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The Real Joe Biden: the Car Dealer's Son
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Basically, Joe is the car dealer’s son, the cocky but friendly high school football star (wide receiver) with the cool car.

An interesting thing about Biden is that he’s had enough work done that later in life he got back to some of the golden boy good looks he had in high school. It also helps to figure out what looks good on you and stick with it, like Biden’s blue (sometimes even electric blue) suits and his aviator sunglasses.

But in-between he had lost his looks in the late 1960s when the culture switched to long hair just when he was losing his.

Biden: “My dad didn’t have a lot of money, but he ran the largest Chevrolet dealership in the state.”

Biden’s class background is complicated, but not unique.

It’s pretty similar to my best friend’s, who grew up middle class and only discovered later that his salesman father had been chauffeured to grade school in a limousine during the 1920s.

Biden’s father likewise grew up rich, but went off and on through ups and downs:

Father’s Tough Life an Inspiration for Biden
By John M. Broder
Oct. 23, 2008

Joe Sr. had it all in his 20s, sailing yachts off the New England coast, riding to the hounds, driving fast cars, flying airplanes. A decade later, he found himself with a wife and four children living in a two-bedroom apartment in a dreary, treeless suburb of Wilmington, selling used cars.

His children saw hints of his former life in his wardrobe — he was always impeccably dressed with a perfect pocket square — and in the back of his closet, where he kept his riding pinks, his polished boots and his polo mallet.

But eventually Joe Sr. got really good at selling cars and could afford to buy his blue-eyed boy nice things like this 1967 wedding gift, a Corvette with its 435 horsepower 427 cubic inch (7.0 liter) engine.

But Joe Jr. went through enough constrained family budgets as a child that his self-image as middle class has never much changed.

So Trump and Biden are basically salesmen from that part of the 1960s before The Sixties arrived in the late 1960s, with Trump pretending to be more high class than he is and Biden pretending to be not quite as high class.

 
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  1. Altai says:

    Biden: “My dad didn’t have a lot of money, but he ran the largest Chevrolet dealership in the state.”

    How?

    What’s the old Chinese proverb? Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.

    • Agree: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @Barnard
  2. Very sentimental. I can now just imagine Shotgun Joe, in a wife beater T, draining a can of Miller High Life with a sense of satisfaction, after he drags the broken water heater up the stairs from the basement and onto the curb before running to the nearest big box (in the vette of course) to purchase a replacement on the morning after Christmas, then installing it himself, and taking an unpaid day off to do so. Perhaps he even stopped by the local day care center to get handsy with the children between trips.

    Gimme a break.

  3. Biden had it made in life. Elected to senate before he turned 30. Dad gave him a Vette at 24. And yeah he had a blast in high school. Family tragedies aside, it’s been a great ride.

    His may be the last generation of White guys who could be cool, cocky and live the dream in a way that was authentic. Sure, you have Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake now, but they have to bow before hiphop culture or be emasculated in some other way.

    It’s nice to know there was a time when White dads wanted to set their sons up, both personally and in terms of leaving them a country worth living in.

  4. Thanks for clearing that up. I knew he had an air of, as I wrote in another comment, “legacy doofus.” Now I understand why. My radar works.

    There must be a lot of people in America whose class is difficult to categorize. Things will transition to good, old-fashioned class clarity as more Indian people and Latin Americans move in.

    • Replies: @Jan Banan
    , @Jack D
  5. vinny says:

    Are there any Democratic car dealers left?

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  6. anon[112] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Test kit status

    1. Muddled lengthy story. Here is a factcheck article that is useful. https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/the-facts-on-coronavirus-testing/

    2. Quest among others is going to do it.
    https://newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/2020-03-05-Quest-Diagnostics-to-Launch-Coronavirus-Disease-2019-COVID-19-Test

    So, it looks like it is bad/incompetent — but not as bad as politically motivated criticism.

    Trump being a can do, out of the box guy could have bought kits from China. Or used The Who developed tests.

    • Replies: @Rouetheday
  7. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:

  8. Jan Banan says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    “Legacy doofus” is a great descriptive

  9. Thanks for sharing this info, but all the same, nobody cares what Joe Biden’s class background was or is, and nobody cares what his relationship is to an ostensible partial white-ethnic-northeastern-guy-somewhat-maybe identity is or might be. A person who tells potential voters “you’re full of shit” and believes that makes him look tough. People who grew up on meaner streets than this, know what it really makes him look like.

    What matters is that this man who is running for president has been in national politics since the bloody 1970s, for Cthulhu’s sakes, and therefore he, more than anybody else on planet earth, should be called to account for a political worldview, an explanation of how and why things are the way they are, and how they should be.

    And he hasn’t got one.

    He is an incoherent ridiculous ancient Boomer poopypants, a critter whose mind is still listening to the second Meat Loaf album not the first. Like Hillary the Sea Hag, why on earth anybody should care what this rotting hulk of a fake human thinks about anything, is beyond the reach of the Hubble telescope.

    And unlike Joe Biden, I can tell you who Hubble actually was, and what he thought, and why he thought it.

    • Agree: MikeatMikedotMike
    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Forbes
    , @Ron Mexico
  10. @MikeatMikedotMike

    I can now just imagine Shotgun Joe, in a wife beater T, draining a can of Miller High Life with a sense of satisfaction, after he drags the broken water heater up the stairs from the basement and onto the curb before running to the nearest big box (in the vette of course) to purchase a replacement on the morning after Christmas, then installing it himself, and taking an unpaid day off to do so.

    The Onion has been there before.

    https://politics.theonion.com/shirtless-biden-washes-trans-am-in-white-house-driveway-1819570732

    • Thanks: BenKenobi
    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
  11. Dumbo says:

    Things will transition to good, old-fashioned class clarity as more Indian people and Latin Americans move in.

    I think one of the attractions of mass immigration (for some people) is that class identification and therefore status mongering becomes much easier. For instance in Brazil it’s very easy to see who’s rich (politicians, judges, entrepreneurs usually of Lebanese or Jewish origin), who’s middle class (whitish with mostly European ancestry and not too much mixing) and who’s poor (majority of blacks and mestizos) just by looking. The U.S. is fast becoming a caste society. I think this arrangement is liked by many people. Especially those at the top.

