Bidenmania

If you’ve been Biden your time, waiting for Obama to announce his VP nominee, your wait is over. Joe Biden (D-MBNA) will be kicking Dick Cheney out of the Naval Observatory shortly.

I guess I see the logic. He’s a bulldog, has foreign policy experience, and his age makes him unlikely to run for the Presidency in 2016, assuming he’s the incumbent VP at that point. That leaves the field open to other prospects, including Hillary, various likely cabinet officials, etc. His time in DC and in the Senate especially will make him a useful bridge between the Obama White House, Congress, and other entrenched DC interests.

His straight-shooting, trash-talking reputation also puts him in a good spot to be a bulldog to McCain in the campaign. Obama can stay above the fray and let Biden hit back against smears. Biden knows how to deliver a line, such as his quip that Rudy Giuliani’s every sentence includes a noun, a verb, and 9-11.

Not who I would’ve chosen, but I suspect that the VP selection process wasn’t meant to appeal to me.

Comments

  1. #1 Pablo
    August 23, 2008

    I’m willing to go with the decision. I know virtually nothing about the man, and I’m voting politics rather than personality in this election.

    What does this say about Hillary Clinton? I understand she was never even considered as a Veep candidate. Honestly, I’ve always considered her more of a novelty than a legislator, a lot like Ronald Reagan was. Perhaps this means that Obama wants to show he is a serious candidate rather than a celebrity candidate. I realize his choice of Biden had a lot of calculation in it, but that’s all of politics.

  2. #2 SLC
    August 23, 2008

    In 2016, Hillary Clinton will be 70. Not exactly spring chicken country.

  3. #3 Blaidd Drwg
    August 24, 2008

    While I would not picked Biden, on reflection, he’s an extremely good choice. His foreign policy experience makes up for Obama’s lack in that area, and he’s a polar opposite to the elitist (McCain – not Obama). IMHO, it shows strength of character, as well as pragmatism on Obama’s part to recognize his own weakness, and pick somebody who can overcome that weakness. Not to mention, he’s been in DC about as long as McC, which should counter the ‘amateur’ charges. In addition, Biden is more a ‘man of the people’ than about 90% of Congress – either house.

    Pablo, I agree with you about Hillary. I respect her, but never saw her as a serious Presidential contender.

  4. #4 Unsympathetic reader
    August 24, 2008

    Biden: From the oldest state of the union.
    Obama: From the youngest state in the union

  5. #5 Cappy
    August 25, 2008

    I thought Bill Richardson would be a great VP pick, but I guess you have to have at least one white guy…

  6. #6 Phaedrus
    August 26, 2008

    “has foreign policy experience”

    What does this mean? I’ve seen this about McCain, too. They both voted for the Iraq war, clearly a foreign policy debacle. My Dad used to say, “a man can make the same mistake for twenty years and call it experience”. I think that’s what is happening here, absent some great successes you can point to.

  7. #7 Josh Rosenau
    August 28, 2008

    Biden has been on the Foreign Relations committee for a long time, has visited with foreign heads of state, and dealt responsibly with a lot of issues. And he recognizes the error he made with Iraq. From the Nov. 27, 2005 Meet the Press:

    MR. RUSSERT: And yet it’s important that we put things in historical context. Senator Biden, you were on the show in August of 2002 talking about Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. You concluded your statement by saying, “I think Saddam either has to be separated from his weapons or taken out of power.” A month later you voted for a resolution authorizing just that. In hindsight, knowing everything you know now about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, was your vote a mistake?

    SEN. BIDEN: It was a mistake. It was a mistake to assume the president would use the authority we gave him properly. And I brought along that whole quote. I knew you’d ask me this. I said, “We know he continues to attempt to gain access to additional capability, including nuclear capability. There’s a real debate on how far off that is, whether it’s a matter of years or it’s a matter of less than that. We don’t know enough now.” That was the rest of my quote. So I never argued that there was an imminent threat. We gave the president the authority to unite the world to isolate Saddam. And the fact of the matter is, we went too soon. We went without sufficient force. And we went without a plan.

    MR. RUSSERT: If there was a vote today, you would vote no?

    SEN. BIDEN: I–with this president, absolutely I would vote no, based on the way in which they’ve handled it.

  8. #8 llewelly
    August 28, 2008

    Biden – like damn near every fed politician described as ‘having foreign policy experience’ has a long history of helping the US start wars we’d have been better off without. His only saving grace with respect foreign policy is that he’s usually willing to admit he was wrong if about 3 or 4 years have gone by. But frankly, given the Iraq war had cost hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars by the time of that 2005 admission, I must say it was an anemic admission at best.
    As for Clinton – those suggesting she was never a ‘serious Presidential contender’ must have misunderstood her role from Jan 20 1993 until Jan 20 2000. The ‘liberal media’ preferred to pretend otherwise, but Bill put a lot of responsibility in her hands, and she handled it well. She has direct experience – not the sort of indirect experience Biden has. I’m still very angry with Clinton for taking even longer than Biden to admit that she made a mistake approving the invasion of Iraq, and (like Biden) for not admitting the magnitude of the error, but in my view, that’s really the only thing Biden has over Clinton.

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