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Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin
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The Myth of “Middle-Class” Uncle Joe


This has got to be the bazooka of all Joe Biden blowhardisms. The nation's vice campaigner in chief went on the attack against Republicans this week, clad in full populist armor. "These guys don't have a sense of the average folks out there," said The Everyman. "They don't know what it means to be middle class." But who was his audience?

Nope, not blue-collar workers in Allentown, Pa. Biden was speaking to an exclusive club of $10,000-per-couple campaign donors gathered at the home of the Senate's $200 million man, Democratic Mass. Sen. John Kerry, in Georgetown, D.C.

That's smack dab in the middle of Beltway America, where they like a twist of cognitive dissonance with their aperitifs.

The White House is once again drawing on the fantastical myth of middle-class Joe to portray Republicans as out-of-touch elitists. A Washington Post headline described Biden "digging back into his roots to move Obama forward." But the administration's leading populist poster child is a wretched symbol of entrenched Washington power. And his fables are getting oldy-moldy.

At another campaign event in Ohio, Regular Joe rolled up his sleeves and pumped out the common-man colloquialisms. "It's good to have a dad in the automobile business, man," he said. Yeah, man. Preach it, man. Oh, hey, weren't you the man who savaged average-guy Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher in Ohio four years ago by lying about his income and mocking his American dream to own a small business? Man.

While Biden's family came from humble beginnings, the wheeler-dealer politician and his family (including two lobbyist sons) have reaped the benefits of public office for nearly a half-century. The entrenched senior senator from Delaware amassed wealthy donors and crooked cronies over six Senate terms. These are some of the stories, reported in my book "Culture of Corruption," that have been whitewashed out of the loquacious veep's campaign folklore:

—Biden's custom-built house in Delaware's ritziest Chateau Country neighborhood, assessed at $2.5 million four years ago, is the Bidens' most valuable asset. He secured the estate with the help of a corporate executive who worked for Biden's top campaign donor, credit card giant MBNA.

In 1996, Biden sold his previous mansion to MBNA Vice Chairman John Cochran. The asking price was $1.2 million. Cochran forked over the full sum. Biden then paid $350,000 in cash to real estate developer Keith Stoltz for a 4.2-acre lakefront lot. Stoltz had paid that same amount five years earlier for the undeveloped property.

—Among Pal Joey's dearest old pals: campaign finance "rainmaker" William Oldaker, who showered generous benefits on both the elder Biden and his lobbyist son, Hunter; Baltimore-based Peter Angelos, whose law firm gave Biden $156,250; Wilmington-based Young Conaway Stargatt and Taylor, which kicked in $127, 979; and Pachulski Stang Zielhl and Jones, which donated $145,625, according to The American Lawyer.

—Disgraced trial lawyer Richard Scruggs donated $11,500 to Biden in 2008. After Scruggs was convicted of attempting to bribe a federal judge, Biden tried to show his ethical bona fides by donating the money to a worthy charity. But Biden couldn't steer clear of nepotism. The money ended up with the National Prostate Cancer Coalition — a charity where, The American Lawyer pointed out, Biden's son Hunter sits on the board of directors.

—Another Biden family pal in the trial lawyers' community: Jeff Cooper. With his partner, John Simmons, the 39-year-old Cooper built one of the biggest asbestos litigation firms in the country. SimmonsCooper, based in Madison County, Ill., has donated a whopping $196,050 to Biden's campaigns since 2003, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C. In that same time frame, the firm poured $6.5 million into lobbying against a key tort reform bill — which Sen. Biden worked hard to defeat. Without a hint of irony, Cooper extolled Biden's anti-tort reform stance: "He understands the plight of the little guy and is against huge corporate interest." But what Biden did was help fuel lucrative business for the tort bar. When courts in SimmonsCooper's home base in Illinois finally started cracking down on what had become "America's No. 1 judicial hellhole" for filing out-of-control tort claims, the firm turned East. And in Joe Biden's Delaware, they created a new sanctuary.