  12. Hemid says:

    It’s like irony but dumber.

    DSA/Brooklyn/internet leftists have for years hate-mythologized Trump voters as the idiot sons of car dealership owners. One of them said it one time, I assume on Chapo Trap House—that Trump’s base aren’t working class but the trash sons of the petit bourgeoisie, “dad owns a car dealership”—and they’ve all repeated it for years. It’s their go-to anti-Trump-voter shibboleth. They said it so many times they conjured Biden’s win.

    Literally—in that their influence on Bernie, their joining and dominating his campaign, turning him from old-Jew socialism to bluecheck wokeness, alienated the proles and cost him all the states where men build things.

  13. I’ve noticed that many whites who are most class conscience are middle class whites who rubbed shoulders with upper class whites in high school and never got over the resentment.

  14. Polynikes says:

    I’m not sure Trump really pretends to be high class. He might pretend he has more money than he actually does, but he pretty much embraces the nouveau riche label and dials it up to eleven.

    I think that’s part of why the elite class hate him so much. He’s a caricature of all the new money guys they hate. Look at his history with golf courses, which you’ve documented before, Steve.

    • Replies: @Kim
  15. Rob (LM) says:

    Obviously at this election everyone knows they’re likely to be voting for two presidents, not one – whether they’re going Republican or Democrat. But I wonder if the Democrats are looking for a VP pick who could ascend to the top of the ticket even before the general election. In which case I assume Sanders is out (as someone mentioned earlier a Biden-Sanders ticket does have a potentially formidable ring to it). This Brown guy is young (relatively) – does he come across as at all presidential? He’s totally unknown on this side of the Atlantic.

    I wonder whether Trump will stick with Pence. Has he set him up to fail by tasking him with coronavirus response, which may be an impossible brief even for someone qualified for it (which Pence isn’t)? As far as I can tell the logic for enlisting Pence in the first place was to capture the evangelical fundamentalist vote, but they seem to be utterly mesmerised by Trump now so perhaps Pence is expendable. Will Trump pick one of his sons?

    Sorry for all the questions. I tuned out of the Steveosphere for a few years and while I wasn’t surprised that it (generally, and understandably) rallied behind Trump on the grounds of immigration policy and the national question, I have been surprised by the near-total lack of criticism of his multiple serious flaws and gross unsuitability for high political office. The commentariat here used to be (and I think deep down still is) committed to science and reason, and political probity and decency. You can still support him for specific (and important) reasons without going all-in.

    • Replies: @notsaying
  16. Jack D says:
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    I don’t think you could fit a hot water heater in the back of a ‘Vette. If you have to take a whole day off from work to replace a hot water heater, you’re doing it wrong. Nowadays with flex connectors you should be able to do the whole thing in an hour. In the time it would take for you to book the installation after sitting on hold with Home Depot’s Indian call center and then waiting at home during the 2 hour installation window (installer shows up 5 minutes from the end of the window – “The last job took longer than I thought it would”) I could have swapped my heater 3 times. I do a lot of DIY stuff because I don’t have the patience for all the BS associated with getting someone to actually show up. I could change all 4 tires and jumpstart my car 5 times before the roadside assistance guy even shows up.

  17. Jack D says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    The best way to make a small fortune is to start with a big one. I know a lot of people who grew up richer than they are now. We live in an economy with a lot of creative destruction. Some people are crushed under the wheel, others rise to the top. When the poor descend to the depths it’s usually tragic – homelessness, addiction, etc. For the ex-rich it usually just means a (sometimes temporary) descent to the middle class – sell the BMW, drive a used Buick. Sell the mansion, live in a 2 BR garden apartment rental. Humiliating but not tragic.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  18. Barnard says:
    @Altai

    People tend to exaggerate when they use the term “ran a business.” Biden Sr. was probably mid level manager which would have given him a middle class salary. The largest Chevy dealer in Wilmington wouldn’t have been that big of a deal either. The question would be what happened that he ended up selling cars? For an upper class man, that wouldn’t have been a normal career aspiration.

  19. Mr. Anon says:

    Wait, I thought that Joe was a coal-miner’s son from Scranton. You mean Neil Kinnock lied to me?

    Biden could be in those internet memes: Old Economy Joe

  20. Art Deco says:

    So Trump and Biden are basically salesmen from that part of the 1960s before The Sixties arrived in the late 1960s, with Trump pretending to be more high class than he his and Biden pretending to be not quite as high class.

    No. When Friedrich Trump died in 1918, he left an estate (when taxes and administrative expenses were deducted) of $31,645. Applying the GDP deflator, the equivalent value in today’s currency would be $1,771,500. Note, though, that the larger society was much less affluent in real terms. A contextually similar sum in our own time, one assigning a family today a relative position equivalent to the Trump family’s relative position in early 20th century society, would be about $11.3 million. The Trumps have been wealthy for > three generations.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  21. @MikeatMikedotMike

    “Shotgun Joe”

    Reminded me of this video.

    • Agree: MikeatMikedotMike
  22. Jack D says:
    @Art Deco

    Trump also pretends to be a shirtsleeves builder kind of guy, but if you look at his family (MIT Professor uncle, Federal judge sister) they are quite intellectual. Of course the media plays into this by calling Trump “dumb” – somehow all Republicans who run for President are dumb. Only Democrats are smart.

    Biden’s son Hunter gives off a trailer trash vibe. Knocking up strippers, etc.

  23. Basically, Joe is the car dealer’s son, the cocky but friendly high school football star (wide receiver) with the cool car.

    The little brother of the hard back-slapping Irish kid always cracking jokes at your expense. A good example is Gerald from Sid the Science Kid:

  24. @Jack D

    Yes, it will be interesting to see if there’s any coverage of Biden’s academic record as a strike against him being president. He graduated around the bottom quarter of his class at the University of Delaware, and then in the bottom ten percent of his class at Syracuse Law School. I don’t know if it matters or not, but it sure seemed to matter when the subject was how well, or not, George W. Bush did at Yale and HBS.

