Saturday, August 23, 2008

He Chooses Old Washington: What Makes Obama/Biden the Winning Ticket?

I definitely wasn't the first to know.

I don't how how the Obama campaign managed to fumble the "Be the First to Know" campaign, but that's another story all together--we all know now that it's going to be Delaware Senator Joe Biden. He has many strengths for reasons that I won't belabor here...foreign policy experience, a generally liberal voting record, as well as blue-collar, Catholic roots that will be helpful in states like his native Pennsylvania. (He's originally from Scranton, by the way.)

While all of this is nice, his veteran status in the Senate, while providing a nice balance to Obama, is contrary to the campaign's message of change. You would need to look at either Hillary Clinton or Ted Kennedy to find a Democratic Senator who is more of an insider than Biden. Choosing Joe Biden meant that Bracack Obama chose "Old Washington."

Biden voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq, a vote that Obama has repeatedly criticized as irresponsible, although it's worth mentioning that Biden has been a fierce critic of the Bush administration's mishandling of both wars.

Lastly, Biden has a history of unbelievable verbal gaffes, many of which we are certain to see replayed through the weekend. Hopefully, the news networks get all of these out of their system shortly, so that we can move on to the here and now.

Overall, Biden is a safe choice. At his age, he's not likely to seek the office of the president himself--an interesting trend developing. There is plenty to criticize, but at this point, if the McCain camp is going to spend time and dollars trying to bring down Biden, it's not likely to be money well spent. Campaigns are rarely made or broken by the VP, and Biden might serve as something of a decoy for the McCain campaign, while providing many Americans with a sense of security that there will be some of the "Old Washington" in the Oval Office.