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Vice President Joe Biden, long known for making embarrassing verbal gaffes, echoed the cynical criticism many people levy against career politicians, stating he had stayed in the Senate for 36 years because he didn’t want to get “a real job.”
Biden was speaking to a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night, when he turned to praise the work of Richard M. Daley, the city’s former mayor of over 20 years.
“I never had an interest in being a mayor, ’cause that’s a real job. You have to produce,” Biden said, according to a White House pool report. “That’s why I was able to be a senator for 36 years.”
Biden was elected to the Senate in 1972 directly from the county council of New Castle County in Delaware at the age of 29. He turned 30 – the minimum age to become a senator – less than two months before taking office. Biden then served continuously as Delaware’s senator until 2009, when he became Barack Obama’s vice president.
Byron York of the Washington Examiner notes that Biden’s remarks recalled criticism Sarah Palin, a former mayor, posited at the 2008 Republican National Convention against Barack Obama. Both had been charged with inexperience – Palin as a former small-town mayor with only a couple of years under her belt as Alaska’s governor, Obama as a former community organizer with only a couple years under his belt as a U.S. senator.
“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer,” Palin said, “except that you have actual responsibilities.”
Biden’s comments also included an evaluation of Obama’s chances of reelection against any of the Republican presidential hopefuls currently seeking the GOP nomination.
“I don’t think we’ll be beaten by those candidates,” Biden said. “I think we’ll be beaten, if we are, by something happening in the Eurozone or something happening in the Gulf, which could be difficult for us, or this barrage of super PAC money.”
“But even with that I feel good,” he added.