PAUL BEATY / AP)
Detroit — Vice President Joe Biden will hold a "working dinner" with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Wednesday, ahead of Biden’s visit to the auto show Thursday.
Biden will speak at Cobo Center, where he will talk about the turnaround of the U.S auto industry Thursday and tour the North American International Auto Show.
The Obama administration is sending four Cabinet secretaries — including the heads of the Transportation Department, Environmental Protection Agency and Commerce Department — to the show this week. A fifth official, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, also is visiting Wednesday.
"This is like having the Super Bowl in Detroit every year," labor Secretary Thomas Perez said Monday as he toured the show.
It's the highest profile visit since Detroit filed for bankruptcy in July.
Duggan met with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Monday after Foxx toured the show.
Biden, a former U.S. senator from Delaware, represented a state home to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler plants, and made regular trips to the auto show. He also is reportedly considering a run for president in 2016 and has paid significant attention to Michigan — a state that could be a key battleground. He was the son of a sales manager for an auto dealership in Scranton, Pa., and was a strong advocate for the auto bailout — and saving Chrysler Group LLC — within the administration in 2009. Obama's advisers were divided in March 2009 on whether to save Chrysler.
Biden "will discuss the future of the American auto industry and highlight its strong recovery following the tough restructuring and shared sacrifice required by the administration’s actions in 2009," the White House said.
Biden was credited with the unofficial re-election campaign slogan: "Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive" and regularly repeated that line on the stump.
In April, Biden was the keynote speaker at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Detroit, an annual fundraiser for the Michigan Democratic Party. He also visited Detroit twice during the 2012 campaign.
In November, Biden met with members of the Michigan congressional delegation to talk about federal efforts to help Detroit and a 12-nation free trade deal that's under negotiation.
President Barack Obama has visited Detroit twice since taking office. Detroit Mayor Dave Bing in September 2012 faulted Obama for not visiting the city more often.
Obama last visited Detroit on Labor Day 2011 — though Obama has made more than 10 visits to Michigan since taking office. Obama last visited Michigan in December 2012 to tour the Detroit Diesel plant in Redford Township.