Over Presidents’ Day weekend at Camp David, Joe Biden did what many grandparents do all the time: play Mario Kart against their grandkids. Biden, however, did the impossible, and he beat his own granddaughter!
One detail from his monumental victory, though, hasn’t escaped the scrutiny of the internet: Biden chose Luigi, of all characters. You know, the second banana. The lesser-known, oft-overlooked sibling to his celebrity brother, Mario. A racer of completely average ability across the board and no special talents. It’s a racing choice that’s not just safe and boring (that’d be Mario), he’s almost aggressively bland. Seriously, with so many unique and charismatic racers to choose from, who the hell picks Luigi? And what does this reveal to us about the Leader of the Free World?
All that said — maybe we’re all wrong about this? Is there a logic to racing with Luigi? Is Biden some kind of genius? Is rolling with Luigi in fact a stone-cold gangsta move?
To find out, we asked Mario Kart fans, YouTubers, Super Mario Kart Championship winners and Luigi aficionados what they make of it all.
Here we gooooooo!
On Whether There’s Any Good Reason to Choose Luigi
Max Halper, Luigi fan: Being the younger brother, I always had to choose the character nobody else picked, which was Luigi. Even though I’m 24 now, he’s my favorite because of the same reason: He’s the underdog, the one who’s overshadowed by Mario. Being average is his advantage. He has control and speed — he may not be the fastest or the best to control, but he’s good at both. Each racer has their pros and cons, Luigi just averages it out so you don’t have too many cons.
cookieboy17, Mario Kart (and Madden) YouTuber: If your favorite color is green, or even blue, Luigi is a great pick, aesthetically speaking.
MrL314, Super Mario Kart/Luigi enthusiast: Luigi being average is what makes him a good racer to choose for most players. Other racers have special gimmicks that make them harder to learn and get used to, like heavyweights having a high top speed but slow acceleration, and lightweights having generally better handling but a lower top speed.
ScouB, Super Mario Kart World Champion: In Super Mario Kart, to some extent, the two bros can actually be quite useful in Grand Prix, even though they have a bit less top speed than the heavyweights like Donkey Kong or Bowser. They compensate with better steering and slightly better acceleration. It’s not uncommon to see Luigi being used by some top players in Grand Prix at the yearly SMK World Championships. Heck, many SMK Grand Prix 150cc World Records are driven with the bros.
Moll, Super Mario Kart Championship competitor: People often make the mistake of choosing the theoretical “fastest” characters, though those tend to have difficult handling and awful recovery speed after taking a hit. Dropping down a step or two in absolute speed in order to have an easier time getting round the tracks and better crash/item recovery is a good tactic to use, and something that characters like Luigi excel in.
On Whether Biden Is a Genius or a Fool for Choosing Luigi
cookieboy17: Picking Luigi isn’t genius. It’s a safe pick of an average Caucasian male in a world where LGBTQ and BLM movements are growing stronger.
Moll: I don’t know about genius, but it at least points toward him having some humility and acceptance that he isn’t the world’s greatest Mario Kart player — traits we haven’t seen from a president in a while.
Halper: I wouldn’t say he’s a genius for picking Luigi. He has great taste. Choosing a Mario Kart character is like choosing an ice cream flavor — does it make you a genius for picking vanilla? No, but it shows the type of taste you have.
On What Makes a Person Choose Luigi in the First Place
ScouB: There’s quite a Luigi cult on the internet, so most of the time it’ll also be driven by character preference rather than racing characteristics.
cookieboy17: Someone would pick Luigi if they like green, like well-cut mustaches or if they prefer males over females or gender-neutral characters.
MrL314: I choose Luigi mainly because he’s my favorite character, but playing as Luigi in games with massive differences in stats (like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe) has benefits in experiencing different racing styles, giving players a way to practice what driving techniques they’re better at.
Gamian, Luigi fan: A lot of people pick their character based off of stats, but really, in Mario Kart, it’s mostly the vehicle stats that matter. I still choose what’s considered the game’s “best vehicles,” but I just choose Luigi to drive them.
Moll: You can’t make someone choose Luigi, it has to be something that comes from the soul. Only a select few have what it takes to pick the Weege. That or the memes.
On What to Make of Biden Choosing Such an Overlooked, Average Character
cookieboy17: We should think that Biden is like the modern day Luigi of America, a former second fiddle now ready to assume the role of head honcho.
KVD, Super Mario Kart time-trial specialist: Perhaps it indicates he’s willing to stand for the underappreciated classes in our society, helping the underdogs to their time in the spotlights. Or perhaps he’s in possession of the secret knowledge that Luigi does in fact not play second fiddle to Mario at all (only few people in the world realize Luigi’s real prowess).
ScouB: A Luigi fan? Maybe he just had no idea who Luigi is and picked a random character. Or maybe he wanted to play it safe (racing characteristics wise) but didn’t want to look random by picking Mario, so he opted for Luigi.
MrL314: The best thing to make of him choosing Luigi was that his goal was to have fun with his granddaughter, rather than displaying feats of expert skill. To me personally though, as a massive Luigi fan, it tells me he has great taste in Mario characters.
Moll: It’s just a game, don’t look for too much deep meaning to it. Though if someone does pick Mario, then maybe be a bit concerned as they may be power-hungry sociopaths, like the bad brother in blue and red.
Halper: We now realize what type of personality Biden has. He’s someone who looks at the person who may be overshadowed. He can see how great a person is even though everyone else says they are the worst. He also is someone who sees the best of playing the middle. After all, Biden won that game of Mario Kart all thanks to playing that middle driver.