In several articles Delaware Senator Joseph Biden (D) has been listed as one of the few choices Barack Obama will pick as a Vice President. Joe Biden who said “You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent” has also been linked to the recent Mississippi scandals.
Back in December, Peter Lattman of the WSJ Law Blog posted up an article titled: The Mess In Mississippi: The Joe Biden Connection. Posting a picture of Biden flanked by two whom have plead guilty in the Scruggs mess.
The article goes on to say:
Patterson and Balducci had grand ambitions — they wanted their firm to become a leading Democratic lobbying shop/law firm with a reach stretching beyond Mississippi, according to people familiar with their plans. They opened an office in Washington, D.C., and lured a number of influential Mississippi Democrats to affiliate with their firm, including Bill Allain, the former Mississippi governor.
Patterson has been a player in Mississippi Democratic circles for some time. Early in his career, he worked for John Stennis, the longtime U.S. senator from the state, and later served as a Mississippi Democratic party chairman. In 1996, his political ambitions were derailed when he resigned as Mississippi state auditor after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of filing false documents to avoid paying county taxes on car tags.
Most recently, Balducci and Patterson had thrown their weight behind the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. Joseph Biden, whom Mr. Patterson got to know while working for Sen. Stennis. Indeed, Balducci had a Biden bumper sticker on his red Ford truck, according to someone who rode in it. Their bet on Biden was that he wouldn’t win the presidency but would become Secretary of State under a Hillary Clinton administration, according to two people familiar with their thinking.
In August, Balducci, Patterson, Allain, Scruggs, and two others hosted a Oxford fundraising event for Biden. Employees of Patterson Balducci have contributed about $26,000 to the Biden campaign, according to fundraising records. (Click here for an invitation to the fundraiser and here, here, and here for info on the Biden contributions; and here for info on Scruggs contributions.)
The Law Blog has asked the Biden campaign several times for comment on his connection to Patterson Balducci but has not heard back.
Overlawyered then posted this bit of info about Joey Langston, another whom plead guilty related to one of Scruggs’ legal issues:
In presidential politics, Langston has recently been a repeat donor to the quixotic (and, since Iowa, defunct) campaign of Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), a lawmaker whose high degree of seniority on the Senate Judiciary Committee makes him important to ambitious lawyers whether or not he ever attains the White House.
Anita Lee reported in the Sun Herald in 2007:
Langston said a consulting firm headed by Jim Biden, brother of U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, also received a fee for helping keep up with discussions in Washington. “It was a politically intensive matter, this issue of tobacco,” Langston said.
Langston said Jim Biden was not selected because his brother was a senator. Joe Biden and the Booneville attorney are friends and the senator has stayed at Langston’s house on Lake Pickwick. They met through Steve Patterson, who worked as southeast director for Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign, Langston said, and later served a stint as state auditor.
FOLO even questioned how and why the whole group associated with the Scruggs mess got so chummy with Joe Biden.
Just today, Andy Taggart brings up the speculation about Obama selecting Biden:
Speculation is mounting that Barack Obama might name Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware as his running mate, maybe as soon as tomorrow.
Sounds fine to me. I think it would be good to have an articulate, clean and bright guy like Joe Biden running for Vice President on the Democrat side.
Oh, wait. That’s the guy running for President. Biden is the guy who plagiarized the speech about his ancestors and the paper in law school. I always get those guys mixed up.
Taggart is referring to Biden’s propensity for plagiarism remarked about here:
In 1965 Biden plagiarized while writing a paper as a student at the Syracuse University Law School in a legal methods course which he failed because of that copied paper. Such “stressless scholarship” as it is euphemistically called has become all too common in the modern Internet era with countless cheatsites and “research services” offering to sell students papers on topics from A to Z.
In an article entitled “Biden’s Belly Flop”, Newsweek printed Joe Biden’s yearbook picture from his college days and a copy of his law school transcripts with the big “F” in his transcripts circled. Biden was given a chance to repeat his legal methods course, and above the “F” his retake grade of 80% was eventually penciled in. Being a repeat offender when it came to plagiarism made things much, much worse for Biden than they might have been otherwise in his failed bid for the Democratic presidential ticket in 1987.
Senator Biden’s plagiarism of a speech by British Labor Party leader Neal Kinnock took place at a campaign stump at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. In closing his speech, Biden took Kinnock’s ideas and language as if they were his very own inspired thoughts, prefacing Kinnock’s ideas with the phrase “I started thinking as I was coming over here . . . “. Little did Biden suspect that video footage of this speech would be spliced together with footage of Kinnock’s speech in an “attack video” which would be distributed by members of the Dukakis campaign.
Biden initially denied any wrongdoing, claiming that this was just an inadvertent lack of acknowledgement. Yet there were other instances of rhetorical borrowing from speeches made by Robert F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey. And the fact that Biden had given other speeches using the Kinnock passages without acknowledgment suggested that the lifting was more than just an inadvertent oversight.
With all the press he was receiving over his Neal Kinnock plagiarism courtesy of the Dukakis “attack videos”, Biden was quickly becoming the “most famous political plagiarist of our time”, as Thomas Mallon describes the unfortunate Delaware senator.
If he makes it as the VP choice, wonder if the mainline news media will question these connections.