Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Strong Choice

Anyone who bothered to watch the Democratic primary debates won't find this comment shocking- Joe Biden out classed everyone on stage, on many different occasions. Review the pundit scorecards, it will bear this fact out, everyone left to wonder why Biden wasn't benefiting from his strong performances. Well, the simple fact, Obama, Clinton and to lesser extend Edwards had taken the oxygen out of the room, the "star" power left Biden as respected, but primarily an also ran.

Joe Biden has had his historical moments, some would argue if not for previous gaffes, he would have been a serious presidential player. I don't always agree with Biden, but there is no question he is a pitbull, passionate, off the cuff, demonstrating refreshing candor, a pretty engaging figure. Couple the persona with the experience, easily one of the most respected Democrats on foreign policy, and you can see why Obama gave Biden the nod.

The VP selection generally gets some press for a few days, then it is relegated to the backpages, apart from occasional "moments". The VP only really shines in the debate, and this is where Obama's strategy should pay off. A theoretical Biden vs Romney would be a potential slamdunk for the Democrats. Aside from that, Biden actually could buck conventional wisdom and make some waves through the process. Biden is highly quotable, not afraid to attack relentlessly, do the dirty work for Obama, allowing him to project a Presidential air. All things considered, a good choice, somewhat risky, but solid.

As an aside, I notice Jason is framing this decision as a sign of fear. That's fine, but this quote deserves a response:
Now, when it came time to pick the number 2, he went with bland and boring.

Biden is a lot of thing, "bland and boring" about the last adjectives I would choose. I thought this video a good representation, one that shows Obama's selection of Biden is anything but Jason's characterization. This is what Obama is banking on:



Dame said...

If You "dismiss " Hillary /for being a woman Biden is the one should be The No 1 on the ticket.. he is fully qualifyed 100% trustworthy unquestionable in all aspect while Obama is a poor choice .. he will outshine him ...
Biden MIGHT save this election For the democrats.. as it should be..

Anonymous said...

You obviously do not follow American politics that closely.

Watch McCain select a woman (completing the picture of McCain being the man that Obama purports to be - one of change and political courage).

Obama's "change" selecting the ultimate Washington insider.

As pundits in the US are saying, this is a sign he's trying to shore up his weaknesses, rather than building on his message of change and newness.

Obama's on the ropes (as indicated by his dismal polling numbers - he should be ahead by more than a dozen points right now) and this appointment confirms it.

As an aside, inviting your supporters to give their credit card information, and promise them they'd be special and different by getting a text message, and then turning on the tube to find out they're just like everyone else (except they can now be direct marketed by Obama),

was a very bad move.

Anonymous said...

Biden's been in Washington longer than most Obama supporters have been alive,

some change.

BTW, have you seen the lightening RNC response showing Biden praising McCain as being "good for the country" and saying Obama's not ready to lead.


Steve V said...


Actually, reading your superficial analysis, I would say the first sentence speaks to your knowledge.

Obama's "change" mantra doesn't take a hit with Biden, it's the VP afterall. If you were to isolate Obama's main weakness, everyone agrees its his lack of experience, particularly when it comes to foreign affairs. Contrast that sentiment with the fact that Obama's weakness is McCain's main strength, and Biden makes perfect sense. The guy is respected on both sides of the aisle, he is the Democrats go to guy on foreign policy, what better way for Obama to shore up any perceptions.

Obama is "on the ropes" is just nonsense, from someone who's bias clearly taints reality. I've said all along that this would be a tight race, despite Obama's earlier advantage. For all intent and purposes the campaign has barely begun, only after the conventions will people really engage. Nobody is on the ropes, nobody is in trouble, and anyone who does "follow American politics that closely" wouldn't be so naive to let August give you anything conclusive.

Obama doesn't need to build on his message of change, good grief if there is one thing that has cemented itself it's this message. What he needs is credibility on national security to blunt McCain, and he achieves this with Biden.

Steve V said...


You know what is hilarious, taking the RNC response as somehow indicative of a problem. Gee, the other side has a talking point, what a shocker. Give me any name, I'll give you a response, you expected something else?

