What would Biden’s agenda look like if he runs? Here are a few hints.

September 10, 2015

NEW YORK – Vice President Joe Biden is not campaigning for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Yet.

But as he ponders whether to join the race a, check out the issues he’s highlighting as part of his official duties: women’s rights, the minimum wage, and U.S. support for Israel.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference  announcing the award of approximately $80 million in grants to eliminate backlogs of untested sexual assault evidence kits or

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference announcing the award of approximately $80 million in grants to eliminate backlogs of untested sexual assault evidence kits or “rape kits” in New York, September 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Biden is a longtime advocate for all three issues, so doing events related to them is not a stretch.

But it is also a convenient way to show Democrats the issues he would emphasize if he ends up making another White House bid.

Take women. Though Clinton would have a significant advantage with that important constituency because of her gender and her record of service, Biden’s own record is, as he likes to say, “no joke.”

As a U.S. senator he authored the Violence Against Women Act, and on Thursday, during a trip to New York, he announced millions of dollars in grants to help jurisdictions around the country test rape kits that could help identify rapists who have not been convicted.

“It sets women free who have been victimized,” Biden said of the effort to make sure that a backlog of kits that have sometimes sat for years without being tested would no longer sit on shelves unnoticed.

Later in the day he appeared with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to highlight efforts to boost the minimum wage.

Standing under a sign that read “Fight for Fair Pay,” Biden raised his voice while talking about the benefits of putting more income in Americans’ pockets.

“Raising wages is good for businesses,” he said.

Income inequality and boosting the middle class is expected to be a dominant issue in the election.

Lastly, Biden will need support from Jewish voters, another key Democratic constituency. On Wednesday night, before his New York trip, the vice president welcomed a group of Jewish supporters to his official residence ahead of the upcoming religious holidays.

He defended the nuclear deal with Iran and choked up thanking them for their support after his son Beau’s death.

These were not campaign events. Really. But the message, and the emotion, would translate pretty quickly if he decides to put his hat in the ring.

 

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