  25. Joe’ll need a rockin’ theme song to counter Donald’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It”. This is Bernie’s weakness. Here are some, pardon the expression, candidates:

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  26. @Jack D

    “We live in an economy with a lot of creative destruction.”

    Also a lot of destructive destruction.

  27. anon[282] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    The big box stores supposedly have absolute shit tier quality water heaters. Even the stuff that is the same brand (there’s like, what, three?) of what you would get going through a plumber-distributor.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  28. Where on the spectrum of Real Joe Biden to Current Joe Biden is 1980s Joe Biden? Y’all remember the one who

    was considered one of the best orators among the potential presidential candidates …

    Biden was initially considered one of the potentially strongest candidates as campaigning began … . This was because of his moderate image, his speaking ability on the stump … , his appeal to Baby Boomers [this was considered a good thing then], … and his fundraising appeal

    [From Wiki.]

    His habit of fabulating stories about himself and wholesale plagarization of others’ speeches—especially a Limey loser’s speeches—eventually did him in.

    Even before he became the presumptive nominee of the Dems, I don’t recall anyone, even of his opponents, bringing up his embarrassing 1980s presidential run, which he ended as something of a laughingstock.

    It’s just too bad that now that he has a chance of actually winning, he won’t remember it. Or maybe even survive it.

    It does though reinforce my impression that the Current Year is some kind inept parody of the 1980s where geriatric 1980s icons Trump and Biden face off in an alien dystopic landscape where boutique 1980s political correctness is now the de facto law of the land.

  29. Art Deco says:
    @Jack D

    Trump also pretends to be a shirtsleeves builder kind of guy,

    In whose imagination (other than yours)?

    • Agree: Pincher Martin
  30. J.Ross says:

    Aha, this is why Biden wants to end the Constitution and take the guns (but at the same time, not take the guns, but also take the guns): because he’s the guy that causes the school shooting.

  31. Joe looked ridiculous with that comb over, so at least he was able to get that out of his system.

  32. @Jack D

    Humiliation is often worse than tragedy though

  33. @Reg Cæsar

    If there ever was a one-hit wonder, it was Shocking Blue. Or so I thought.

    Joe’ll need a rockin’ theme song to counter Donald’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

    I don’t know that “We forsake you, gonna rape you” will go over all that well.

    • Replies: @I, Libertine
  34. MEH 0910 says:

  35. Sung to the tune of “Don’t Take Me Alive” (Steely Dan):

    I’m a car-dealer’s son
    I don’t wanna slap no one
    But I’ve got a foreboding presentiment
    You won’t elect me alive.

    Got a case of coronavirus
    Get me ink, quill, and papyrus
    And I’ll write out my last will and testament
    Don’t elect me alive!

  36. Biden turned eighteen in 1960, which was a period when nearly every American thought of himself as middle class.

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson
  37. @Jack D

    I don’t think you could fit a hot water heater in the back of a ‘Vette.

    You would be surprised. I once got 4 8′ 4×4 posts and 4 sheets of 4 x 8 latticework in the trunk of a Mustang.

  38. Muggles says:

    A quick google search indicates Slo Joe is worth now (in 2019) between about $9 million, per Forbes, and made around $18 million in 2017-2018.

    Assuming that’s approximately correct, how did this guy become a multimillionaire when hemade around $169K salary/yr while in the Senate and about $225K/yr during 8 years as VP? His wife Jill may have worked during their marriage. But while in office Joe would have been legally constrained from most “second job” type payments.

    Still, the big payoff was “book royalties.” Do you know anyone who ever read anything by Slo Joe? These publishing houses, mainly run by Dem liberals, must be a nice conduit for post political payoffs. Either that or public libraries must be required to purchase this garbage.

    Now compared to hillbilly Bill Clinton and family, that’s chicken feed. Not bad for a “poor boy” from Wilmington who was raised poor by the obviously sole charitable Chevy dealer in Delaware. I guess Joe learned a few financial tricks from dad in that game.

    And we have seen how his dim bulb playboy son Hunter has inherited his dad’s knack for spinning gold out of wool. Yet he is now being championed as the savior of poor blacks and the underclass. Quite a magic trick. Gullible is as gullible does…

    • Agree: Dtbb
    • Replies: @mmack
    , @Art Deco
  39. res says:
    @Jack D

    Biden’s son Hunter gives off a trailer trash vibe. Knocking up strippers, etc.

    He comes off to me like the “cool”, well off high school student who is really a loser preying on the trailer trash (and others). Then going home to his wealthy life and having his dad bail him out. The later trajectories of people like that can be interesting–all over the place. I think a lot depends on whether they ever get caught for real.

  40. Biden’ schtick is strange. Is there anyone within a single degree of relation to Joe Biden who made a living with his or her hands? Plenty of people have parents or siblings who are ironworkers, carpenters, etc. but don’t make as big a deal about it as Biden does coming from a family of “temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” This is another way to say that he’s a phony, living an alternative history of his own life that just so happens to improve his political position.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  41. anon[186] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    The best way to make a small fortune is to start with a big one. I know a lot of people who grew up richer than they are now. We live in an economy with a lot of creative destruction. Some people are crushed under the wheel, others rise to the top. When the poor descend to the depths it’s usually tragic – homelessness, addiction, etc. For the ex-rich it usually just means a (sometimes temporary) descent to the middle class – sell the BMW, drive a used Buick. Sell the mansion, live in a 2 BR garden apartment rental. Humiliating but not tragic.

    I live in an apartment building just below the hollywood hills. In my building’s garage, I’m noticing a lot of 80K cars parked there. We didn’t used to have cars of that quality. Used to be mostly Honda Accords, older SUV’s and such. I’m also noticing a lot of people in their early to mid twenties moving in. Very genteel kids. Our rent for a two bed is currently around $3300 a month.

    I’m assuming it’s the poor trustifarians who used to live up the hill. Their parents must have said, “we’re not paying $4000 a month for a one-bedroom. We’ll keep making your car payment, but get your ass off that hill, and get a roommate!”

