Biden calls for unity (Meredith Newman & Karl Baker)
Most of the front page was take up by the start of this story, including Joe Biden standing at an open air lectern at his first public presidential rally in Philadelphia. From the picture, there seems to be an indeterminate number of people behind Mr. Biden but no one can be seen in front of him. A different picture on page 9 suggests that the crowd size (estimated as 6K by Biden supporters) was relatively modest.
The former vice president “presented himself as the candidate who can unite a divided country, yet offered few specifics on how he might do that.” Free community college – option to buy into Medicare program before retirement – a clean energy revolution that would create new jobs. No time was allowed for questions from the press. Ho, hum.
The main theme was beating President Trump in 2020, and to this end Biden observed that presidential candidates need not obsess about how angry they were to merit consideration. “If the American people want a president to add to our division, to lead with a clenched fist, closed hand and a hard heart, to demonize the opponents *** they already have a president who does just that.”
According to a recent poll, Biden is favored in the primary by 39% of PA Democrats and would take 53% of the PA vote in a hypothetical general election matchup with Trump.
The candidate included frequent references to his experience as vice president during the Obama administration, and claimed to have demonstrated his ability to work across the aisle with Republicans, as in passing the economic bailout bill in 2009. He added, however, that there are times, e.g., the passage of GovCare, where “only a bare knuckle fight will do.”
Don’t credit “the divider in chief” for a strong economy, Trump inherited that from the Obama administration and he is in the process of “squandering it.” And wouldn’t you know that Trump opposes action on global warming, so the only way forward is to “beat” him.
Interviews with various voters are described, which primarily favored Biden’s candidacy. One voter is mentioned, however, who was more attracted to the progressive policies of Bernie Sanders and/or Elizabeth Warren.