We’re Reaching Here: Joe Biden’s New York Connections


All politics is local, they say, so there has to be a New York angle to Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden for the Democratic Vice-Presidential nomination. But there isn’t, much. We do recall that it was the New York Observer‘s Jason Horowitz who back in January caught Biden calling Obama “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy” in Presidential politics. The remark caused a small ruckus at the time, and was defended by Pat Buchanan. But that was just a silly thing and, of course, as far as Democrats are concerned, it’s water under the bridge now.

Biden was married to a near-local girl, Neilia Hunter of Skaneateles, New York, in 1966, and had three children with her. She and their daughter Naomi were killed in a traffic accident in 1972. (Biden said in 2007 that the driver of the tractor-trailer who hit them “allegedly — and I never pursued it — drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch,” but a Delaware paper disputed this; look for Republicans to use it in their campaign onslaught.) Biden married Delawarean Jill Tracy Jacobs in 1977.

And Biden made the Bartlett’s-worthy statement on former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s Presidential campaign, “There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence — a noun, a verb, and 9/11.”

Expectedly, many contributors to Biden’s recent Presidential campaign have New York offices, including Citigroup and personal injury lawyers Weitz & Luxenberg, whose ads you may have seen on late-night and daytime TV. (As Delaware is a preferred address for credit card companies, it is unsurprising that Biden enjoys considerable largesse from Bank of America, which acquired Delaware card giant MBNA in 2005.)

The biggest local story, though, is that, in our largely Democratic state, Biden will certainly receive far more votes from New Yorkers than he ever received in Delaware.