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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama Picks Biden

It turns out Joe Biden threw the final VP curveball, telling reporters on Tuesday that he wasn't "the guy," when it turns out he is. Today, the Obama campaign announced the Obama/Biden '08 ticket. As any choice, there are strengths and weaknesses.

The strengths are obvious: Experience. Biden, with Republican senator John Warner, is the Senate's foremost expert on national security, foreign policy, and military matters. Biden has the capability to go on the offense in a campaign. Biden is guaranteed to know more about foreign and domestic policy than his VP counterpart. Biden is great on TV. Biden is a consistent liberal, someone Obama can hand the baton to in 8 years (when Biden is a ripe 74 years of age), if all goes well for the Democrats.

The weaknesses, however, are nearly as pronounced. Barack Obama, after running the "politics of change" and the Washington outsider platform, has chosen the ultimate insider. Biden has been in the Senate for over 35 years. He's the sixth longest tenured Senator in the chamber. Moreover, Biden, while running in the Democratic Primary, publicly questioned Obama's readiness for the presidency, and in separate comments, Biden hailed John McCain as a strong choice for the office.
Another problem with this selection has been highlighted by this blog on numerous occasions when the idea of Biden or Wesley Clark was put forth. This selection, while at face value seemingly shores up the lack of a foreign policy heavyweight, also implies that Obama himself is not quite ready for the job on his own. Biden looks like the chaperone on the ticket. His selection might not compliment Obama's weakness, it might underscore it. This is crucial and it shows Obama's mindset. Rather than moving forward with someone who accentuates his strengths of the candidate of change, Obama hedged his bets and brought along the establishment. We'll see how it plays out.

Overall, I think, it's a solid selection for the Democrats. Biden should make a lot of people more comfortable with the inexperienced Democrat on top of the ticket. Obama will get some undecided voters over the next few days, and combined with the Democratic Convention, Obama will get get a 5-7 point bump by the end of the week.

Of course, shortly after, the GOP will counter with their own VP selection and convention, which will bring the two campaigns close to even again, though Obama should see himself regain about a 3 point lead rather than the virtual ties seen in most polls. Simply, the Republicans don't have a pick that can excite their base like Biden can excite the Democratic base. It still comes down to Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney, both unsexy picks.

While the GOP has the advantage of going second in selecting a VP and having their convention, they have the disadvantage of no one talking about their VP process in the upcoming week while the Democratic Convention is held from Monday to Thursday this week. I'll be sure to look at both.

5 comments:

The Dude said...

I wasn't excited when I got my text message at 3 in the morning, but it is a practical pick. I get the impression Biden has privately hated every Republican he has ever met. 30 years in the Senate will do that to you. Thus, he is perfect for the VP position for the current climate of presidential campaigns. He will have no problem getting into the mix, and incorporate some stone cold pragmatic realism (i.e Old People Think)to a campaign that has long only appealed to young people and passive intellectuals. Also, this is clearly this greatest thing to happen to "The Del." in ages.

The Clintons and their zealots(white women in their 40's) better shape the hell up and fall in...

Jonathan said...

Well, IC, at least it was one of your TWO finalists!

Anonymous said...

Its funny how John Mccain issued an "attack ad" in less time than it took for him (and his staff) to answer the simple question, "how many homes do you own?" What an old, stinkin, backstabbin, false teeth having, warmongering, false story telling JOKE mccain is! In the words of Ivan Drago… "Mccain, You will lose!" I will bet my "only" house on it!!!

Also shows Obama being more of a leader than Mccain. Simply by selecting his running mate first. Now Mccain can do what he was born to do…. FOLLOW the leader! lol

OBAMA 08!

Will said...

How much time till Biden's first gaff?

Darren said...

Don't forget Biden's roots. He's straight up blue collar and can corral the Dwight Schrute's of America to vote for Obama.

Quick thought: McCain's going to pick Romney. Pawlenty is 47 (so is Obama) and has NO Washington connections (Obama, with 1 senate term has little as well). He can't campaign against Obama and say he's not ready for the presidency and simultaneously put someone on his ticket with a similar background in age and experience.

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