Biden's No Average Joe

Poor by Senate standards, VP candidate lives large
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2008 2:46 PM CDT
Joe Biden speaks at a train station in Delaware, Aug 25, 2008. Biden has long commuted by railroad, and has pushed for increased funding for Amtrak. His son is on Amtrak's board of directors.    (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower, file)
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(Newser) – On the campaign trail, Joe Biden gives the impression that he’s a normal, middle-class guy taking the train to and from work each day. But the home he’s commuting to happens to be a four-acre estate worth almost $3 million, the New York Times reports. Biden isn’t precisely wealthy—especially by Senate standards—but his high profile has given him access to resources and relationships beyond the grasp of most Americans.

He owes his current home, for example, to a variety of businessmen and bankers, some with Senate business, who in turn purchased his old home for $1.2 million, sold him the lakefront acres at cost, and lent him $500,000. “He was a VIP, so he was treated accordingly by the bank,” said the man who handled the mortgage.