‘My Name’s Joe Biden and I Work For Leo Gerard’

Perhaps not even Vice President Joe Biden himself knows at this point whether or not he will be seeking the Democrat nomination for the presidency next year.  But at least Biden harbors no doubts regarding which side his political bread is buttered on.

On Monday he traveled to Pittsburgh to speechify at the Allegheny County Labor Day Parade. As journalist Byron York correctly noted in his report on Biden’s appearance in the former Steel City for the Washington Examiner (see the link below), “the whole point” of the vice president’s remarks was to “tell the unions: I’m with you. I’m your guy.”

In addition to commending Big Labor for having “the [forced union dues-generated] power to keep the barbarians [i.e., people who disagree with the Obama White House politically] from the gate,” Biden was probably more blunt than any other politician on the national scene today would be in characterizing his decades-long career as a politician.

Sharing the stage with AFL-CIO czar Richard Trumka and Leo Gerard, the top boss of the United Steelworkers of America union (USWA/AFL-CIO), Biden began his remarks to a crowd largely consisting of Big Labor militants with these words: “My name’s Joe Biden and I work for Leo Gerard.”

This is a classic example of what political pundits refer to as a “Kinsley gaffe,” a term that comes from journalist Michael Kinsley, who more than a quarter century ago wrote: “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth — some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”

Sad to say, many federal politicians could aptly be regarded as “working for” Leo Gerard, Richard Trumka, and other union bosses. What makes our shoot-from-the-hip vice president remarkable is that he’s willing to acknowledge his subservience to Big Labor in public. In that regard, at least, Biden is refreshing.

Sad to say, many federal politicians could aptly be said to be “working for” AFL-CIO czar Richard Trumka (far left) or steelworkers union chief Leo Gerard (second from left). What makes Vice President Joe Biden remarkable is his willingness to acknowledge his subservience to Big Labor in public. Image: AP photo.

Joe Biden woos Big Labor, ponders 2016 bid