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Politics & Policy

Joe Biden’s Baseball Tall Tale

President Joe Biden speaks from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., May 13, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Longtime observers of Joe Biden know that he has a very, very extensive track record of telling made-up stories about his own past. The tendency to embellish biography and put yourself in some anecdote for the purposes of making political or personal connections is a bad habit of many politicians, and it has become more epidemic with the growth of identity politics, in which who you are is often treated as more important to an argument than what you say. Even by that standard, however, Biden is unusual in the volume and duration of his fairy tales about his own life, most notoriously including the barrage of fabulism that collapsed his 1988 presidential campaign. It’s not an old-age thing; he was like this his forties. David Harsanyi has collected some of these Walter Mitty stories from Biden’s imagined past.

On Friday, hosting the World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers at the White House, Biden was at it again:

And I — I just want you to know that there — we have a congressional baseball game every year.  In the very beginning, I used to be a centerfielder and my Walter Mitty dream — anyways, it’s a long story, but — (laughter) — And my kids only remember two things that ever happened to me in my career — my boys.  And they’ve met kings and queens, they’ve gone to other countries.  But I played, when the first — the second congressional baseball game at the old stadium — the old Washington stadium.  And I hit one off the right-centerfield wall.  It bounced off the wall.  I think it’s 368 or — I don’t know what is exactly now — but off the wall.  And I’m rounding — anyway, to make a long story short, my kids remember that, all the rest.  And guess what?  The only thing I remember, too.  (Laughter.)  Here I thought: What could have been.  What could have been.

My immediate thought on hearing this, and probably yours as well if you know anything about Joe Biden, was “there is very little chance that this story is true.” Republican National Committee researcher Zac Parkinson did the digging into old newspapers, and the answer will not surprise you:

The White House declined comment when Politico asked about the latest fish story by its least reliable spokesman.


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