As the MSM turns on President Joe Biden heading into the 2024 election, the Washington Post had an interesting piece on Thursday exploring a little-known connection between the Bidens and the du Pont family, which revolves around a 2001 case in which then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) was voted in as a prominent new member of a prestigious Golf Club, in Wilmington, Delaware, founded by a du Pont heiress.
That year, Biden, known for his “Middle-Class Joe” image and modest financial status, joined the exclusive Fieldstone Golf Club, a symbol of prestige and power. This move painted a contrasting picture: a politician aligned with working-class values, yet rubbing shoulders with the state’s most affluent family, renowned for their chemical company empire.
At the time, Biden walked a delicate line. On one hand, he campaigned as an Amtrak-riding “Middle-Class Joe” striving to make ends meet, and accurately described himself as “one of the poorest members of Congress” — reporting $221,000 in combined income with his wife that year and $360 in charitable contributions. -WaPo
Biden’s connection to the du Ponts extended beyond social interactions. His staffing choices, political allies, and personal real estate investments all reflected a deep integration with this influential family. His acquisition of a mansion built by a du Pont member further underscores this relationship.
Yet, Biden’s entry into the Fieldstone Golf Club raised eyebrows and led to a brief FBI investigation in 2007. The inquiry centered on how Biden obtained his club membership, especially as it involved an “unused” ticket from a company owned by the club’s founder, potentially bypassing a substantial partnership fee. The FBI’s probe, which included photographing Biden’s personal locker at the club, eventually closed without any allegations of wrongdoing. It’s unknown whether Biden was ever informed about the FBI investigation.
In response to an inquiry, the White House told the Post: “These bizarre suggestions from more than 20 years ago are confusing given the fact that the Post is reporting that President Biden was fully responsible for membership dues at the golf club and all out-of-pocket costs associated with it. Frankly, the Post’s own reporting suggests this supposed matter was closed 15 years ago with no finding of wrongdoing. If you want to dig deep on who’s funding a president’s golf habits, we might have some suggestions.”
Yet, this story reveals the delicate balance Biden navigated between his public identity as a relatable politician and his private interactions with Delaware’s elite. While maintaining his image as a defender of middle-class interests, Biden also sought inclusion in the state’s upper echelons, epitomized by his association with the du Ponts and his membership at Fieldstone.
For someone raised in Delaware with Biden’s blue-collar background, “it would be quite an accomplishment” to rise into the same social circles as the du Ponts, said Joseph Hurley, a Wilmington attorney who grew up with Biden and represented Moseley.
“It’s like, ‘I’ve really arrived,’ because the du Ponts were the family, the king’s-family type thing,” he said. -WaPo
Biden often cited the long role of the du Pont family in Delaware in his family story – writing in his memoir that his father moved the family from Scranton, PA to a suburb of Wilmington, which was made more economically stable thanks to so many well-paid DuPont employees.
“DuPont meant security for today and better times for the future,” Biden wrote.
Years later, Biden recalled that his mother urged him to value his heritage with as much pride as the state’s best-known family. “Like I’m a du Pont or something,” Biden recalled. “You’re a Biden. Nobody is better than you, and everybody’s equal to you,” his mother told him.
Still, he envied the position and power of those who founded the DuPont company.
Elected to the Senate in 1972, he served in Congress alongside Rep. Pierre “Pete” du Pont IV, who later became Delaware’s governor and ran for president. Biden’s close adviser and Senate chief of staff, Ted Kaufman, had worked for DuPont as a plastics engineer.
In 1974, Biden spent $185,000 to buy what he called a “gorgeous … enormous” mansion built six decades earlier by a du Pont family member in Greenville, Del. The home, which he named “the Station,” served as a base for Biden’s unsuccessful 1988 presidential campaign; he sold it for $1.2 million in 1996 and then bought a four-acre lakefront property in Greenville. -WaPo
The Biden-du Pont connection, reinforced by this membership, raises questions about potential influences and reciprocal favors within these elite circles.
In particular, it seems appropriate to revisit a controversial 2009 plea deal offered by then-Attorney General Beau Biden to a du Pont heir accused of raping his own daughter when she was a toddler. Richards was originally charged with two counts of second-degree rape, which carried a minimum of 20 years behind bars. Instead, he pleaded guilty in 2008 to fourth-degree rape, which carries no minimum prison time.
The deal was offered to du Pont heir Robert H. Richards IV, who had confessed to the fourth-degree rape of his 3-year-old daughter. He was spared prison time, a decision that sparked public outrage and scrutiny. Beau Biden defended the decision in 2014, citing the case’s weaknesses and potential for loss at trial, but these justifications were met with skepticism, given the family’s history with the du Ponts.
The plea bargain’s leniency towards a figure from a wealthy and powerful family contrasts sharply with the typically harsher sentences meted out to less privileged offenders. This disparity points to a potential bias within the judicial system, influenced by socio-economic status and connections.
The link between the Bidens and the du Ponts, established years earlier through Joe Biden’s golf club membership, suggests a narrative of mutual benefits and unwritten understandings among Delaware’s elite. While there’s no evidence of a link, the timing and context of these relationships paint a picture of intersecting interests and shared spaces between powerful families.