  42. Retro Guy says:

    Biden’s Vette has the base engine: 327 cubic inch, 300 horsepower, not the optional 427/435 horsepower engine described by iSteve.

  43. Art Deco says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    His paternal side grandfather was a corporation executive. Other than that, he comes from several generations of salesmen and sales supervisors. I think there might have been a transit worker about three generations back.

    Nothing wrong with his family history. Everybody has to come from somewhere and sales is a passable way of making a living so long as you’re not defrauding someone. His problem in 1987 was pretending he was Neil Kinnock, because Kinnock’s family was more the stuff of literature. His problem the last twenty years has been that his brother and at least one of his children knew how to exploit his name and feed at the trough. If they were selling houses or cars, there wouldn’t be an issue.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  44. Car dealers are petit bourgeois. Knew a couple a long time – they moved to the littoral and tried to keep up with investment bankers for a while. Inevitably, in ’08 Chrysler and Ford stuffed the channels to eke out one more good quarter before the crash, and this poor bastard was ruined. Well, you know, condo-ruined, an unthinkable come-down but quite comparable to the insecurity of her salesman father.

    Joe’s petit bourgeois status anxiety would make him eminently blackmailable with some Ukie kleptocrat pelf, even before senility disinhibited him. He’s going to be the perfect puppet, like lame duck Reagan. And the campaign ought to be great fun when takes his dick out on the podium or shits his pants.

    That slippery status is probably why John O’Hara was preoccupied with car dealers, obsessively putting them one up or one-down. O’Hara’s own status anxiety took the form of a fixation with colleges (he didn’t go,) all different colleges whose names were oddly portentous for him, and frats, almost as though someone gives a rat’s. In the bog-standard 20th-century introductory character description, O’Hara would always characterize his with a college.

  45. Pontius says:

    Corn Pop would have been nuts to fuck with that guy. .

    • LOL: Muggles, JMcG
  46. mmack says:
    @Muggles

    Remember the saying about politicians: “He went into politics to Do Good, and ended up doing well for himself.” 😉

  47. A dear friend of mine used to let me cruise the Friday-Night circuit with his Black ’62 Corvette from time-to-time. What a head-turner. It had a 327 with a 4 bbl and it was snappy.

    I almost like Biden after watching his performance with Jay. Leno seems like a good guy – pretty even-handed when delivering his jabs, punches and barbs.

  48. In 2008 when he was Obama’s running mate, I remember watching the VP debate and thinking that Joe had the used car salesmen smile down pat. It appears it ran in his family

  49. @ben tillman

    See also: Never Marry a Railroad Man. A minor hit in Europe.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  50. @Pincher Martin

    Biden turned eighteen in 1960, which was a period when nearly every American thought of himself as middle class.

    In 1960, nearly every American was middle class.

    • Agree: Pincher Martin
  51. Something tells me that the source of that silver dollar story is Joe, or more precisely, Joe’s imagination.

  52. JimB says:

    So why does Donald Trump, the son of a real-life Mr Monopoly, sympathize with the middle class instead of scorning them for their lack of monetary success, while Joe Biden, the used car dealer’s son, totally identify the elites and scorn Joe the Plumber in the final act of his political career?

    And, by the way, why does Joe Biden, who belongs in a memory center, even want to be president with maybe three to five years of life remaining? Trump ran for the presidency out of patriotism — he didn’t need a lucrative post presidency speaking and book career like the Obama.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
  53. Art Deco says:
    @Muggles

    Now compared to hillbilly Bill Clinton and family, that’s chicken feed.

    Once more with feeling. Bill Clinton grew up more than 100 miles south of the Ozarks. His mother was a skilled worker in an occupation that (even 70 years ago) typically required tertiary schooling. His step-father’s family owned a number of local businesses among them an auto parts store in which Roger Clinton was principally employed. His grand-daddy Blythe might be described as a peasant, but the man was not a tenant farmer or sharecropper: he owned his land (in the Prairie north of Dallas) even if it was mortgaged much of the time. His grand-daddy Cassidy was a merchant married to a nurse.

    Virginia Dell Cassidy lived in town, not in the hills or in the countryside. Here’s one place she lived prior to 1950

    And here’s one place she lived with Roger Clinton, when she’d decamped to Hot Springs:

  54. Biden: “My dad didn’t have a lot of money, but he ran the largest Chevrolet dealership in the state.”

    OK Joe, which is it?

    • LOL: Hibernian
  55. @Jack D

    Of course the media plays into this by calling Trump “dumb” – somehow all Republicans who run for President are dumb. Only Democrats are smart.

    Trump can be blunt and brusque in his public manner, but he is quite intelligent, especially when it comes to PR and reading people.

    The media and insane Leftists seem wholly unable to perceive this distinction.

  56. @Almost Missouri

    What should not be ignored is the slimy role played by Michael Stanley Dukakis in sinking Biden’s 1988 presidential bid.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  57. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hemid

    The first guy to hold a fundraiser for Trump in 2015 during the GOP primaries was the billionaire son of a big time car dealer in Massachusetts named Ernie Boch.

    Boch is a local celebrity in Boston and Mass, and he is kind of like the trashy car dealer heir that the Chapo guys talk about.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernie_Boch

    Boch has formed a band, Ernie and the Automatics.[16] Ernie and the Automatics album Low Expectations was on Billboard’s Top Blues Album chart for six weeks, debuting at #7. The band has opened for Deep Purple. He formerly sat on the Berklee College of Music’s Board of Trustees.[1]

    Boch appeared on the TV show, The Phantom Gourmet.[citation needed] On September 8, 2007 he was a guest judge for the cleavage contest at King Richard’s Faire, along with drummer Sib Hashian. He appeared on WLVI-TV’s Creature Double Feature playing “The Ghoul”.[7]

    Boch has appeared in three episodes of the television show Rescue Me, “Black,” “Animal” and “Satisfaction” as Captain Bernard, the coach of the NYPD hockey team.[7][17]

    Boch also owned the Boston-based women’s tackle football team, the Boston Militia.

