Biden praises unions, dreams of drag racing

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Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Wednesday delivered an impassioned speech to an organized labor convention in Washington but also yearned for the day he can ditch the Secret Service and drag race his friends.

Speaking at a United Auto Workers conference, Mr. Biden openly dreamt of buying a new Corvette Stingray and hitting the open road.


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“That new Stingray? Yo, oh, oh, oh,” Mr. Biden said to laughs and cheers. “It can go zero to 60 in 3.9 seconds … and I could hardly wait, if I were just not in this job, to take on my friend’s Porsche. I’m serious. It’s the best buy in America. You know, Motor Trend [magazine] says it snaps back the center and lets you hold the car through any corner. I can hardly wait.”

Before again confessing his love for fast American cars, Mr. Biden told the powerful labor group that they’re critical in the fight against “these guys on the right” who oppose a minimum-wage hike and favor right-to-work laws and other steps to weaken the power of unions.

“This is a concerted, full-throated, well-organized, well-financed, well-thought out long, long-term effort — waging a war on labor’s house,” said Mr. Biden, rumored to be eyeing another presidential run in 2016. “Because they know — not all businesses, these guys on the right — they know without you there they call every shot. I mean this sincerely. I think sometimes you guys underestimate it.”

The vice president focused on the issue of income inequality, which has become a major theme for the Obama administration in its second term. He cast organized labor as central in the fight to improve wages, working conditions and opportunity for the American middle class.

“We’re breaking a basic bargain — a bargain that built the greatest economic expansion in the history of the world. That is workers, whether they’re union or not, get to reap some of the benefits they helped produce,” Mr. Biden said. “Simply put, we really are — and this is not a campaign slogan, it’s a reality — we are stronger when we grow from the middle out.”

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