Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama selects Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate

The media speculation as to who Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will pick for his vice presidential running mate is finally over--say hello to Delaware Senator Joe Biden. From YouTube:

A couple of thoughts on Joe Biden. Biden does bring an incredible amount of foreign policy expertise to the Obama campaign, considering he is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This is probably one of the biggest reasons Barack Obama selected Biden in the first place. With Biden on the ticket, the Obama campaign can negate John McCain's attacks against Obama as being too inexperienced in foreign policy issues. Biden can also be a perfect attack dog for the Obama campaign. Biden can go on the negative attacks against McCain, while leaving Obama to stay above the fray in promoting his change message. Consider how Joe Biden shredded Rudy Giuliani's presidential qualifications as being a noun, a verb, and 9/11 in a sentence. I have to wonder just how wicked Biden will be in attacking John McCain's gaffes.

The New York Times also provides some further advantages of an Obama-Biden ticket:

Mr. Biden seems likely to fill in other gaps in Mr. Obama’s political appeal that became increasingly clear during the primary season and going into the fall. He is a Roman Catholic, a group with which Mr. Obama had trouble during the Democratic primaries; he has a blue-collar background, potentially giving him appeal among working-class voters, another bloc in which Mr. Obama ran poorly in the primaries; and he was born in Pennsylvania, a battleground state that could be vital to both parties.

Of course, Joe Biden has his own weaknesses. Biden has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth, once stating that Barack Obama was "not yet ready" to become president. While campaigning in New Hampshire, Biden also commented that “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.” Biden was also caught lifting parts of a speech from British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock for Biden's own remarks during his 1988 presidential campaign. So Biden could become a loose canon here. But if the Obama campaign can keep Biden under control, and focused on the message, then Joe Biden could be a pretty good candidate for Barack Obama.

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