Saturday, August 23, 2008

So it's Joe after all

All that drama for Joe Biden? Seems a little silly now, doesn't it?

Biden seemed to be the clear frontrunner from the moment that it was reported Obama had narrowed his choices to Indiana Governor Evan Bayh, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Biden. Considering that, Obama and his campaign did a masterful job of squeezing all the suspense out of a relatively safe pick - Obama owned the political spotlight on Friday and probably will throughout the weekend leading into the convention.

Not only was Biden the safe pick, he was the best pick of the three. I've already made it known that, for the short term, Hillary Clinton would have been a better choice. But overall, Biden not only shores up Barack's obvious weaknesses against John McCain, he is someone who could govern in harmony with Obama. I don't think Clinton passes that final, important test.

Newsweek gets into the relative merits of having Biden on the campaign trail - he's a virtual foreign policy expert, has the stripes to go after McCain in a way that Obama can not and he's been a good Democratic soldier for more than 30 years, thus the inexperience charge against this ticket loses some steam. (Curiously, pundit after pundit has mentioned Biden's Catholicism as appealing to certain voters, which is odd to me. Will that really come into play here?).

Biden's negatives are pretty weak: he's known for speaking off the cuff and out of school, and his first presidential campaign in 1987 was submarined after he was found to have lifted portions of a speech from a British politician. Certainly, McCain and Co. don't want to get into stump slip-ups or political scandals from 20 years ago.

And McCain's first attack ad against the Obama-Biden ticket doesn't carry much heft. History is full of presidents who picked vice presidential candidates whom they clashed with during the primary.

No, Biden doesn't represent the "change" that some people were looking for. He might not completely heal the rift among Obama and disgruntled Clinton supporters. But he's good man with few real flaws despite working in politics over four decades. That's a choice I can support.
UPDATE: Ta-Nehisi notes that no one, absolutely no one, that McCain picks as No. 2 really wants a piece of Biden during a debate. Biden-Pawlenty or Biden-Romney or, even better, Biden-Lieberman shapes up as a mismatch on the scale of The Dream Team vs. Angola.
UPDATE 2: Via Ta-Nehisi, FiveThirtyEight predicts the choice of Biden sews up Pennsylvania and puts Florida into play because of his appeal to older voters. Who really knows?


John P. Araujo said...

Another criticism against Biden that will most likely come up is that he's Catholic, but prochoice. If Obama was going to go with a Catholic anyway, and if he truly wanted to represent change, he should have picked a prolife Catholic. As it is, a quick glance at some stories have brought up Obama's opposition to the "Born Alive" act - and the selection of Biden is only going to further cause prolifers to criticize Obama and his lack of change on this issue. I'll be commenting further on Biden in my own blog. However, I will say that the selection of Biden was a mild surprise to me.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

i just wonder what happens if obama looses?
folks are blinded by the Obamafication of America

Nice spot u have here, hope u don’t mind the drive by, do chk me out one day

blackink said...

Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words, Torrance. I'll most definitely be stopping by your spot regularly.

To answer your question, I don't know what will happen if Obama loses. I'm not sure that I want to find out, given the alternative (and I ain't talking about Bob Barr, though the same applies).

J.P., I don't think Obama is counting on anti-abortion rights activists (I can't use the term pro-lifer, sorry) to form any sizable amount of his support. Thus, it wouldn't make much sense to choose someone like that for the bottom half of the ticket. If anything, it might actually repel some of those in the Democratic base.

And you really think Biden was a surprise? He's been the frontrunner for the past couple weeks.