Joe Biden Makes a Surprise Appearance at OZY Fest

Joe Biden Ozyfest - Getty - H 2017
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The former vice president was in New York City to support his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.

Early this afternoon, the second annual OZY Fest — which The New York Times previously dubbed “TED meets Coachella” — attracted a surprise VIP guest to Central Park’s Rumsey Playground: former Vice President Joe Biden. 

The seven-time Delaware senator introduced Dr. Jill Biden, Chair of Save the Children’s Board of Trustees and an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College, who was interviewed by Katie Couric.

In his opening remarks — delivered while wearing a belt decorated with miniature American flags — Biden deadpanned that regardless of his accomplishments, “I’m Jill’s husband,” a role he’s happily played for the past 40 years. During the conversation, Dr. Biden said that her family had kept a lower public profile in recent months because they “wanted to give the next administration the chance to succeed.”

Couric took the opportunity to ask Mike Pence’s predecessor whether he’d challenge President Trump in 2020, when Biden turns 78. "My focus now, our focus now, is to get a Democratic Congress elected in 2018,” he said to applause. "There's a lot of talent in the Democratic Party. My hope and expectation is that some of the younger folks are going to come up and fill the void. But if they don’t, Jill’s running."

This April, the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient known as “Amtrak Joe” signed a three-book deal with Flatiron Books for two memoirs and a third manuscript co-authored with his wife. The first of these forthcoming releases, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose, comes out November 14.

Biden was not the only politician to grace a stage at OZY Fest. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and former Florida governor and 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) each gave a talk on the future of their respective parties.