Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biden? Yawn

Barack Obama chose his Vice Presidential candidate today:

Barack Obama introduced Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware on Saturday as a man "ready to step in and be president," and the newly minted running mate quickly turned his campaign debut into a slashing attack on Republicans seeking four more years in the White House.

Sen. John McCain would have to "figure out which of the seven kitchen tables to sit at" when considering his own economic future, said Biden, jabbing at the man he called his personal friend.

It was a reference to McCain's recent inartful admission that he was not sure how many homes he owns.

Barack Obama introduces running mate Joe Biden as 'man with a distinguished record'

When did "inartful" become a word? Why can't we just say "misinformed", "badly phrased", or "stupid" when that's what it is? Please send someone by my place with a hypodermic needle and pink fluid if I ever use that word.

OK, I"m better now...

Biden's "distinguished record" might possibly seem distinguished if one were a banker or an ran an insurance company. For the rest of us, though, he just seems like another one of the people who are always telling us to shut up about not having health care or money while he gets plenty of both - some of it at our expense. He's known for having foreign policy expertise, of course, but as others have observed, it didn't stop him from suporting the Iraq War. Obama, with his lack of such expertise, managed to figure out that invading Iraq was a bad idea. Beginners luck? Maybe, but I'd say that Biden has a talent for overlooking the obvious.

Typically, I'd put a picture up here of Biden or Biden and Obama, because - well, because it's what I do. In this case, though, I'm not that interested in seeing his smarmy face on my blog at the moment.

That's all water under the bridge, though. At this point, what I really don't like about Biden is that Democratic voters don't like Biden. They had a chance to vote for him in the primaries, and if the results are any indication, "anyone but Biden" was the clear winner. You could use that phrase on just about any candidate who isn't Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, of course, but Biden's percentage was in the low single digits. Recall what I wrote a few days ago:

Whenever the subject of who would be a good Vice-Presidential candidate has come up at other blogs, I've always taken a pass, except to suggest Hillary Clinton. What I always write is that the most important thing is that Obama chooses a candidate who will help him shore up support in his own party, both the leaders and the rank and file.

Obama's Choice For Vice President

Does a guy who polled between two percent and five percent in the primaries sound like the kind of guy those folks will run out to vote for?

Biden is a good speaker. As his remarks upon being introduced show, he won't be reluctant to take on McCain's noise machine. At least, he won't until Obama undercuts him like he did Wes Clark. Clark would have been a great veep candidate if both Obama and John Kerry hadn't slagged him.

The only real plus I can see is that Biden might be more helpful at getting legislation passed through the Senate. As Kevin Drum observes:

[T]here really is some value in Biden's experience. Maybe. All four of the most recent Democratic presidents have chosen their VPs from the ranks of the Senate, and I'll grant that the results have been fairly mixed. Still, the Senate is pretty clearly going to be ground zero for getting Obama's program passed into actual legislation, and Biden has a pretty decent track record of working the legislative process. So on that score it might be genuinely helpful.

Biden's Experience

This was another thing I was hoping to find in a V.P. candidate. If Obama manages to get elected, Biden might be an asset.

Hopefully, Biden will help attract the kind of Democratic voters who don't support Obama. I have my doubts, though. In fact, after this latest of many bad decisions, I'm starting to think that the Obama campaign is doomed.


One Fly said...

My prediction is he will start out tough and turn into a pussy while moving to the center.

Cujo359 said...

Biden's never been very far from the center. Or do I have an old-fashioned view of where the center lies?

Anyhow, my guess is that Obama will undercut him, since inevitably Democrats seem to apologize when they hit back - particularly when what they hit back with is an uncomfortable truth.

pissed off patricia said...

Biden is too old to change his spots now. I think he may enjoy the freedom to get down and dirty. We'll see how his speech goes tonight.

He can attack and Obama can keep just enough distance from him to avoid the blood spatters.

Cujo359 said...


It would be a welcome change if that happens, but I'm not holding my breath. All Obama has to do is fuck up like he did with Wes Clark and the value of that bloodletting will be negated.