Biden’s guiding message for Congress

by Paul Jarman George Marshall, the US president called “The Greatest Titan in History” by his compatriot Admiral William T. Sherman, was best known for his calling out of American “bombast” in 1945 when…

Biden's guiding message for Congress

by Paul Jarman

George Marshall, the US president called “The Greatest Titan in History” by his compatriot Admiral William T. Sherman, was best known for his calling out of American “bombast” in 1945 when speaking of victory in Europe.

Mr Biden is likely too young to remember it, but he did not avert his gaze in response to a question from the American Society of Civil Engineers in his appearance before Congress and local groups.

“I certainly intend to give the highest level of what a civilian can give in terms of economic policy,” he replied, adding that job creation “is the number one priority”.

The economy is all that matters to the 63-year-old Democratic vice-president, who has had a growing obsession with it, and with fairness in modern American society, since his old Pennsylvania Senate seat.

More from World Editor Paul Robinson

While President Obama celebrated his second inauguration, Mr Biden took his new southside Philadelphia neighbourhood to see the art scene and spend time with old friend Arturo Vespucci.

Earning an average of $110,000 a year and now retiring to a rented Washington, D.C., home with his wife and twins, Mr Biden has introduced “paid leave” for all parents and described himself as a “labor of love”.

He is just one of the few senior members of the Democratic White House to acknowledge that the economy has been far from “getting better”.

In an interview with Time magazine on Friday, Mr Biden said: “The situation we’ve been in is what is correct. We’re not going to get into the feeling good business that says we have turned the corner. We’re never going to be as good as we were yesterday.”

But Democrats have now established firm control over a Congress they viewed as friendly towards the president and, therefore, more likely to look after the interests of average Americans than Republicans.

There is more money than ever in politics but in recent days, Democrats have acknowledged that the economy still needs fixing, from which not much tangible progress has been made.

The case to reinstate a minimum income and tuition assistance programmes is loud and clear.

With that, and with the recession behind us, the White House is prepared to spend money that has been blocked by Republicans in order to implement policies that they feel would help job creation and all the working families they fear are falling behind their wealthy counterparts.

Why, the next questioner asked, did they still ask Mr Biden when it was time to get the work done?

In what might be seen as a stroke of good fortune, the moment passed almost unnoticed.

By Paul Robinson

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