With that in mind, I thought I'd stray from the usual fare to share a story about how Biden first was elected to the US Senate in Delaware. It might be because of a union mobster and hit man known as Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran.
Sheeran's life story is told in a book called "I Heard You Paint Houses," in which the Irishman confesses to having killed Hoffa. That was the first thing Hoffa said to Sheeran when Pennsylvania crime boss Russell Buffalino introduced Sheeran. Painting houses, by the way, was a mobster's polite way of discussing murder. He first earned how to kill during WWII, where he would slaughter German POWs.
Sheeran was President of Teamsters Local 326, based in Delaware, and supported Joe Biden in '72 when he first ran for the US Senate against incumbent Caleb Boggs.
It was a close race and Boggs decided to run ads in Delaware's two newspapers on the weekend before the election. A lawyer Sheeran liked wanted to make sure those newspapers never got delivered.
Here's how the Irishman explains it:
"I told my friend the lawyer and the guy he had with him that they could count on me to get it handled. I always had a lot of respect for that lawyer and thought Biden was better for labor anyway. I told him that once we put up the picket line I would see to it that no truck driver crossed the picket line. The Teamsters would honor the informational picket line of the other union, whatever name they used.Incidentally, Biden won that race by just 3,162 votes.
"The line went up and the newspapers were printed, but they stayed in the warehouse and they never were delivered. The newspaper company called me up and wanted my men to go back to work. I told them we're honoring the picket line. He asked me if I had anything to do with the blowing up of a railroad car that had material that was going to be used in the printing of the newspaper - whether it was paper or ink or some other supplies, I don't know. But no people got hurt in the bombing. I told him we're honoring the picket line, and if he wanted to hire some guards to keep an eye on his railroad cars he should look in the Yellow Pages.
"The day after the election the information picket line came down and the newspaper went back to normal and Delaware had a new United States Senator. ...
"There have been things written about this incident and I am always mentioned in them. They say this maneuver is what got Senator Joe Biden elected. Especially the Republicans say that if those newspaper inserts from the Boggs side got delivered inside the newspapers it would have made Joe Biden look very bad. The Boggs ads coming as they almost did that last week there would have been no time for Biden to repair the damage. I have no way of knowing if Joe Biden knew if that picket line thing was done on purpose on his behalf. If he did know he never let on to me."