In America, we have made a tradition of our presidents decompressing near the ocean. Kennedy had Hyannis Port, Obama had Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard, Trump had Palm Beach. Joe Biden’s summer home, a three-story Cape Cod–style mini-mansion in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, promises decidedly less glamour than previous presidential beachside escapes.
When the national press decamps from Washington to Rehoboth, they will cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and drive through an hour of southern Delaware’s Sussex County. The world has been introduced to Delaware through Joe Biden, but he hails from its northern tip, a Wilmington suburb populated by the sort of people who benefit from the state’s low corporate-tax rates. The bottom half of the state, often referred to as “slower-lower Delaware” because of the local accents and general pace of life, is a stretch of rolling fields emanating the distinct stink of chicken-shit fertilizer under the summer sun.