Anonymous said...


the reason Biden had such high praise for McCain, was because he meant it.

The reason Biden said that the presidency is not the place to get "on the job training" and proclaiming Obama is nowhere near ready to lead the country with his scant record,

is because he meant it.

As a typical hyper partisan, you disclaim statements (made by Biden himself) as now illigitimate because they come from a political opponent.

Most people are not hyper partisans such as yourself, and so these ads will be highly effective.

RuralSandi said...

The RNC response smells of fear - afterall, McCain's big thingie is foreign policy and Biden can run rings around him on that score.

Biden is a good debater and he'll have to debate with McCain's VP choice.

On supporting the troops stuff - Biden's son is going to Iraq in they can't say he doesn't support the troops.

Change is not what a VP brings - it's what the president brings - the president sets out the agenda, etc., not the VP.

Biden and least he still has his memory - knows where he lives, how many homes he's got and the diffence between a Shiite and a Sunni - McCain had to have Lieberman straigthen that out.

Biden - reaches across the floor and is very good friends with some republicans - Hagel and Luger (sp?), etc.

Obama has shown he's willing to take risks by appoint Biden.

RuralSandi said...

Oh, forgot to mention....other than Huckabee, the Dems can do the same thing....remember how McCain and Romney hated each other?

Anonymous said...

Suggesting McCain is too old to be president:

a courageous act of "change".

Merely replaying the very words of the right hand man of Obama stating Obama is not ready to lead:

an act of "fear".

Hehe, this is great.

Anonymous said...

Hillary's most effective ad against Obama, which cut to the core of his inexperience was the ad entitled

"three a.m."

Of the twenty four hours Obama chose to release his VP pick (with the daytime hours being the most logical no less),

three a.m.


And don't you love the fact that Obama, who declared that "Hillary would be on anybody's short list" of vp candidates, was not on his.

"Everybody but mine" I guess. She was never even considered.

Change we can believe in. Building bridges.

Mark Dowling said...

A very white guy in the wings to guide/take over - the sales pitch of the South. Let's see how that goes.

"fully qualifyed 100% trustworthy unquestionable"
Oh really? Google: "Joe Biden" "Neil Kinnock"

I think Biden is a smart guy but this campaign is going to be vicious and picking a guy with a history set for RNC dirty tricks is not the smart move.

"I’m going back to Gary Hart . . . At least he didn’t steal that girl from some far-lefty in England."

William Safire, New York Times, 1988.

Anonymous said...


here to take on the washington insiders,

by that he really meant take them his campaign.


Anonymous said...

"All things considered, a good choice, somewhat risky, but solid."

Not much of a risk at all when compared to the shortlist of candidates. Kaine is an unknown, Bayh too Midwest for the Chicago based Obama, and Sebelius is a woman who would be much better in a mid-level Cabinet portfolio.

There is a strong possibility that McCain would go with Lieberman as a running mate. In that case, Biden would be a perfect counterfoil to him.

Steve V said...

"As a typical hyper partisan, you disclaim statements (made by Biden himself) as now illigitimate because they come from a political opponent."

And, as a typical ignorant buffoon, you assume I'm a hyper partisan Obama supporter, which anyone who has read this blog know isn't the case. In addition, I like McCain, in fact he is easily my favorite Republican. Would I prefer Obama win, YES, but I'm not emotionally invested in a way that clouds my read. As a matter of fact, your comments seem to reek of bias, a very clear anti-Obama mindset.

Steve V said...


To clarify, what I meant by risk, Biden does have some baggage and his candor has the potential to backfire.

Anonymous said...

The risk of Biden saying something off the cuff and untimely and distracting really pales in comparison to the possibility that Bill Clinton might have done the same thing sometime in mid to late October had Obama run with Hillary by his side.

I admire Bill Clinton, but I still feel his getting into the mix is the real reason Hillary couldn't pull it off this year.

And I suspect his shadow played into Obama's decision not to consider her any more than he did.

Steve V said...


That's a good point. Bill Clinton has shown himself to be a bit of a loose cannon this season, his need for the limelight could have been a liability.