New reporting from the Washington Post details how former vice president Biden has earned millions of dollars since leaving the White House in what the Post described as "an explosion of wealth."
Biden's newfound wealth since leaving public office has mostly come from paid speeches, some of which earned him as much as $200,000, and book deals. The book deal for his 2017 memoir Promise Me, Dad was reportedly worth $8 million and covered three books from Biden and his wife, of which two have been published.
The former vice president's campaign said he has given fewer than 50 paid speeches in the years since serving alongside President Obama but declined to give further details to the Post about how much he made from these speeches. Four contracts unearthed by the Post show Biden making between $150,000 to $200,000 per speaking appearance.
According to the Post, Biden requests the same meal of "angel hair pomodoro, a caprese salad, topped off with raspberry sorbet with biscotti," before delivering his paid speeches. Hosts were asked to have the meal prepared 30 minutes ahead of Biden's arrival at the speaking venue. Additional requests from the Biden team included a fully stocked beverage selection of bottled water, Coke Zero, Regular Coke, Orange Gatorade and black coffee as well as a full-length mirror and portable steamer.
During his 36-year career in the Senate, Biden consistently referred to himself as the least wealthy Senator in the chamber. His new wealth runs "the risk of cutting against a core message of his campaign: that unique among the presidential candidates, he can connect with and represent the middle class," the Post wrote.
The Bidens' recent housing expenditures put them far above the living standards of most middle-class Americans. Biden and his wife began renting a home from a prominent liberal donor near the Naval Observatory in Washington D.C. shortly before the end of his tenure as vice president that was purchased for $4.25 million in 2016 and additionally purchased a 4,800-square-foot beach house in Delaware for $2.7 million.
Unlike other Democratic primary candidates, Biden has yet to release his tax returns from the past few years but said he intends to do so during the campaign. Biden's campaign has delayed filing a financial disclosure form required of all presidential candidates until mid-July. The form is expected to give a more in-depth breakdown of Biden's financial assets since leaving the White House.