While President Obama was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin talking about the minimum wage at an A.F.L.-C.I.O. festival, Vice President Joe Biden was in Detroit, Michigan speaking to local union members and seemingly gearing up for a 2016 presidential run. On radio this morning, Glenn, Pat, and Stu broke down “Middle Class Joe’s” questionable strategy.
“Biden has just come out with his strategy,” Glenn said. “And, of course, because we're talking about… Joe Biden it's a genius strategy.”
As the Associated Press reported, Biden took a populist tone in his speech saying workers aren’t looking for a handout but a “chance.” He proceeded to brand himself a champion for the middle class.
BIDEN: You notice they always refer to me in the press as ‘Middle Class Joe,’ and my colleagues can tell you, in Washington that's not viewed as a compliment. That means you're not sophisticated. Okay?
When I get asked by the press: Why am I always talking about middle class? Why am I not talking about poor people or good, wealthy people? Well, let me tell you: If the middle class is doing fine, everybody does fine. The wealthy – the wealthy get very wealthy. The poor – they have a way up.
But here's the most important thing people are only now beginning to focus on. And, I mean not just progressives, not just Democrats, but everybody is starting to get it here and around the world, that the middle class is the reason why America, unlike any other nation in the 20th century into the 21st century, has been so stable economically, politically, and socially.
In case you were wondering, a quick Google search will shed some light on the root of the “Middle Class Joe” moniker. It was Biden himself who coined the term. In several stories, CNN has written something along the lines of “he often dubbed himself ‘Middle Class Joe.’” CBS News has also attributed the phrase to Biden.
“This is the arrogance now of these guys. He's been in this Administration so as long that that if you just say it, people believe it's true,” Glenn said. “Nobody is calling you that.”
While Glenn heard traces of former President Ronald Reagan throughout the speech, he believes Biden misses the main point about the middle class that has made America unique. Instead of striving be in the middle class, Americans always sought to attain more. But Biden doesn’t seem to understand that.
“We've always been a middle class country. We were mainly middle class,” Glenn said. “That is what's kept us stable for so long. You have a way to get rich. You have a way to escape poverty.”
“Never has it been the idea that you want to get to the middle class,” Stu concluded. “Like, my goal is to eliminate the way that the middle class lives now and make them live better.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP