Biden has great populist appeal but is ambivalent about running for president
Pressure has been mounting for Vice President Joe Biden to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. While marching in Pittsburgh’s annual Labor Day parade, the crowd chanted ‘Run, Joe, Run!’
“You got to talk to my wife!” Biden called out in response.
Although he remains cagey on the subject, the vice president was in full campaign mode as he gave a speech at the headquarters of the United Steelworkers in downtown Pittsburgh.
Biden took to the podium wearing a black and gold United Steelworkers hat. Before the hundreds of union members present, Biden lamented the growing gap between rich and poor.
“The tax code’s not fair. It’s simply not fair,” said Biden. “The wealthy aren’t paying their fair share. There used to be one America.”
His short speech highlighted trends that would almost certainly be part of his platform if he chose to run: progressive, populist policies that focus on bolstering the middle class.
Biden has long been a proponent for tax reform (mostly targeting the rich), infrastructure investment, and better access to education.
“In D.C., I’m known as ‘Middle Class Joe,’ and they say it in D.C. not like a compliment,” said Biden. “It’s like I’m unsophisticated.”
Biden has frequently stated that he was not sure his family had the ‘emotional energy’ needed to endure another presidential campaign. The pain of the losing their son Beau Biden may behind the families reluctance to return to the public spotlight.
As he decides whether or not he will run, Biden has been vocal about his support to a fellow populist, Bernie Sanders. “They’ll probably say (I’m) competing with Bernie Sanders, who is doing a helluva job by the way.”