  58. Art Deco says:
    @Barnard

    He started out as a sales rep for Amoco. IIRC, his father was an executive with Amoco. I think he prospered for a while as a military contractor during the war, but a couple of business ventures went south leaving him ruined, so he went back to sales. He sold cars from 1953 to 196? and then sold real estate for 15 years, from 196? until he retired. His obituary indicates he was a sales manager for a menu of car dealers and then worked for a real estate brokerage named Patterson Schwartz; it doesn’t indicate he was a partner in any of these businesses.

    NB, his father died in 1941, so wasn’t in a position to give him career help.

  59. Art Deco says:
    @Liberty Mike

    Nothing slimy. His campaign manager put together a split screen videotape wherein snippets of a speech by Kinnock alternated with a speech by Biden. It was close to word-for-word plagiarism. What Pat Buchanan said at the time was (1) it would ruin his candidacy because what he did is a career-wrecker for reporters, and they’d now be his enemy and (2) appropriating someone else’s biography revealed him to be a hollow man – almost literally. (I think it was Martin Peretz who noted that his habit of referring to himself in 3d person was something hollow men do). The campaign manager was dismissed by Dukakis, I think because he lied about having done this to some consequential party.

  60. eah says:

    Something is amiss here; something is going on behind the scenes — Biden is senile, lecherous, corrupt — even considering the unseen machinations, the democratic establishment must have total contempt for the American electorate to put someone like him up as their candidate.

    One now understands better the appeal of JFK.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  61. Jack D says:
    @anon

    Even the big box stores have good/better/best. Most people just want the cheapest one. Actually the differences are not that great. A 9 year warranty heater is the same thing as a 7 year warranty heater but it has a dip tube anode in addition to the main anode. Or sometimes it doesn’t – it is physically identical and just has a longer warranty (for which you pay a higher price).

    Water heaters have sacrificial anodes – instead of the water corroding the tank, it preferentially eats away at the anode rod, which is made of a metal (e.g. magnesium) with a higher negative electropotential than steel. The length of the warranty is the manufacturer’s estimate of how long the anode rode will last. Once the anode is gone, the water then quickly rusts out the tank and it begins to leak. Your water heater could last (almost) forever if you kept changing the $10 anode rod but no one ever does – they are tough to remove, especially if they have been rusting in place for 7 or 9 years, there is often not enough ceiling clearance to get the rod out, no one even knows that you are supposed to do this, etc. Every few years Washington increases the safety protections and/or the required level of insulation, so it’s just as well that you have to replace it every once in a while. Planned obsolescence at its best.

  62. @Almost Missouri

    Judging by how his competitors in this primary cycle treated him, 1980s and 1990s Joe was further to the right than Steve King and probably would have shook hands with Richard Spencer at Unite the Right

  63. @anon

    You had me confused for a few seconds there. I know that Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey have done a lot of fundraising in recent years to help teen-age cancer patients (Roger even visited the teen cancer ward at a hospital in my neck of the woods, Upstate South Carolina), but I wasn’t aware of them branching out into developing coronavirus testing kits. Presumably, you mean the WHO and not The Who………

    • LOL: Jonathan Mason
  64. George says:
    @Barnard

    what happened that he ended up selling cars?

    Scranton was part of the rust belt.
    https://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Aug27/0,4670,CVNBidenapossScrantonRoots,00.html

    His father was a successful salesman, but I see no evidence of him owning a dealership.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  65. @Art Deco

    Yes, Biden claimed by channeling Kinnock that he was the first Biden ever to go to college thanks to government action to create affordable tertiary education.

    Where does he stand on student loans?

    Even though there was no YouTube in those days, it seems improbably that Biden could have gotten away with reciting Kinnocks, speech. People are not stupid. Not all of them.

  66. @Art Deco

    Yes, John Sasso, long-time confidant and dirty trickster, was fired, but only to be brought back in time for the fall campaign.

    What you may not know is that Sasso leaked the tape to the media and later blamed the leak on the Gephardt campaign. Typical slimy progressive move.

  67. Steve, you’ve been led astray by a sloppy journalist.

    Biden’s father never “had it all” except perhaps in his dreams. He turned 20 in 1935; in the 1940 census he is living in the local YMCA and described himself as a “clerk-typist” on $1050 a year, with one year of college. Very amusingly, he is again listed with his parents, where he (or perhaps one of his parents) describes him as “superintendent of plant” making $1300 a year and with four years of college. His father is listed as “manager, oil company” on $3600 a year, with two years of college.

    There are no servants, either here, or in the 1930 or 1920 census (where the father is “salesman, oil company”.

    But the company was the American Oil Company, very much a big deal, then and now. To be manager of such a concern must surely bring with it wealth and prestige? No doubt, but Joseph Harry Biden was neither manager of the company nor one of its executives. He was an office manager. However, the poor man died at 47 – he was going steadily up the ladder, and might well have become a true executive had he lived into his 60s.

    Perhaps it was the frustration of knowing what might have been but wasn’t which made the son, Joe’s father, weave a story of a Gatsby-like early life which, well, ought to have been, damn it!

  68. Don’t be fooled, Biden is playing rope-a-dope on everybody with his senility shtick.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  69. @Jack D

    ” If you have to take a whole day off from work to replace a hot water heater, you’re doing it wrong. ”

    Not the point. In my world (meaning not the cloud world) either one starts work when they are told and works until the work is done, or they call off and don’t get paid. There are no half days, no sick days, and no personal days. You’ll notice I don’t do any posting during the week day after 6am or before 3pm CST at the earliest. I am curious how many of your clients are billed for hours that you actually spend posting comments on UR.

    “Nowadays with flex connectors…”

    No. One must use dialectic unions when connecting copper to steel. This prevents corrosion.

    “you should be able to do the whole thing in an hour.”

    Only if you manage to find a water heater with inlet/outlet lines that line up perfectly with the existing plumbing. Otherwise now you’re sweating, cutting and welding the copper to fit the new unit.

