course, no one on the other side of the partisan divide observed any niceties when it came to the number of John McCain’s homes or cars and I see no reason why anyone should hold their fire concerning Joe Biden. Turnabout is fair play.