Biden Finds Inspiration in Father's Tough Life

From riches to rags, Joe Sr. stayed classy
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2008 12:06 PM CDT
Joe Biden is seen with his family in Denver, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008. At left is Jill Biden, at right is Beau Biden and second from right is Hallie Biden.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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(Newser) – To understand Joe Biden's approach to life and politics, look no further than his father, writes the New York Times in a profile of the candidate today. Biden has long trumpeted his dad's slogan on the campaign trail—"the measure of a man is not how often he is knocked down, but how quickly he gets up"—and both men have to had live out the credo.

After a polo-playing youth in his 20s, Biden Sr. lost much of his wealth to an unscrupulous business partner and had to deal with drunken, classless bosses. But in the lean years, he always valued his dignity and made his son realize that "work is more than a paycheck." Biden Jr. returns to that theme in nearly every political speech as he courts blue-collar voters.