obama/biden: good choice? bad choice?

Well, it looks like Obama’s choice for VP is Joe Biden. As Biden is a Washington insider, who, at least initially, supported the war in Iraq, one suspects this might not sit well with all the folks out there on the street demanding complete and total change, but hopefully he’ll help the ticket more than he’ll hurt it. He’s seems, at least to me, like an all around decent guy who would be an asset at Obama’s side, and I respect Obama for the decision of taking someone so upfront and opinionated. He didn’t go with someone who could deliver a southern state, but instead he went with the man whom he ran against in the primary who he knew would be up to the job of President if he was called to do so. I think that shows character… Oh, yeah, and apparently he’s not really a plagiarist.

It’s also worth noting that Obama chose to make the announcement in Springfield, Illinois, the home of Abraham Lincoln – another man who, with little federal experience, took control of the nation at a tumultous time, and did so with great success. I suspect we’ll be hearing the Lincoln analogy quite a bit in the months to come.

So, what do you think about the choice to bring Biden onboard?

Here’s a video clip of Biden addressing 35,000 today in Springfield:

You can find the full transcript online, but here’s how his speech ends:

…Ladies and gentlemen, this is no ordinary time. This is no ordinary election. And this may be our last chance to reclaim the America we love, to restore America’s soul. Ladies and gentlemen, America gave Jill and me our chance. It gave Barack and Michelle their chance to stand on this stage today. It’s literally incredible. These values, this country gave us that chance. And now it’s time for all of us, as Lincoln said, to put our feet in the right place and to stand firm. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to elect Barack Obama president. It’s our time. It’s America’s time. God bless America, and may he protect our troops.

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  1. applejack
    Posted August 23, 2008 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I said Biden would be a good VP for Obama back when he was still running for top spot. It’s not an exciting or inspiring choice, but it’s safe and it’s a good balance for the ticket: older voters like him, he’s strong on foreign policy, women like him I hear. It’s too bad he’s from Delaware which gives Obama no regional bounce, but all-in-all I think it’s a good choice.

  2. Robert
    Posted August 23, 2008 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    The choice looks like a strong defensive one.

  3. Ol' E Cross
    Posted August 23, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    As Robert predicted this a few days ago, the choice of Biden ups Robert’s street-cred, which is just about the most exciting thing about it.

  4. nammeroo
    Posted August 23, 2008 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Senator Obama could not have picked a better running mate than Senator Biden, in my humble opinion. I’m thrilled with this choice!

  5. Mark H.
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    A smart choice — Biden helps deflect the Republican cry that Obama isn’t ready to be president, unlike McCain who supposedly knows how to deal with a complex, dangerous world. Biden’s expertise in foreign affairs helps the Democrats’ goal of making foreign affairs less of an issue in this election, and if the issue is economics, McCain loses. His best chance is to make the election into a vote on Irag and whether the “surge” was or was not a good idea.

  6. Kate
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I think Biden’s selection points up something presidential about Obama – that he chooses advisors and associates who will speak up – and that he’ll listen to them. He said he wanted someone who would do that and, by heaven, he went and found the man.

    What I have always liked about Biden is that he speaks his mind and isn’t always looking for the best political twist to put to an issue (which is a trait that knocked Hillary out of the running for me awhile back). Another good trait, in my book, is that even after he takes a stand he can change it, IF he’s convinced by circumstances, logic, or whatever, that the first position was wrong. AND he’ll admit he was wrong. Witness his stance on Iraq, which he now says he should not have voted to invade.

    I also believe Biden adds some chops to the Obama candidacy and that his being a “Washington insider” will help foster the changes Obama wants to make because Biden “knows the enemy.”

    All in all, I think Republicans are probably worried right now. And that’s a good thing.

  7. schutzman
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    “the folks out there on the street demanding complete and total change”

    you mean panhandlers?
    i don’t think that they have much influence on national elections, mark.

  8. Mark H.
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Obama’s pick of Biden fits a recent historical pattern of supposed “Washington outsiders” — Jimmy Carter, Reagan, Clinton — selecting “Washington insiders” — Mondale, George H.W. Bush, Al Gore — to be their Vice Presidential candidate.

    A fact, but i doubt the Democrats will be going out of their way to compare Biden to Walter Mondale.