Back on Obama 2012 Fantasy Island, Biden insists on marketing himself as the humble "son of an automobile man." Give him this: He spins like a used-car salesman. His lot's full of lemons. And "bamboozle" is his middle name.

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is



7 Comments | Post Comment
Look at your man Sick Rantorum. He skips over his privileged childhood with college educated white collar parents. His dad was 7 when he came here from Italy and was raised and educated in the states as a Clinical Psychologist, his mom, born & raised in America also college educated worked as Administrative Nurse. Does he talk about them or the status he enjoyed with white collar parents? No, he 'brags' on his blue collar grandparents.
"He spins like a used-car salesman. His lot's full of lemons. And "bamboozle" is his middle name."
Well, Michelle, you know what they say, "It takes one to know one." You've summed up your spin columns perfectly!
Comment: #1
Posted by: demecra zydeem
Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:02 AM
Thanks Michelle for a informative expose on Biden with specific examples! At least, those that can be tracked down! I've said for almost 4 years, that Biden likes to put on the cloak of humble but he's just another millionaire con artist.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Suzanne
Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:41 PM
You know liberals can't defend their guys abhorant behavior when all they can do is trash the competition.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:00 AM
What competition???? What expose????? Joe Biden was vetted when he was chosen for VP and his every action has been followed and reported on by the press from that day to this. An expose? Hardly. There's nothing new here. Joe isn't hiding and hasn't hidden anything, the man is 69 and respected by both sides. The fact other comments /posters view any of Michelle's columns as "news" is laughable. This was Michelle "trashing the competition". Why? Because she can't defend or find anything good to write about any of the Republicans and their candidates. Roger Simon has it right in his column "GOP-WANTS YOU FOR ITS NOMINEE" they'll take anyone...and have.
Here's an idea...why not try writing good stuff about the Republican candidates? Oh, because there isn't any! Certainly not enough to fill a column. Besides, who'd read it...? You know your Repub conservative, extremist audience, just like Rush's, live to read and hear you trashing everyone and everything. In fact, based on the comments, your audience probably knows more about tv or movies and celebrities than they do about politics or politicians or world affairs.
Comment: #4
Posted by: demecra zydeem
Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:34 PM
Demecra. Why do you read the opinion pieces in the conservative section if they bother you so much. I have read some of your posts and it seems like you always start off ranting about the so called conservative boogey man. Your comments are more insult than argument or debate. Why are you so angry? I believe the questionable behavior Ms. Malkin is talking about is campaign contributions and business dealings the VP has participated in. Getting preferential treatment is generally morally, ethically, and in some case legally wrong.
Comment: #5
Posted by: david
Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:08 PM
Re: david
I can't respond for demecra, but I can respond for me, I am angry and I rant against the pitiful mess that the GOP has left this country in since your imbecile Bush was in office. It may never recover, the fact that you idiots want to put another GOP into office with their failed policies is inexcusable, we can't afford another 8 years of GOP avarice. That pisses me off, and if you weren't dumb enough to be in a coma, it should piss you off too. Inexcusable nonsense, the current GOP nominees are a cast of clowns....
Here's a capsule of the last two weeks,

Romney eating grits, give me a break,
Santorum claiming, what's wrong with this country is porn,
Newt trying to increase his line of credit at Tiffany's from 500K, to 750K, OK, I made that up, Newt has been told to shut up and let Romney and Santorum self destruct before August...... and they will, they step in it daily
Comment: #6
Posted by: Bloom Hilda
Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:48 PM
Is there anyone else with less intelligence and skills who has lived such a privileged life off of the hard working taxpayers dime than Biden? He finished in the bottom ten percent of his class at the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School, not exactly academic powerhouses. His entire adult life has been about corruption, cronyism,, and graft while like his boss Obama, he has not worked an honest day in his life nor has he ever created one penny of wealth. He is an elitist, incompetent, corrupt, lying leech on society who hasn't the slightest clue about the middle class.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Thetruth
Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:13 PM
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