The Weakness of the Biden Pick
The continued, ongoing feigned enthusiasm that the FSP crowd is pretending to have for the selection of Joe Biden as The One’s running mate notwithstanding, Obama’s selection of Biden makes sense for several reasons.
- The decision was not political: like the selection of Dick Cheney in 2000, Joe Biden does not assist with any electoral math (unless you count his connection with Scranton, a city he has not lived in for 53 years, as mattering, which I do not). Obama was going to win Delaware anyway, and Joe Biden is not going to bring any new state to the ticket.
- Foreign Policy: If there is any one area that Barack Obama has shown himself to be clueless above all other areas it’s in foreign policy. Like him or not, Biden has an extensive and noted background in this area. And even from the Republican perspective, it’s not all bad.
- Energy: Joe Biden, for all his faults, takes Amtrak too and from Wilmington every day, as you might of heard in the press the last few days. What better way to differentiate the ticket from the Republicans by highlighting somebody who uses (for this country) alternative transportation?
Of course, that’s about all the positives you can accentuate for Obama in this regard. Now, how does the Biden selection accentuate the fact that Obama’s campaign is in trouble?
- This is not HopeChangeHope: Joe Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972. Barack Obama was 11. It’s usually a good idea to select a running mate who does not contradict the major theme of your campaign merely by his selection. The only Senators with more seniority are Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy, Daniel Inouye, and Ted Stevens; that’s not exactly a distinguished list of Senators.
Think about this as far as change goes. Have at this quote:
So now Biden is Obama’s pick, and he’s clearly not a reinforcing one. If Obama’s core message is “change” and “judgment” based on his prescience on the Iraq War vote, well then, Biden is the exact opposite of those things. And the media has reacted accordingly.
Who said that? Kos.
- War, War what is it good for?…or not: Joe Biden voted for the war. Barack Obama didn’t. Since Obama got where he is today predicated a lot on the fact that he wasn’t at the pay grade to vote on things like war back in 2002, and despite the fact that Obama admitted that Bush’s surge plan worked, it seems a little curious to pick a running mate who you stadfastly disagreed with.
- Who’s leading the ticket?: Yesterday Barack Obama made a gaffe on the stump (what’s new?) and introduced Biden as “The Next President of…” before correcting himself. Of course, that’s the thing a lot of people see. Democrats like to kvetch that Dick Cheney has been pulling the strings of this White House; couldn’t their fears come true again with Biden, the ultimate insider, running with Obama? Because Biden has literally been a major player in D.C. since Obama was in middle school.
- Gaffe, Gaffe, Gaffe: Biden has a tendency to shoot his mouth off at times which he really should keep it shut. And hey, that’s a sometimes admirable thing and a way to actually get to the truth of the matter, but Biden makes it an artform. Of course, if you a Barack Obama, you’re probably hoping and praying to keep Biden away from a live mic for the next 72 days because you know that he is going to spout off about something.
- The Senator from MBNA is Recognized: While Obama has his ties to a convict and a terrorist, there was a reason that Biden was known as the Senator from MBNA. He often put the credit card company first and foremost in his mind during his service as a U.S. Senator. And true, MBNA was a large employer for his home state of Delaware (after fleeing high taxes in Maryland, incidentally) Biden went above and beyond for this big business. Given the “credit crunch” here in the U.S., can Obama afford someone with such close ties to big credit?
- Truthiness: The use of accurate facts and original material has never exactly been Biden’s strong suit, a point that Dan Spencer at RedState strongly reinforced today.
The moral of the story is this. Obama selected Biden from a position of weakness, not a position of strength. Biden was picked to overcome Obama’s noticeable shortcomings in experience and knowledge. And Biden was selected in an effort to stop the bleeding. Somebody in Obama’s campaign thinks that the selection of Biden is going to shore up concerns with Obama’s inexperience, and that the selection is going to reinforce the ticket’s foreign policy credentials. Problem is, the selection only accentuates the weaknesses the American people already knows Barack Obama has.
And let’s face it; running mate selections made from a position of weakness never really work.
- Gore picked Lieberman because he was the polar opposite of Bill Clinton;
- Mondale picked Ferraro because of the movement to select a female running mate, and because he needed to try something to save off Reagan.
- Reagan picked Schweiker at the 1976 Republican National Convention in an effort to balance the ticket, and it cost him the nomination.
- McGovern picked Eagleton in 1972 because Ted Kennedy said no, and because he needed somebody to run with him.
Will the Biden selection rank up there? Probably not? But it makes it clear that the Obama campaign is on the run.
Let’s hope that Senator McCain makes a wiser selection…