Monday, August 25, 2008

A Bit About Biden

Obama's choice for VP didn't surprise me out side of the fact that Biden denied being tapped for the job till the very end. To me Biden was the safe choice. He's got the credentials and experience that Obama lacks. While some think that the choice of Biden highlights Obama's faults I don't see it that way. Personally I can't fault a man that sees his weaknesses and then brings on someone who can help compensate for them. Of the primary candidates there were two people capable of doing that Biden and Richardson. Since America isn't ready for an all minority ticket Biden was the logical choice.

Yeah, Biden is prone to slips of the tongue and he's got a bit of a temper but in a weird way that's part of his appeal. He's one of the most human people in politics. I can also see where his faults can be turned to Obama's advantage. He can play bad cop to Obama's good cop. If they can get that act down pat it'll pay off for Obama in the long run. Additionally Biden has one major plus. If you look at McCain's short list of veep prospects not one of them can go toe to toe with Biden in a debate and win. He's experienced enough and a decent enough speaker that he'll keep McCain's Veep pick on the defensive the whole debate. All he has to do is not come off as mean in the process. After all its one thing to eat someone for breakfast, its another to come off as having relished it.

Finally there is a weird sub dynamic going on in this presidential election that makes the veep pick more important than many previous elections. Given McCain's age there is a possibility he might not make it four years. Additionally many people I know have voiced concerns that Obama might not see the end of his first term. Considering that the Denver PD today thwarted what what may have been an assassination plot against Obama today I'd say their concerns are indeed justified. As insurance against such a plot succeeding Biden is a safe choice. Personally if Biden had to finish out Obama's term I wouldn't be concerned (unlike oh say Dan Quayle taking over for Bush Sr.). I wouldn't be particularly excited either.

Obama's choice of Biden some credence to Andrew Sullivan's claims about Obama's pragmatism. Biden was the safe choice. Converesly when I look at McCain's short list of veep picks (including Lieberman) I don't have the same level of comfort. In my minds eye Mccain is in a sticky situation. If he picks a VP to appease the GOP base he risks losing independents and vice versa. With that in mind I'm left wondering how much will Obama's choice affect McCain's decision making? I can't help but think that the choise McCain makes will say alot about what his presidency will be like and I for one am very curious as to what is going to happen next.