Monday, August 25, 2008

And it's Biden...

When we took a look at possible VPs for Obama last week, here's what I wrote about Biden:
Joe Biden: He's a master of colonial rhetoric and imperialistic statements on Iraq. He's prone to gaffes and is a great attack dog in 1 out of every 5 TV appearances. He doesn't really bring anything to the table, and he occasionally takes from it since his previous pro war stance doesn't really mesh with Barack's message. Again, he only looks like an OK option when you compare him with the other people being considered.
Other than the pick itself I've got to give it up to the Obama campaign for how they handled the roll out. First, they kept the press guessing, leaked what they wanted to leak and ran this VP thing as well (or better than) just about anything else in this general election campaign.

Their other success in the VP roll out may not have been intentional, but it was effective none the less. If you had told me 6 months ago that Biden would be Obama's VP, I would have been furious. But after 3 months of VP hopefuls being leaked to the press, with each one being more conservative than the last, it really takes it's toll. Waking up each morning to the latest rumors surrounding Bayh, Tim Kaine or (Are you fucking kidding me?) Chet Edwards without ONE (even remotely) progressive candidate being anywhere near consideration is a much, much, much more depressing subplot here than the pick itself. If the Obama campaign was was using this as a strategy to repeatedly beat the hope out of you and make Joe Biden seem like an acceptable pick, well then I guess it worked. I sure didn't expect my reaction to Biden's selection to be one of complete relief.

Sirota pointed me to something that could be a positive, which is his rhetoric on the economy. I had basically tuned Biden out on these issues ever since he put the bankruptcy bill on his back and rode it to freedom, but he does have a otherwise decent record on working class issues, and he seems much more comfortable using populist rhetoric than Obama does. I know saying "other than the bankruptcy bill" is definitely an "other than that Ms. Lincoln, how was the play" type thing, but having someone who will speak in a populist tone on economic issues is definite upgrade over what Obama's been offering on that front.

And I will say this, the reaction has been great in the mainstream media. Why, I honestly don't know but I stopped understanding how things things work 35 years of experience ago. In my book, Biden's choice undercuts Obama's two biggest strengths, his opposition to the Iraq war and the whole "Change" thing, but then again, that's probably why I don't get paid to write about this stuff.

A few other takes on Biden's Selection:

-Chris Bowers

-Kathy G. (A pretty thoruough look and good back and forth)

-Cheryl Contee from JackandJillpolitics, and she has a round up of reaction from other prominent black bloggers

-Mike Lux (A very positive take)

-Sirota (A good, bad and Ugly type thing)

Obama/Biden 08
What's your take?


  1. cool graphic there with the red, white & blue Obama/Biden ticket. i obviously don't know nearly as much about the subject, but it doesn't seem like the possible selection out of those available (which i guess is the same point you made here). maybe Biden's presence will help pull in more republican-leaning swing voters who might still be on the fence, or maybe that could be the same kind of thinking that has led the Democrats into disaster the past two general elections. hard to say.

  2. I"m not sure..I feel like Biden represents the same type of selection as a Hilary, just without the hideous sense of entitlement, and with similar pros/cons on the issues. There have been arguments of 'well, if you picked biden, then you might as well have picked hilary' I'll try to find the article. Though more tolerable, I really wish that some progressive leaning candidate was chosen.

    I guess there is too much I do not know about Biden aside from his recent debate speeches and defections on key bills.

    This election is about to get real ugly real fast, between the fast talking maverick and Gaffes Mcgee on this end..Can you imagine the commercials in about 3 weeks from now after the convention bumps and leading into the 2 month stretch??

    Muy Caliente my friends...

  3. Yeah... the low expectations have worked such wonders on me that I'm really taking seriously the idea that the leaks about Bayh and Kaine were a careful strategy.

    Biden is not another Lieberman (thank fucking god). He's not another John Edwards, either (may his political soul rest in peace), though everyone expects him to appeal to "white, low income voters."

    I dunno. He and Barack looked pretty good standing next to each other in that video they sent out, and I'm not sure I can give a more thoughtful criticism than that.

    PS: "35 years of experience ago" = hilarious.

  4. I really think that Obama had to go with someone established here to quiet the constant criticism of him not being ready to lead. At the same time I agree that choosing Biden undercuts his change theme, but had he gone with a Wes Clark, then there would've been two inexperienced politicians on the ticket and the Republicans would've had a field day with that. There are trade-offs with both, but I think this was the better option. Also, we all can agree that Obama isn't hurting with the young voters, but he's in serious need of a way to attract older Americans. Maybe Biden is the ticket.

  5. Could be worse. I mean, pragmatically the VP just needs to be able to deliver votes - votes in November and votes in the house and senate.

    I would've liked to have Richardson in the whitehouse for his environmental clout. The party's going to have to go balls-to-the-wall in the winter to undo the gutting of the endangered species act that the DoI is planning. But yea, I'm not disappointed by Biden, just not terribly enthusiastic. Is anyone enthusiastic about that guy, after all?

  6. I think Biden's enthusiastic about Biden