August 23, 2008
Obama was looking for a ?good, clean? VP and judging from the finalists?Bayh, Sibelius, Kaine, Biden?someone who?s perceived as a moderate, pragmatic, decent Democrat. Biden might seem to have the most ?experience? and, with his age and grays, ?gravitas.?
The selection, however, was a terrible misstep and demonstrates how seeking to ?balance? a ticket actually only serves to emphasize the negatives of both the candidate and his running mate.
Let?s take a look at some of the reasoning going on in the Obama camp and why little of it holds water.
1. Biden has foreign-policy experience: Well, yes, but he also voted for the Iraq war and often times tries to appear more hawkish than McCain in international affairs. I haven?t checked yet, but I?m sure the DailyKos, ?netroots? types are really ticked off by the pick, and Obama will have squelched some of that ?Let?s change the world!? enthusiasm in his movement-like base.
2. Biden is Catholic and culturally conservative, sort of: The Biden selection was, at some level, an attempt to win over those ?bitter? Hillary Democrats in the small-town Midwest?Biden?s from a homely little state (where the Hell is Delaware anything?) and might seem like a ?normal? churchgoing type. The problem is Hillary only began to seem like a conservative populist this spring because she was running against Barack Obama. But when those Hillarycrats from Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania go to the polls in November, Obama?and not this ?average Joe??will be at the top of the ticket. Moreover, traditionalist Catholics won?t pull the lever for anyone who?s pro-abortion.
3. Biden looks presidential: Perhaps this 35-year veteran of the Senate has elder statesman status in the DNC; however, Joe Biden is ultimately an obnoxious, arrogant loudmouth, who before the campaign is up will have made some absurd exaggeration or attempted some stupid tough guy posturing that will have harmed Obama?s chances.
What?s perhaps most remarkable about the pick is that Obama is taking on Hillary?s negatives??voted for the war,? ?ultimate Washington insider??without gaining any of her positives?namely, those devoted Hillary women who still might not vote for Barack. Ralph Nader was right, if Obama really wants to win, he should have swallowed his pride and given the lady a call.
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