Patterico's Pontifications

8/25/2008

Now We’re Seeing Some Interesting Things About Biden’s Family That Heretofore Were Probably Only Important to the Voters of Delaware — I Wonder If the Rest of the Country Will Be So Disinterested

Filed under: General — WLS @ 2:55 pm



[Posted by WLS]

It was prominently mentioned over the weekend by many talking bobble-heads — especially those at MSNBC — that Biden’s family presents a compelling life-story.  Prominently mentioned was that his son Beau, the current Attorney General for Delaware, is set to be deployed to Iraq later this year with his National Guard unit.

Jim Geraghty over at National Review thinks is quite fair that if Biden wants to claim the rights of a proud father in spotlighting one son, he can’t look for the shadows to hide his other son.  All lawyers should have some curiosity about how an attorney just a little more than one year out of law school rose to the level of “senior vice president” at one of the largest credit card companies in the country, MBNA.  From the NYTimes:

In late 1996, the company hired the younger of Mr. Biden’s two sons, Robert Hunter Biden, known as Hunter, who had just graduated from Yale Law School, as a lawyer. The company promoted Mr. Biden to senior vice president by early 1998.

But apparently he didn’t stay with MBNA very long.  Also from the story:

And after the younger Mr. Biden worked at the Commerce Department on electronic commerce issues from 1998 to 2001, MBNA hired him back on a monthly consulting contract to advise it on such issues, aides said.

So he was promoted to Senior VP in early 1998, but sometime later that year he went to work at the Clinton Commerce Dept, where he stayed until Bush was elected in 2001.

He then left and became a “Founding Partner” in Oldacker, Biden & Blair.  Here is their website:  obblaw.

The NYTimes story states that Hunter Biden was once described by an MBNA official as being on a $100,000 a year retainer for MBNA since leaving the Clinton Commerce Dept. and “founding” his own law firm — 5 years out of law school.

Did I mention that Joe Biden was one of the few Dem. Senators to support the Bankruptcy reform bill that made it more difficult for consumers to discharge their credit card debts through bankruptcy?

— WLS

17 Responses to “Now We’re Seeing Some Interesting Things About Biden’s Family That Heretofore Were Probably Only Important to the Voters of Delaware — I Wonder If the Rest of the Country Will Be So Disinterested”

  1. Sorry to be a pedant, but you mean “uninterested,” not “disinterested.” (It’s one of my hobby-horses.)

    Every litigant wants a judge who is disinterested, but never one who’s uninterested.

    Beldar (7262f6)

  2. I hasten to add that (1) I agree with your post and (2) lots of other people, and perhaps even dictionaries, are blurring the distinction between the two words. You may be one of us who try to preserve the distinction, WLS, and merely mistyped. Sorry to be a butt-head.

    Beldar (7262f6)

  3. Biden’s ties go way back with MBNA – he also pushed favorable legislation for them back in the 80’s, so this relatively recent history is just par for the course. The question is why Biden feels the need to mention his son’s service in the armed services, while McCain has rarely mentioned it during this campaign, and is quite reluctant to bring it up, even after being given opportunities to do so.

    Dmac (874677)

  4. Could be nothing, if MBNA is one of those companies that toss titles like Senior VP around like candy. I know certain accounting firms and consulting firms give such titles to newly minted MBAs and JDs as a matter of course, to make them seem more impressive to clients.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  5. Beldar — I still feel obligated to allow you to be a butt-head towards me since I insulted you so badly the first time I responded to one of your posts.

    And that’s twice today I’ve been called on grabbing the wrong word off the top of my head. I think I need to take a break.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  6. Curious about the rules; since Saturday, is it racist to raise questions about the ethics or other attributes of Senator Biden?

    Old Coot (62fd89)

  7. Aplomb — I don’t necessarily disagree with you on the title thing. It would be nice for MBNA to verify that by confirming to a member of the press that it has about 3000 “Sen. VPs” on its payroll.

    But, harder to justify, is paying a 5th year attorney a $100,000 a year retainer on a “consulting contract” immediately after he opens his own law firm. There is no question they knew exactly what they were paying for.

    WLS (26b1e5)

  8. But, harder to justify, is paying a 5th year attorney a $100,000 a year retainer on a “consulting contract” immediately after he opens his own law firm. There is no question they knew exactly what they were paying for.

    That is something. It’s so transparent. “Hey, the next time you talk to your Dad- “

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  9. But, harder to justify, is paying a 5th year attorney a $100,000 a year retainer on a “consulting contract” immediately after he opens his own law firm. There is no question they knew exactly what they were paying for.

    Agreed, but unlikely that Republicans are going to get any traction from this interesting tidbit. Chelsea Clinton was hired by McKinsey & Co. shortly after returning from her Oxford fellowship. I remember hearing reports that she was given a position and salary usually reserved for MBAs, even though she only had a bachelor’s degree. Could it have been because McKinsey wanted to curry favor with a certain Senator from New York?

    My point being that this issue was not raised during Sen. Clinton’s bid for her party’s nomination, so I don’t imagine anyone will mention anything about Hunter Biden’s success in landing high profile clients to his burgeoning law firm, even though his daddy is now a nominee for Vice President.

    JVW (d54fc4)

  10. But his daddy’s vote, with a questionable retainer fee as a newbie…

    Vermont Neighbor (a066ed)

  11. JVW — I think the idea is simply that this is the flip-side to the Beau Biden greatest hit.

    If you want to talk about Beau, what about Hunter?

    WLS (26b1e5)

  12. “Did I mention that Joe Biden was one of the few Dem. Senators to support the Bankruptcy reform bill …”

    I would say 18 is more than a few.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  13. This is a good juicy post, WLS, I think I’ll be stealing from it for some time.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  14. Dictionary.com says that “disinterested” can be used to mean “not interested.” Probably just a concession to common usage, but whatever–WLS’s choice of word is defensible. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/disinterested

    Alan (c61d4e)

  15. Biden also has serious connections to Rezko. It seems to be common among Democrats. I’m actually less worried about simple greed and corruption than about their policies.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  16. Sorry to be a pedant, but you mean “uninterested,” not “disinterested.” (It’s one of my hobby-horses.)

    Every litigant wants a judge who is disinterested, but never one who’s uninterested.

    My favorite spy-story writer, Donald Hamilton, based whole plot-line on this distinction.

    nk (3c7a86)

  17. NEWSFLASH!!! Senators do things to benifit the economy in their districts! Obviously, Medical research and Credit Cards are huge in Delaware. Biden would have voted this way even if he had no children. Being offended at this is niave at best and devisive.

    Paul (e41aee)


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