Sunday, August 24

OUTLYING PRECINCTS


Chris Cillizza, Washington Post -
It's a strange thing to say about a guy who has spent 36 years in the Senate but Biden genuinely has appeal to the blue-collar, working class voters that Obama struggled to attract during the Democratic primaries. Maybe it's Biden roots in hard-scrabble Scranton, Pennsylvania. (Hello, Michael Scott!) Maybe it's the fact that Biden takes Amtrak home to Delaware every night and knows the name of all the conductors and ticket agents on the route. Maybe it's the fact that his personal story -- his wife and daughter were killed a month after he was elected to the Senate in 1972 -- resonates with people who have suffered similar losses. Regardless of what it is, there's little question that, in the words of one Biden advocate, he passed the "have a beer" test. That is, Biden is the kind of guy most voters can imagine themselves having a beer (or, heck, a boilermaker) with -- a crucial hurdle when it comes to electing a president. . . .Biden's ability to connect with blue collar voters would almost certainly help Obama in Pennsylvania (aside from Biden's roots in Scranton, he has been a regular figure on Philadelphia television during his campaigns) as well as potentially in Ohio and Michigan as well. It's also worth noting that Biden is a strong Catholic. Obama lost white Catholics badly to Hillary Rodham Clinton during the primary season and, as Post pollster Jon Cohen notes, white Catholics have emerged as one of the bellwether groups in recent elections; the candidate who wins white Catholics has won the presidency in every election since 1972.

Joe Biden is one of the poorer members of Congress. Although he earns $186,000 a year and got an $800 honoraria for appearing on Bill Maher's show, his total assets are less than $160,000 with liabilities between $130,000 and $360,000. His income includes his Senate salary and a teaching stipend form Widener University. He doesn't have to report his wife's salary from Delaware Technical & Community College but her assets are less than $250,000.
CNET gives Biden a 37% rating, describing him a pro RIAA and pro FBI on tech issues

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