Election 2020

Biden 2020? What an Uncle Joe presidency could mean for Philly

Crystal ball comes up with Eagles in the White House and Amtrak lines of gold.

Joe Biden at the opening of the Museum of the American Revolution

Joe Biden at the opening of the Museum of the American Revolution

Ed Newton / For Billy Penn
michaelawinberg-square-crop-feb2018

Updated Apr. 26

Former Vice President of the United States and dorky uncle extraordinaire Joe Biden is running for president in 2020. He made it official with a video announcement Thursday morning.

The update isn’t all that shocking — the guy’s been teasing an executive campaign for, like, ever — but it’s one that brings implications for Philly. Hailing from our near-neighbor Wilmington, Delaware, Biden’s got plenty of connections to this city. He was born close by, in Scranton, and his wife Jill’s father worked in Chestnut Hill.

Recently, he’s toyed with officially announcing his run for prez on the Art Museum steps and even setting up a campaign HQ here, too.

If his bid for executive branch is successful, how might Biden’s presidency impact the city? Surely having a regionally-connected president will do something for Philadelphia? Tongue firmly in cheek, here are a few predictions.

Amtrak lines would be made of gold (maybe he’d have saved the flippy board)

Nicknamed “Amtrak Joe,” the former veep’s adoration for the railroad service is almost unparalleled. While he worked in the White House, he took Amtrak regularly back and forth from his home in Wilmington, Delaware. It’s a love that first began with tragedy — Biden started riding the rails with frequency after his wife, Neilia, and their baby daughter Naomi died in a car accident in 1972.

The now-candidate has reportedly taken more than 8,000 round-trip rides. And during his time as VP, Biden facilitated a $2.45 billion federal loan to Amtrak in 2016, paying to buy new trains and fix up tracks and stations.

Amtrak tracks in Frankford

Amtrak tracks in Frankford

Mark Dent / Billy Penn

 

Free ice cream would be served at every Flyers game until the end of time

Remember that time our pal Joe went to a Flyers game? He flashed his pearly whites at the sight of a Bellemare score, and then chowed down on some Wells Fargo Center ice cream from the stands.

If anything is certain in this era of the American political system, it’s that the 47th Vice President of the United States is obsessed with frozen dessert. The guy proudly proclaimed at a 2016 Ohio speech:  “My name is Joe Biden and I love ice cream.” And he’s even got his own flavor — named Big Red, White and Biden — churned by folks at the University of Delaware.

If he’s elected, surely an executive order is in the pipeline.

 

The Eagles would officially become ‘America’s Team’ (sorry Dallas)

Never again will the Philadelphia Eagles be disrespected by the White House. If Biden’s elected, we can only imagine the whole team will be practicing on the South Lawn.

As every good American should, Biden roots for the iggles. Though admittedly he lacked a little confidence in our team, the penultimate VP had his fingers crossed for the Birds. Biden’s previously referred to Carson Wentz as his “ guy,” and he apparently tried to get former POTUS Barack Obama to get on the midnight green bandwagon.

Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with wide receiver Jordan Matthews

Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with wide receiver Jordan Matthews

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

 

Comcast would rule the world

A thing of the past would be Comcast’s worries about trivial matters, like compliance with antitrust laws and net neutrality. Folks from the Philly-based telecommunications giant — along with nearly every major Dem leader in the region — are hosting a fundraiser for the presidential hopeful at the home of Comcast’s senior executive vice president David Cohen.

Cohen’s support for Biden isn’t new. For the 2008 and 2012 elections, the Comcast exec raised more than $2 million for Obama’s campaigns with Joe on the ticket.

We can only imagine that if Biden’s elected, this could translate to some, er, brand loyalty.

 

Philly’s alleged harassers would have something in common with the White House

Biden has a history of questionable handling of sexual harassment issues.

Yes, his foundation has funded campaigns like It’s On Us, meant to combat rape culture on college campuses. But there’s also his controversial handling of Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court confirmation hearings. After Anita Hill accused the nominee of sexual assault,  Biden, then chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, failed to protect her from character attacks — something he has since said he regrets — and allowed Thomas to defend himself both before and after Hill testified.

More recently, the candidate himself has come under fire for allegedly touching women inappropriately during public events.

Granted, that’s not the same as the sexual misconduct allegations facing Pennsylvania elected officials like Sheriff Jewell Williams and state Sen. Daylin Leach, but it’s not going away any time soon.

State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, sits in front of a photo of himself as a centaur.

State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, sits in front of a photo of himself as a centaur.

Photo via @stevehoenstine on Twitter

 

Penn would become the most respected of all Ivy Leagues

Though his undergrad degree is from the University of Delaware, Biden’s got connections to our West Philadelphia institution of higher learning.

Shortly after he left the gig on Pennsylvania Avenue, he got hired as UPenn’s Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor. The school even named for him the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

The former veep visited the at least four times last year. That’s got to count for something.

UPenn's 2012 commencement

UPenn's 2012 commencement

Flickr Creative Commons / University of Pennsylvania

 

We’d get a Philadelphian in the cabinet

It’s time a Philadelphia accent gets heard in the Situation Room. C’mon, Joe, the options are endless. We know you’ve got political allies all over our fine city — it’s just a matter of which you’ll provide an executive office.

Might we suggest former Mayor Michael Nutter, or Rep. Bob Brady (both folks with whom you’ve already exchanged some cash)?

Former VP Joe Biden and former Philly Mayor Ed Rendell

Former VP Joe Biden and former Philly Mayor Ed Rendell

Ed Newton

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