New York Times Couldn’t Help But Notice Big Pimpin' Biden Throwing His Rollie To the Sky

joe biden

The New York Times continues its relentless investigation into whether President (damn right) Joe Biden is sufficiently broke ass to lead. Last week, the Times dropped a thrilling expose on "Middle Class" Joe's Peloton bike, and just a couple days later, the paper of Robin Thicke records was back with another daring “scoop."

Really?New York Times

Alex Williams at the Times writes that "Biden may cast his arrival in the White House as a return to business as usual at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but there's at least one way he's breaking from prevailing presidential tradition: he wears a Rolex."

We narrowly avoided a democracy extinction event, but Williams “jokingly" claims Biden has broken “presidential tradition" with his choice of timepiece. You could probably make light of this back when presidents actually respected traditions, but the previous White House occupant refused to concede the election he clearly lost, resorted to corrupt and violent methods of overturning that loss, and, when that all failed, snubbed the incoming real president like a big sore loser baby.

I think our president can wear a damn Rolex.


At his inauguration, Mr. Biden laid his hand on the family Bible wearing a stainless steel Rolex Datejust watch with a blue dial, a model that retails for more than $7,000 and is a far cry from the Everyman timepieces that every president not named Trump has worn conspicuously in recent decades.

So-called “Middle-Class" Joe also wore an actual suit to his inauguration instead of a wooden barrel held up by suspenders. Will the hypocrisy never end? (There's also debate over whether Shinola is an “Everyman" brand, as the Times claims.)

Shouldn't the leader of the free world wear a power watch befitting his position? (Never mind that it costs the equivalent of dozen or so stimulus checks.)

The math here is based on the $600 checks Republicans grudgingly approved at the end of last year. Biden wants a combined $2,000 stimulus. A “dozen or so" of Biden's checks is about $24,000. The president's Rolex didn't cost anywhere near that unless it also lets him travel through time.

Williams reminds us that the man from Hope himself, Bill Clinton, "seemed to thumb his nose at aristocratic gold timepieces" and wore a simple Timex Ironman when he entered the White House in 1993. His 1991 Arkansas governor's salary was less than $40,000. Hillary Clinton earned $188,547 as a lawyer but after the whole Gennifer Flowers mess, she had no reason to put a Rolex on it.

Clinton was 46 at his first inauguration. As we keep telling you people, Joe Biden is 78. He's probably paid off his student loans by now.

[Clinton's] successor, George W. Bush, went even more down market, wearing a Timex Indiglo, the kind once sold at drugstores.

The choice of a watch that cost $50 or less was either a man-of-the-people statement — even though Mr. Bush was an oil scion who went to Yale — or a masterstroke of old-money preppyism, where any hint of gilded glimmer is considered vulgar.

Yeah, it's the second thing. The first option is nonsense. The literal son of a president who attended an elite boarding school and Ivy League colleges is not a “man-of-the-people" just because he wore a cheap-ass watch and almost died from a pretzel overdose.

Williams almost comes close to a relevant point, which is that actual working people like splurging on nice things. Unlike George W. Bush, they can't afford sprawling Texas ranches that are featured in Architectural Digest. They have to settle for a fancy watch to commemorate a lifetime of double shifts and bleeding ulcers. Then rich people sneer at them like they're extras from a 1990s rap video. This might also explain why Barack Obama settled for mid-priced watches.

When they were president, Clinton and Obama had children who weren't that far from the “wrap up one of Dad's ties for Christmas" phase of gift-giving. Biden has three adult grandchildren. Going in together on one big gift is probably safer than running the risk that they might each give him the same book about World War II.

Which brings us to Mr. Biden, who seems to balance both horological sensibilities (how centrist of him) and is unafraid to show off his haute Swiss watches, all stainless steel, including his Rolex, an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional and Omega Seamaster Diver 300M both of which retail for around $5,000 or $6,000.

This sentence is dreadful.

“Horology" is the study of the measurement of time. Biden isn't a Time Lord. The watch just helps him remember when one of his stories is running long.

So what to make of Mr. Biden's watches?

Nothing, absolutely nothing — what's wrong you with people?

Then again, he may just wish to make it to White House meetings on time.

This is what Williams' editor should have said when rejecting his big “Rolex story" pitch.

[The New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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