Sunday, August 24, 2008

Joe Biden??!!

So, Obama has chosen his VP. What does his choice say about Obama and where the Obama campaign thinks it is stragegically?

First, choosing an 'Establishment' politician, a Senator who first went to Washington when Obama was just 11 years old, is a clear sign that Obama and his advisors believe they need to compensate for their weaknesses in terms of maturity and experience. McCain has been hammering Obama over his lack of foreign policy credentials, and picking Biden was clearly an attempt to counter this hole in the Obama resume. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Team Obama thinks it is losing, and that it had to do something to regain credibility.

Second, all of the hype about 'Hope' and 'Change' has been shown to be just that... hype. Obama is 'in it to win it' and will do what he thinks he needs to do at any time to gain the presidency. Now, this is not necessarily a Bad Thing; successful politicians need to win, and recognizing a problem and correcting it are good qualities. However, when the pivot is seen to be on principle instead of on strategies or tactics, and the excuse of expediency won't cover pivots on ideals. How does Obama explain now that McCain's judgment to support the Iraq War disqualifies him from the presidency when his own VP voted alongside McCain?

What about Hillary? Turns out she wasn't even seriously considered. What does that say to the PUMAs... the die-hard Hillary supporters? Picking Biden is a clear shot across the Clinton bow, a statement that Biden is more qualified than Hillary. Do the Democrats really think this is true? Certainly Hillary's supporters don't... so much for party unity.

All in all, choosing Biden was a strategic mistake by Obama. The man has a deserved reputation for opening his mouth without thinking, and he has left considerable ammunition for the Republicans to use in the fall campaign. No one who was unsure about voting for Obama has their concerns addressed. And, Biden is at best an average debator.

Who should Obama have chosen? Well, certainly not Hillary... because of her baggage and her antipathy to Obama. Who'd want to be president with Bill and Hillary just down the hall waiting like vultures for misfortune to strike? Not Gore... ugh! Certainly not Biden, or Bill Richardson.

How about thinking outside the box? What about... Joe Lieberman? The people who like Hillary tend to like Lieberman, and certainly McCain can't go out and bash the candidate who has worked for him. Yes, it would have upset the netroots, but are they really going to vote for McCain? Especially after the Great Uniter explains that Lieberman on the ticket brings all of the Democrats under the Big Tent? The only question is, would Lieberman have accepted? Other good choices include Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, certainly acceptable to most Democrats and a good way to bring the Hillary supporters back.

Either choice would have been better for Obama... if Obama thought he was perceived as being ready to assume the role of President. It's going to take more than Joe Biden to fix that.

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