The thing about Vice President Joe Biden is that he's not cool. He isn't. He isn't now and he wasn't when he was younger. But on the occasion of the generally beloved vice president's 71st birthday, it's worth looking at what his popularity as a cultural figure says about being cool in Washington. Spoiler: Being older helps.
We're on a bit of a hobbyhorse about coolness these days, having earlier this week broken down the "coolness" of each of the 2016 candidates by evaluating how cool they were in high school. The idea, which we proved without question, is that the cooler the candidate, the more likely he or she is to be elected president. Seriously. Proven.
Here's how cool Biden is on the six metrics we measured for that scientific study: his romantic life in high school and college, looks, fashion sense, use of alcohol and drugs, musical taste, and involvement in sports and activities. (Again providing the fashion assessment: actual high school senior/homecoming queen Bridget Jones.)
Here's what Biden's "how cool in high school" profile looks like.
- Romantic life: 4. Biden married his first wife after meeting her in college. He was so smitten, in fact, that he dropped off of his school's football team so he could go visit her on the weekends.
- Looks: 7.56. Again, we used Anaface.com to test how symmetrical Biden's face is. He was deemed to be more attractive than President Obama and Sen. Marco Rubio, but not as good-looking as Sen. Rand Paul or Hillary Clinton.
- Fashion: 8. Bridget says, "He is so cute and had definite 10 out of 10 potential (I love the skinny ties) but the haircut in the one picture (at right) is not even ok."
- Alcohol and drugs: 0. Biden is an avowed teetotaler. He told The New York Times in 2008, "There are enough alcoholics in my family." To be clear: this is a bold and admirable stance! But it wouldn't have made him cool in high school. At least, not in high school in the 1960s or 1970s.
- Musical taste: 2. Biden told People that his favorite band is The Chieftains. Here is the YouTube search we did when we heard that name. They are an Irish band.
- Sports and activities: 7. Biden was on the football and baseball teams and was class president his junior and senior years.