Biden Raises The Minimum Wage Stakes
Biden Raises The Minimum Wage Stakes
Forget $15 per hour. Joe Biden just threw down the gauntlet for $25 an hour… for renewable energy jobs.
And yes, it’s on video. While in Keene, New Hampshire (or as old Joe calls it, Vermont), someone in the crowd approached Biden to suggest a $25 per hour minimum wage in order to pay people more to move them off fossil fuels.
At this point, I’m convinced that these moments for Biden are being created by opposition campaign workers. “Hey guys, who wants to go out to the Biden event today and see if you can get him to say something completely stupid on video? Free lunch if you can do it!” Notice that Biden doesn’t say that he thinks that $25 an hour for certain renewable energy jobs would be a great idea. He merely says “That’s what we’re doing,” in reply to this woman. The Washington Examiner points out that no, that’s not what Biden’s plan actually says.
Biden, 76, released a 22-page climate plan in June, which called the Green New Deal “a crucial framework.” The climate plan did not include a minimum wage increase for those renewable energy workers. The Washington Examiner has reached out to Biden’s campaign for comment on the story.”
This story is more than just “there goes ol’ Joe, another gaffe” again. There are some real issues at stake here that definitely move beyond the realm of simple gaffes.
First, are we certain that Biden can hear in a large crowd? That video has a lot of crosstalk in it, and is Biden just assuming that the woman is saying something reasonable that he can agree with, just to keep moving? Does Biden need hearing aids – and if he already has them, does he need better ones?
Second, this is a problem because Biden simply agrees with the last thing he heard. $25 an hour for renewable energy jobs is beyond absurd. Can you imagine the scores of Solyndras that would crop up if government money was going to help supplement those wages – which would have to happen in order for that industry to even meet that pay raise? Can you imagine the accounting shenanigans to make companies look more “renewable energy friendly” in order to score some sweet, sweet government subsidies to line the pockets of certain workers? Every part of the Green New Deal and the alternatives being suggested by candidates mostly steer around nuclear power (Andrew Yang being a notable exception), which actually is the only way we could replace a large chunk of fossil fuels without bankrupting ourselves. But Biden just blithely deflects the question back by assuming that’s what his plan says. He has a habit of tossing off flip comments in crowds like these, which cannot make his campaign happy.
Speaking of which, the Biden campaign reportedly was going to be hiding him in order to prevent these moments from going viral. After seeing a recent round of poll numbers, they may be keeping Joe on his campaign bus and making him wave through windows.
New national Monmouth poll:
Sanders: 20% (+6)
Warren: 20% (+5)
Biden: 19% (-13)!
Harris: 8% (-)
Booker: 4% (+2)
Buttigieg: 4% (-1)
Yang: 3% (+1)
Castro: 2% (+2)
O’Rourke: 2% (-1)
Williamson: 2% (+1)
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) August 26, 2019
Now, as some pointed out, the sample size is suspect and the poll might not be very accurate. But it still has to be an unpleasant shock to Team Biden – and a sign that ol’ Joe has definite vulnerabilities. Ones that, as the field narrows, his opponents will not be afraid to exploit to their own benefit. Maybe the Biden campaign team’s new slogan should be “lock him up” if they’re planning on getting to the finish line in this primary.
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Featured image: Joe Biden, official White House portrait taken January 10, 2013, public domain