Joe Biden is renting a lavish, multi-million dollar mansion in the Washington, D.C. suburbs as he seeks the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination.
Biden, who pitches himself as “Middle Class Joe” on the campaign trail, has resided in a 11,750 square foot Georgian-style mansion since departing the vice presidency, according to the Washington Post.
The house, which used to belong to the late Secretary of State Alexander Haig, is located on the Gold Coast of McLean, Virginia, overlooking the Potomac River. It was purchased for $4.25 million in June 2016 by Mark Ein, a venture capitalist and owner of the Washington Kastles tennis team.
It is unclear how much Biden pays in rent. Estimates from Zillow indicate it is likely $20,000 a month—provided Ein is charging the fair market rate. Biden rents the property, despite owning two houses in his home state of Delaware, including a recently purchased $2.7 million vacation home on the Atlantic Ocean.
Video from when the house was initially put on the market might indicate why Biden is keen to continue renting the property, even though Delaware is within driving distance.
“This elegant estate exhibits all of the architectural importance you would expect from a property situated in such a prime location,” says a British-accented TTR Sotheby’s International real estate agent in the video. “Surrounded by Washington elite and sitting high above the Potomac River, there is an undeniable grandeur in the design of this home.”
“From the moment you enter the residence, you realize this home was intelligently designed and executed by professionals,” the agent says. “Great drama is created in the contrast between the dark hardwood floors and the light walls and intelligent spatially planning allows this beautiful foyer to connect to many of the rooms.”
A selling point for the home appears to be it’s historical connection to Haig, who led the state department for 18 months during President Ronald Reagan’s first term. When dwelling on the home’s sitting room, the agent explained it was once Haig’s personal office.
“The sitting room is the very place Alexander Haig used as his office and it still retains his original desk,” the agent notes. “With fireplace and wet bar it is the perfect location to make important decision of state.”
The mansion has six bedrooms, ten bathrooms, and ample space outside for parking over 20 cars. It also boasts a grand piano, gym, marble fireplaces, sauna, theatre, and recreational space. The master bedroom takes up the “entire rear of the second floor,” a fact the agent notes makes it worthy of the Capitol region’s “hierarchy.”
“With its large bedroom, sitting room, private patio, enormous bathroom, and closets,” the agent says. “It is now worthy of Washington’s most important hierarchy.”
“It is both a quiet and welcome retreat from the rigors of the big city lifestyle,” the agent adds.
Biden, who during his years in the Senate was one of the chamber’s least well off members, is able to afford to the home thanks to extravagant speaking fees—ranging upwards of $200,000 per speech. Since signaling his intention to run for president, Biden has sought to regain some of his working-class appeal.
“I know I’m called Middle-Class Joe. It’s not meant to be a compliment. It means I’m not sophisticated. But I know what made this country what it is: ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” the former vice president said last year.
It is unclear if the details of Biden’s luxury living arrangement will make that message a tough sell to voters, especially former Democrats in the Midwest drawn to President Donald Trump’s “drain the swamp” message in 2016.
“Defined by style and luxury this estate offers a rare and unique opportunity to live amongst dignitaries and embassies in one of Washington, D.C.’s most prestigious areas,” the agent says in the video. “Given the quality of the construction and the meticulous detail in the design this may have already been the residence to a very important person, but I suspect it will be home to many more.”