  9. elviscostello
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Biden was a good choice on the foriegn policy and his ability to twist the knife with a phrase. He will be no Edwards, he will attack with glee. My only problem with Biden was his pushing through the Bankruptcy bill for his Financial friends and Credit Card companies based in Delaware. It is a draconian bill, skewed to the rich, without provision for victims of disasters (Katrina) or medical disasters.

  10. designated republican
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    “All in all, I think Republicans are probably worried right now.”

    Without exception, all of the republicans I spoke with on Saturday (at the state convention) could not be more pleased with Senator Obama’s pick of Senator Biden for the VP slot, and with the news of his complete snubbing of Senator Clinton.

  11. mark
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m not calling you a liar, Designated Republican, but I find it hard to believe that Republicans didn’t want to run against an Obama/Clinton ticket…. I mean, sure, they probably liked seeing that the Clinton influence on the party was waning, but, still, they would have loved to have run against her, no?

  12. mark
    Posted August 24, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    And McCain, when asked about Biden yesterday, only had good things to say. He called him a friend and a man of integrity. It seemed to me that was caught kind of flat-footed by the announcement.

  13. designated republican
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    In the US Senate, there is a strong tradition of super-politeness between senators, even among political adversaries. This is the first US election in modern memory where a majority of the presidential/VP candidates are currently serving US Senators. McCain is unusual in that he carries this super-politeness schtick beyond the Senate floor into the campaign itself. That speaks to his integrity, not any flat-footedness.

    Clinton would’ve been the stronger VP candidate, because she already had a large base of popular support (I don’t recall any significant 2008 primary victories for Biden, do you?). Also, Clinton does not have the problem of an over-active/under-regulated mouth, as Biden does.

  14. Dr. Cherry
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I’d vote Democrat this year even if Obmama’s running-mate was an actual donkey.

  15. thanh pharm
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I think this a bad choice for america to pick Biden. Obama has been propagandaed for changes, this is the same old story!!!

  16. applejack
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Clinton might have been a better VP choice for winning the election, but in terms of governing after the win she and Bill would be a constant headache. Biden is old enough that Obama doesn’t have to worry about him preparing for a run in 2016. He’ll be committed to the Obama presidency.

  17. Robert
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the props Ol’E Cross. I wasn’t sure anyone even noticed. I’ll also predict that McCain will select Romney as his running mate, which will make Michigan a real challenge for Obama to carry 70 days from now. The only other possibility in my mind is that he will be pressured into taking some lower tier, criminally connected, military industrial stooge like Giuliani, but likely with far fewer skeletons of the publically discernable kind.

  18. heronblue
    Posted August 26, 2008 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Just making sure all of you MarkMaynard folks here get invited:

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    We’ll share refreshments, unveil the new campaign to help elect Barack, and watch what promises to be a “barn-burner” of a speech.

    If you’d like to watch the event with others and hear what you can do to support the Obama campaign please come! Let’s get a renewable/clean energy president in the white house. Questions? feel free to call or ask for Monica 734 646 1450 I’ll be at a table there to welcome you the nite of.

  19. Robert
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Looks like McCain went with my second guess. I assume he doesn’t know what his VP advisors have in mind. It’s 1980 all over again, with a couple necessary refinements. First, this dumb bird doesn’t have Bush Sr.’s capacity for independent thought. So that’s been corrected. Second, they can use a doctor instead of a Hinckley this time, so there’s not such a scene.

  20. Posted October 31, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Did you know that Senator Biden, in addition to running for Vice-President, is also running for re-election to his Delaware Senate seat? I didn’t. It really shows just how confident Biden is in winning the White House – he’s still trying to keep his day job!

    An interesting Constitutional conundrum this could make, if the nightmare scenario of a tied 269-269 electoral vote takes place. In case of a tie, it is the House of Representatives that would choose the next President, and the Senate would select the next Vice-President. Because of the timing of things, it would be the newly elected/re-elected Senate (including, presumably, the newly re-elected Senator Biden and the still-serving Senator Obama) who would be voting on Biden as VP.

    Not a likely scenario, but because Senator Biden is hedging his bets related to his 2009 job prospects, it is possible.

  21. MaryD
    Posted October 31, 2008 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    And isn’t Palin keeping her day job too?

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