    As for the rest, you’re trying way too hard to swing your dick around like your the best jewish handyman since JC Himself, and for what, to prove Biden is an every man? I’m not impressed.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  70. @Hemid

    That the intensity of Leftist hate created powerful meme-magick to inadvertently elect Trump is the thesis of my essay “Lord Kek Commands!”, reprinted in Magick for Housewives (Manticore, 2018)

  71. LondonBob says:
    @Art Deco

    Why anyone would look to emulate Neil Kinnock?

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  72. Biden is one of those people who look great when they’re young & when they’re old. In between, their looks suck.

    • Replies: @Kim
  73. @Barnard

    Went to high school with a kid who I later learned was the son of the largest Ford dealer in suburban Detroit; FWIW, no one noticed anything supposedly high class about him.

  74. anonymous[584] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    He is more ancient than us Boomers, Mr. Disease.

  75. @Almost Missouri

    Imagine telling someone in the 80s that the Presidential contest of 2020 would be btw Sen. Joe Biden and Spy’s “stubby fingered vulgarian” Donald Trump. It’s like Idiocracy.

    • Replies: @Barnard
    , @Almost Missouri
  76. Barnard says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Using the Census to look back through multiple generations I am not finding any wealth in the direct Biden line of the family. Joe H.’s father, George T. Biden is listed as a produce dealer in 1900 living in a rented house. In the 1890 Baltimore directory his occupation is listed as “huckster,” seems fitting for Joe. George’s father was a carpenter. The New York Times report about pocket squares and polo uniforms appears to be a family tall tale that wasn’t critically examined.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  77. I went to The Nation to get their crosswords, and noticed that most of the half-dozen “most popular” articles are about how Bernie can still win over blacks:

    https://www.thenation.com/subject/politics/

  78. @Barnard

    Hucksters can have good decades and bad decades. A lot of hucksters did well in the 1920s.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  79. @JimB

    Well, maybe Trump doesn’t, and is only pretending (having figured out it was a winning strategy). As for Joe, aping the elite and scorning the lowers is pretty standard American status anxiety.

    As for why bother, why do some many multi-millionaires (and billionaires) keep at it, while others retire after a while?

  80. Barnard says:
    @James J. O'Meara

    One of the jokes in Back to the Future was 1955 Doc Brown being stunned and not believing Marty McFly when he is told Ronald Reagan is President of the United States. He responds with “then who is Vice President, Jerry Lewis!”

  81. @George

    The way Biden said his father “ran” the biggest dealership could mean either he owned it or he was the manager of it. The first is a gold mine, the second is a well-incentivized salary job.

  82. Art Deco says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Good catch. Someone was interviewed at the YMCA in York, Pa. (presumably the subject) on 9 April, indicated his occupation as ‘clerk-typist’ and indicated a year of tertiary schooling. The other interview took place on 16 April at a home on 2019 Wyoming Avenue in Scranton. What’s curious is that the oldest son is listed as a college graduate, the younger son as a high school graduate, and the daughter as having left high school after her junior year. If someone in the house was conning the census enumerator (an error prone occupational segment), they don’t appear to have been doing so globally.

    There is a house there today. It’s pleasant looking but not lavish and does have hallmarks of a piece of pre-war architecture. It’s appraised at just north of $150,000. The Biden’s were renting it.

    The Polk directory for Scranton issued 1939 lists Joseph Harry Biden as a ‘branch manager’. It lists his older son as a ‘plant manager’ and younger son Harry as a college student. Never had a clue where R.L. Polk got their information. I’ve appeared in such directories without ever being interviewed or answering inquiries. In 1937, they’re listed at 2202 Adams Av., a building which was replaced by a handsome duplex in 1950.

    On his draft card, which must have been signed in the latter part of 1940, he lists his residence and his father’s as ‘1712 Webster Avenue, Scranton’. On his address line, a clerk corrected the entry and listed the YMCA dormitory in York, the same place he’d been located in April. My guess would be looking at neighboring properties that that segment of Webster Avenue was rebuilt after the war. He married Catherine Finnegan the following year. His father-in-law, Ambrose Finnegan, was a supervisor in the advertising department of a local newspaper; it appears that by 1940 he’d worked in that department for 20+ years.

    Not sure what ‘manager’ or ‘branch manager’ mean in this context. I tend to doubt it means ‘office manager’ as there is no indication he held clerical positions in 1930 or 1920. He was a retail clerk in 1910 (while still in school), but he appears to have been working in his father’s store.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  83. @Old Palo Altan

    Joe is the son Jay Gatsby never had. Who says there are no second acts in American lives?

  84. Art Deco says:
    @LondonBob

    He was stealing Kinnock’s family history.

  85. @Steve Sailer

    Hucksters can have good decades and bad decades. A lot of hucksters did well in the 1920s.

    I recently attended a presentation on the women’s Ku Klux Klan chapter of Annie Hall’s Chippewa Falls. Nobody was better than they at running a money-making scam. The speaker called them a “pyramid scheme”.

    Whether they actually believed in women’s suffrage, they certainly ran with it. The revived Klan (inspired by the Griffith movie) didn’t take off until Bessie Tyler encouraged them to get the ladies involved. And boy, did they ever.

    There was quite a markup on those robes, and you had to order them from HQ. It was a precursor to the SPLC.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Elizabeth_Tyler

    Up north, they had to spook Lutheran Slovak farmers into fearing their “alien” German, Irish, and French Catholic neighbors.

  86. Art Deco says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    NB, the salary listed by the enumerator – $3,600 per year – would have been a handsome salary in 1940 – nearly 4x what the average employee was paid in 1940. I doubt that was what he was actually paid.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  87. notsaying says:
    @Rob (LM)

    I voted for Trump for the very reasons you mention (immigration and national question) but in my real life I criticize him every day for the very reasons you mention, too. Around here I do not attack him personally though because it seems impolite. Also I suspect that as a Democrat who wants much less immigration that I make people wonder if I’m for real. I am.

    He supposed to speak seriously tonight about coronavirus. Will he be capable of setting aside his instinctive impulse to minimize it and pretend nothing bad can — or could ever — happen to us or him either?

