Joe Biden could prove to be something of a wild card in the Democratic presidential primary. The vice president, who has yet to officially announce his bid for the presidency, could easily upset the power dynamic forming between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. While Biden remains furtive about his political future, a recent upswing in his number of public appearances and an increasingly aggressive rhetoric seems to indicate that he will, in fact, toss his hat into the ring.
The vice president headlined a Pittsburgh Labor Day parade, electrifying the largely pro-union crowd with a speech that called for a fairer, simpler U.S. tax code that does not provide as many tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. Biden also called into question the gap between the sizable growth of productivity and the tepid growth of wages.
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“I am hot. I am mad. I am angry,” Biden insisted during a speech that preceded the parade. “Productivity went up 73 percent, but wages only went up 9 percent. … Something is wrong folks. CEOs now make 400-times as much as the average worker.” Biden was joined on stage by Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO.
By the end of his speech, hundreds of people throughout the crowd began to chant “Run, Joe, run!” Still, Biden continued to deflect questions from reporters as to his presidential ambitions as he walked along the parade route. When asked if he intended to join the Democratic primary and run against Clinton and Sanders, Biden cheekily replied, “I am definitely going to run part of this parade.”
Biden has already run for president twice before. In 1988, he emerged as a strong contender for the Democratic nomination but withdrew from the race after a series of plagiarism scandals. In 2008, Biden bowed out of the race at the beginning of the year due to a weak performance at the Iowa Caucus before eventually joining Barack Obama’s winning ticket.