For his entire political career of nearly a half-century Joe Biden has cultivated an image of Middle Class Joe from Scranton, the kind of guy who rides the train to work like millions of other workers.
To scrape up extra income in those days, Biden even charged the Secret Service rent on a cottage that agents used while protecting him in his Delaware home, though he spent much time at the vice president’s free residence in Washington.
That middle-class schtick is probably not gonna work so well anymore. For his first two years out of the federal government, Joe Biden reported earnings of nearly $16 million. That’s about $21,369 per day.
In fact, Biden’s got so much new money that he has quickly become the wealthiest of his Democratic Party’s major 2020 candidates for president.
Since 2017 Biden also bought a second Delaware home, a 4,800-square-foot place in Rehoboth Beach for $2.7 million that he appears to have paid in cash. This in addition to his existing Delaware beach house, a 7,000-square-footer with an adjacent cottage.
All of which vaults Biden into the three-home league of Bernie Sanders, an occasional Democrat who’s fighting so hard for the working men and women of America by claiming that the U.S. economy is rigged for rich people.
Currently, the Bidens live in a 12,000-square-foot, five-bedroom Virginia house that goes for an estimated $20,000 in rent per month. But it has 10 bathrooms.
This kind of quick wealth is not unusual in that Eastern D.C. world. It’s funny though how the dough just rolls on in after government work, sometimes even before you leave.
It seems book publishers and some people are willing to pay big money to hear or read what Biden has to say about those long years in the Senate followed by eight years in the White House with the Obamas, another pair of rapid multi-millionaires.
And — who knows? — perhaps paying such large sums helps curry favor with and future access to a potential POTUS No. 46.
Biden’s speaking contracts have some very specific requirements to please him. In his dressing room he requires a portable steamer, Coke Zero and regular Coke, Gatorade (must be orange), black coffee and a full-length mirror.
If he’s eating, Biden wants a caprese salad, angel-hair pomodoro and raspberry sorbet (with biscotti).
According to a Washington Post investigation, in those first 24 months outside, Biden gave 47 speeches, charging fees as high as $247,000. Not on the half-mill level of Bill Clinton, but enough to get you through some smooth times.
Biden’s wife Jill gave another 18 speeches and received $700,000 for them on top of her $90,000 annual salary as a community college teacher.
The University of Pennsylvania also paid Biden almost $777,000 those two years to do something.
For the decade before 2008, the Bidens’ charitable giving averaged $369 a year. It increased during his VP years and jumped to $1 million in 2017 before dropping to $276,000 last year.