    My guess is no.

    As the years go on I find it more amazing that he ever made it into or through an Ivy League college. He is anti-rational in his thinking in a way that makes me wonder how he functions on a day-to-day basis and how other people can function with him around and in charge.

  88. @Art Deco

    “Office manager” is given for his last two positions in his obituary. The 1940 house is quite a nice one on a stereotypically “leafy” avenue. He was paying $45 a month for it (and had been paying $65 a month a decade earlier for an apartment). Thus my point that he was moving up steadily, and only death the next year kept him from further steps up the ladder, possibly even a spectacular one.

    Thus, again, my speculations about Joe’s father’s frustrations, and how he dealt with them.

    On the other hand, the funniest line in the report which Steve uses is this: “with a perfect pocket square”, as though this petite bourgeois trick is an infallible sign of “class”.

    Mr Broder, meet Paul Fussell. Or, since he’s dead, read his book.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  89. @Art Deco

    Yes indeed (to both your points).

    The more one looks at it, the more likely it seems that it was Mrs Biden who ws home when the census man called, and she let her fancy fly.

  90. Jim Given says:

    I think that in most of America the Sixties didn’t arrive until 1972-1973.

    • Agree: Hibernian
  91. Forbes says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    more than anybody else on planet earth, should be called to account for a political worldview, an explanation of how and why things are the way they are, and how they should be.

    Bingo! Biden is the epitome of the establishment and the status quo for the past 5 decades. He’s just along for the ride–because it’s been pretty good for him.

  92. Danindc says:

    Biden would be much more likable if he wasn’t a politician
    Trump would be much less likable if he wasn’t

    You can have that insight Steve. I haven’t donated cash in a while.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
  93. @vinny

    Are there any Democratic car dealers left?

    Maybe the ones who are still with
    Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth after Obama forced the closure of so many of those.

  94. Art Deco says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Mr Broder, meet Paul Fussell. Or, since he’s dead, read his book.

    Why not read his estranged wife’s book? Or some of the reviews of his book.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  95. Kim says:
    @Polynikes

    Trump is a white Rodney Dangerfield.

  96. Kim says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I wonder how he’d look without the plastic surgery, plugs, and liposuction.

    • Replies: @Kim
  97. @Dumbo

    You’re on to something here.

    Lots of Americans are starting to figure out that having servants can be really convenient. But it’s hard for Nice White People to boss around people who look like themselves, and it’s impossible for them to even conceive of employing black people as domestic help.

    When you combine this semi-secret selfish desire to be served with SJW Substitute Savior Syndrome status-signalling, you get a mania for open borders, plus a lot of mostly-unintentional alliteration.

  98. Jack D says:
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    Nowadays they sell (many tanks come pre-installed with) dielectric nipples so you don’t need to use a dielectric union. Sweating and welding is out. It’s all flex, sharkbite and PEX nowadays. Home Depot is open nights and weekends. How I bill my clients is none of your business. I am not trying to prove anything, esp. regarding Biden who I think is an idiot promoted far beyond his station. He should have topped out at State Assembly. I hear JC was pretty good with carpentry but I’m a much better plumber and electrician.

    • LOL: JMcG
  99. anon[372] • Disclaimer says:

    Basically, Joe is the car dealer’s son, the cocky but friendly high school football star (wide receiver) with the cool car.

    I like Joe’s story. I like Joe’s car. I just don’t like Joe.

  100. Kim says:
    @Kim

    And botox and porcelain choppers.

  101. JMcG says:
    @Art Deco

    Art, thanks for your long history of well written, even handed commenting here. I certainly don’t always agree with you, but I’ve always found myself better informed after having read what you’ve written.

    • LOL: Twodees Partain
  102. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    “And unlike Joe Biden, I can tell you who Hubble actually was, and what he thought, and why he thought it.”

    Joe could at least tell you that the universe of idiots is expanding all the time. He is counting on those morons to elect him.

  103. @Elmer T. Jones

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

  104. @I, Libertine

    Venus was a good song. Now I’m willing to check out the rest of their catalog. Thanks.

  105. @James J. O'Meara

    I think of it often.

    But wasn’t Spy‘s phrase “short fingered vulgarian”?

  106. @eah

    A caller to Mark Simone’s radio show made an interesting point about Biden: He’s always challenging people to a push-up contest or even to a fight, but his handlers insist he be allowed to sit during his next debate with Bernie, as standing up for two hours is too big a strain for him.

    • Replies: @black sea
    , @ScarletNumber
  107. black sea says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    You would think that someone would point out to Biden, diplomatically, of course, how easily subject to ridicule his “septuagenarian tough guy” persona is. Not to mention undignified. If we wanted a prize fighter in the White House, we certainly wouldn’t select someone who’s nearly 80.

    • Replies: @Negrolphin Pool
  108. @notsaying

    As the years go on I find it more amazing that he ever made it into or through an Ivy League college.

    He went to Fordham and Penn. Nothing to brag about.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  109. @Dumbo

    Wikipedia claims Jews only number 180,000 in Brazil. And this comes in the same chart that claims there are 12M Jews in the U.S. But my impression matches yours: Many of Brazil’s narrow elite are Jewish.

    It would only be rational if you were a self-conscious Jew to look at Brazil’s socioeconomic picture and conclude that the U.S., whether harboring (((6M))) or 12M of your coethnics, might be transformed into a sort of super Brazil, with Jews constituting a permanent managerial class and a dwindling white goyim population serving in a support role.

    Beneath that, the vertical shtetls cast the lower orders into permanent darkness.

    • Replies: @Dumbo
    , @Jack D
  110. @black sea

    I thought “The Irishman” was good. But it didn’t hold up well on even the first repeat viewing, unusual for Scorcese. It’s not even in the same ballpark as “Goodfellas”, despite having much in common thematically and in its cast.

    The problem? Special effects aside, the actors are just too damn old, especially DeNiro.

    Beyond a certain age, even dangerous men lose whatever component of their charisma is based on perceived capacity for direct violence.

