Senator Barack Obama has selected Delaware Senator Joseph Biden to be his running mate. Here’s my immediate reaction:
- The selection of Biden -- the 6th term chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee -- is a direct admission of Obama’s own weaknesses and inexperience. In fact, when Biden was running for the White House last year, he specifically said that Obama was not ready to president and that the presidency “is not something that lends itself to on-the-job-training.” He also said that it would be a “tragic mistake” to nominate someone, like Obama, who does not have foreign policy and national security experience. And yet for all his vast experience, just like Barack Obama, Biden also opposed the troop surge in Iraq, which is now considered a stunning military success. The Democrats will have two defeatists leading their ticket.
- In addition to his experience, Biden is Catholic and 65-years-old. Obama is clearly having problems with faith-based voters and senior citizens, and he’s hoping that Biden can reassure those critical voting blocs.
- Biden is very liberal -- earning a mere 7% pro-family score from Campaign for Working Families. The Associated Press also described Biden as “An internationalist and strong supporter of the United Nations.”
- Biden has run for the White House before, and in 1988 was forced to abandon his bid after it was revealed that he had plagiarized his campaign speeches from a leftwing British politician.
- He can be very long-winded and is prone to making politically incorrect gaffes, such as once referring to Obama as “articulate” and “clean.” He also said, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”
- Biden can also be a vicious partisan. He was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearings of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas -- two the Senate’s worst performances in recent memory. Vice presidential running mates traditionally have had one purpose during the campaign -- to be the ticket’s “attack dog.” It’s a role Biden will play well.
Campaign for Working Families