As the feeding frenzy over Paul Ryan’s lies-that-aren’t-lies continues, I thought a little flashback might be in order. It’s hardly a rebuttal to the calumnies against Ryan, but that’s already been covered by others (See Steve Hayes’s excellent new piece here). Admittedly, Joe Biden wasn’t vice president in 1988; he was merely running for president as a U.S. senator. This is from my cover story on Biden from a few months ago.
. . . Biden also seems driven in no small part by a staggering intellectual insecurity. The figurative evidence room is full of examples. The most notorious comes from Biden’s 1988 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. He had been hounded about his law-school record and plagiarism problems (among other things, he copied five pages from a law journal for a 15-page paper and then claimed it was a footnoting error), and he was asked a question about his academic record by a resident of New Hampshire.
He responded: “I think I have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect.” He went on:
I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship. In the first year in the law, I decided I didn’t want to be in law school and ended up in the bottom two-thirds of my class and then decided I wanted to stay, went back to law school, and, in fact, ended up in the top half of my class. I won the international moot-court competition. I was the outstanding student in the political-science department at the end of my year. I graduated with three degrees from undergraduate school and 165 credits — only needed 123 credits. And I would be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours.
Most of these statements were outright lies. Biden graduated from college with just one degree, not three. Yes, he did win a moot-court competition, but he graduated 76th in his class of 85. He wasn’t the outstanding political-science student. And why is he still talking about how many credits he graduated with? Who does that?
Here’s the video, for those interested.