  111. @Art Deco

    I have no interest in Paul Fussell’s private life, nor even his public one.

    As for his book on class in the USA: it is funny, usually accurate, and only marred by his obsessive loathing for Reagan and any kind of social conservatism.

    A discerning reader can notice that, and still find the book worth the few hours of his time it takes to read.

    Particularly if he is as ignorant of real class markers as is Mr Broder.

  112. @notsaying

    Scott Alexander’s book review of “The Art of the Deal” explained the essential Trump: to be a successful real estate developer, you’ve got to persuade a whole lot of different parties that your project is indeed going ahead and that nobody else will torpedo it. It’s not lying if you make it happen!

  113. Dumbo says:
    @Negrolphin Pool

    I don’t know about absolute numbers, but the two richest people in Brazil are two Jewish bankers, Safra and Lemann. Other rich bankers such as Salles are supposedly not Jewish, but I’m not sure. People of Lebanese (Christian) origin are also common in the elite. But also some Portuguese, German, Italian, and even a few Asians now (Chinese and Japanese).

  114. Joe is now obviously in a state of deep decline from the mediocrity he has been his entire life. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Biden#Early_life_(1942%E2%80%931965). He apparently used the services of a friendly doctor to get himself out of the draft during the height of the Vietnam War and never demonstrated against it, like a lot of us did. He only qualified for the pure Chicken Hawk label later when he threw in his support for the aggression against Iraq.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  115. Jack D says:
    @Negrolphin Pool

    This is only rational in your fever dreams. Even if every single Jew in Brazil was elite (btw, the latest news is that Bolsonaro aid Fabio Wajngarten, who posed for photos with Trump last weekend at Mar a Lago, has Covid) there are not enough of them to make up the entire elite of Brazil. In fact, the elite of Brazil (indeed all of Latin America) is more Maronite Christian Lebanese than Jewish, but for some reason people are obsessed with Jews in a way that is not triggered by Maronites). No one rants about a Maronite Conspiracy.

    America has always had a class structure that was connected to race, religion and ethnicity. At the top you had WASPS (and a small # of Sephardic Jews who even in colonial times joined the elite). And at the bottom you had blacks, Irish and other mostly Catholic ethnics (Italians, Poles, etc.) doing agricultural labor, building the railroads, working in the mines, etc. If anything, things have gotten more mixed up and you now have non-whites in the elite, more whites in the lower classes, etc. as society has become more meritocratic.

    It sounds to me that what really pisses you off is that anyone other than WASPs, especially not Jews, is allowed to join the elite, not like the good old days when elites were for WASPs only.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Negrolphin Pool
  116. JimB says:
    @notsaying

    As the years go on I find it more amazing that he ever made it into or through an Ivy League college.

    Getting in is hard, unless you have juice. Getting through is easy. The quality of undergraduate teaching at Ivy schools is actually quite low, these days. Ivy admissions have become a high school achievement prize, not so much a golden ticket to an exceptional education. It’s perhaps better to frame your acceptance and go to any college offering you a free ride scholarship. Although you might be less likely to meet your future business partner at Podunk U.

  117. TheJester says:
    @Dumbo

    My wife and I just got back from Mexico. We noticed caste arrangements similar to what you describe in Brazil:

    1. The people of wealth and power looked and acted like urbane Europeans …

    2. The people struggling against the odds to remain middle-class looked mestizo …

    3. The people in the sticks looked Amerindian. Indeed, we ran across many less than an hour outside Mexico City who did not speak Spanish. We were told they spoke Nahuatl (Uto-Aztecan … I looked it up).

    Both Mexican, Central American, and Hindu immigrants to the USA are bringing their caste system and caste-based cultures with them. It will be interesting how this plays out with respect to their prayed-for-assimilation into a previously unitary northern European culture … a culture that was systematically doing away with caste distinctions so radical that there were (allegedly) no differences between Whites and People-of-Color, men and women, and heterosexuals, transgendered, and homosexuals.

    I think I know the outcome: wide-spread identity politics based on competing ideologies fronting claims about intersectional oppression … a new meta caste system that overrides all other personal, social, and economic considerations. Soon, people’s personal identities, class, and social prospects will depend on their Pokemon scores measured against everyone else’s Pokemon score … a new, diverse caste system that moves people up or down the hierarchy as Pokemon scores change.

    Remember, like any good caste system, one is born into it; it’s fate; one has no control over their place and standing. If we’re lucky, we’ll end up with something like the 3,000 castes as in India. Hindi and Hispanic immigrants will feel welcome; they will feel so much at home that it will raise the question of why they left in the first place.

    Our Strength is the Diversity found in our new Identity-driven (Intersectional) Castes!

  118. ;Biden’s middle name, Robinette, from his paternal grandmother , is a common Hugeunot surname. Though he says it comes from a French soldier who accompanied Lafayette. According to this guy’s family tree, Joe is wrong.https://www.geni.com/people/Mary-Biden/6000000010309878367

  119. Art Deco says:
    @David Martin

    Biden would have been subject to conscription during the period running from 1960 to 1968. Prior to 1968, student deferments were available for graduate school, so he would have had one up until six months before he aged out of eligibility. By time he finished his law degree, his wife was pregnant. Not sure a medical deferment, temporary or durable, would have been necessary in his case.

  120. Art Deco says:

    https://www.archives.gov/files/foia/pdf/biden-selective-service-records-2.pdf

    A digitized copy of a Selective Service register was released under an FOIA request. Biden’s entry is one from the end. If these tired eyes are reading it correctly, he was re-classifed I-Y on 14 May 1968.

  121. anonymous[117] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    And…that proves that I am wrong? Or what?

    Step up , knucklehead…what is your point?

  122. @Jack D

    Jews have been disproportionately involved by huge margins in activities that necessarily lead to a society that looks more like Brazil and less like America prior to the 1950s. Jews also tend to be highly intelligent.

    Therefore it follows that the easily foreseen outcome is sought.

  123. Hibernian says:
    @ScarletNumber

    No less brag worthy than Harvard, at least at the undergrad level, plagued by grade inflation.

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