Breaking Down The Biden Factor

23 08 2008

I’m going to take a moment and pontificate about Barack Obama choosing Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate.

In any political race, there are those buzzwords that become meaningless because the reality is that there is always maneuvering and trying to stay a couple of steps ahead. Obama tapping Biden on the shoulder as his running mate is actually somewhat surprising to me, which may shock you. Three weeks ago, I hadn’t really thought Biden up on this.

But in some ways, it makes sense. Biden has experience, he’s bawdy in some ways, he’s good entertainment. I honestly thought Clinton might be on the ticket after she conceded earlier this summer. But her husband continued to be loud and annoying (I always dug Bill Clinton but he’s been one cranky old man this past year.)

Every state has different needs. Would Clinton or Bayr or Kaine or Richardson been as powerful as Biden overall?

Maybe. Maybe not.

I’ve really been thinking that with the Biden announcement at 3:00 a.m. was brilliant from a media perspective. Was there “change” involved with this? Yes. No other political announcement has been done this way. We had a media frenzy all week over who Obama would choose and then by sending the text out (although John King of CNN was pretty insistent last night with his reporting) at the same time that a Clinton ad made that time such an issue seems to me to be pretty much intended to make a point.

Sure, the Obama camp will deny that but what is done is done.

Biden only brings three electoral votes with him from Delaware. He’s Roman Catholic which is a huge swing vote in this country. It’s one not spoken about as much as votes on gender and race but it’s still important.

Biden brings 30+ years of experience to the ticket, something that Obama has been criticized for. He is a beltway player. His foreign relations efforts are well-documented.

He spouts off a lot and suffers huge foot-in-mouth disease, which is risky and the plagiarism issues of 1987 are still in some of our minds.

And, as I do sometimes try to let you know what I hear from the locals, he’s well liked by many of the people here in the rural area I live in.

Do I like Biden? Well, I’m not in love with him but I have seen him stand up on some issues I care about. He buried his first wife and a child when he was first elected to the Senate after a terrible car accident in Delaware. I have empathy for that.

So, let’s just throw it out there. Obama picked a guy who’s either liked or disliked equally. He’s added a bit of gray hair to the ticket and there is the issue of experience but not a ton of electoral votes.

It wasn’t what I expected but I have, as you can tell by the amount of Bigfoot posts I’ve had up recently, I haven’t exactly been pouring over the tubes trying to find a clue either.

But to say there wasn’t any “change” I think is buying into the buzzwords of the campaign, a word that got Obama the nation’s attention and also has created some nightmares for him as well. Well, there was some change to a degree.

This election cycle, due to a large part to the growing online community who educates themselves, is a change. For every blogger that passionately follows Washington, there are four or five people that watch ten minutes of news a day and could give two hoots about details.

So, I think Obama made a good choice in that regard. Biden is a brand. People know who Biden is.

And that’s for everyone out there who is watching NASCAR or The Food Network or any other niche station that aren’t news junkies, because you see, they know who Biden is.

It might help. It might hurt.

We will see.




13 responses

23 08 2008

Biden is the diametric opposite of Obama’s central campaign narrative of change, for one simple reason: Biden is drowning in lobbyist money. He has lived in the back pockets of the credit card and insurance industries for decades.

In my opinion, Biden is a horrible choice. His presence on the ticket hands the GOP a chance to level the charge of “hypocrisy” at Obama’s message of change from the status quo. And it’ll stick.

23 08 2008

Biden — the perfect foil for Palin!

23 08 2008

You make a very good point. The Lobbyist money has me VERY concerned but, you know, they all have that even the guys here. (Ask me when I see you about that Bible bill. Grrr.)
He wasn’t my first choice, nor even my fifth, but it is what it is. And I think the GOP will attack it as well and I also think it will stick.

I keep going back to those folks that don’t watch politics like we do. I had a conversation not to long ago with some folks who say they are going to vote but haven’t looked at one issue. They’ll vote for either who they know or who their told to vote for.
We live in frustrating times, my friend.

23 08 2008

I think you’re right about the branding thing: Obama wanted someone non-polarizing (which ruled out Hillary) with a recognizable name (which ruled out practically everyone else). Unfortunately, I think he stopped the inquiry right there, and didn’t think any deeper. Maybe Biden’s name recognition will help, but I kind of doubt it.

And yeah, it’s frustrating.

23 08 2008
BamBi ‘08 , An Ol’ Broad’s Ramblings

[…] While you’re at it, check out Ms Coma’s breakdown of Biden. […]

23 08 2008

I just left a similar comment over at Sharon’s so why not here as well. Biden is a decent pick who Does No Harm. Nothing special or breathtaking about it, but nobody who was seriously considering Obama is going to not vote for him now because of Biden. (Except maybe some of the more irrational Clinton bitter-enders.)

This is Obama’s ballgame anyway; we don’t vote for Veep.

23 08 2008

Obama couldn’t have chosen a worse person. I can here the Obama bin Biden chants already.

23 08 2008

Most people vote for a name they recognize and don’t pay attention to anything else. Besides, isn’t the VP’s job to be the jester for late night comedians? Don’t they just provide distractions? Doesn’t Biden blurt without thinking and apologize afterward?

23 08 2008

I ranked him 3rd, below Clark and Dodd and ahead of Bayh and Kaine, he gave a good speech today.

My friend after whom my blog is named said something interesting today which may give more insight into the choice of Biden: People will accept one cranky old white guy criticizing another old white guy easier than they would have accepted it from Obama.

Insightful but sad commentary, especially when you consider there’s a great deal of truth in it.

23 08 2008

I am probably more naive about this situation than others, but I see his choice as one of “electability” (sp) more than anything. As McCain’s numbers inch closer to Obama’s in nationwide polls, Obama needed to make a decision to help pull those who are undecided his direction. Biden helps balance the ticket and people know him to work well when dealing with foreign affairs. Besides, he has age and years in office working with him.
I agree with you ‘Coma on the lobbyist situation. I can’t think of any who are not manipulated by lobbyists. They really shined through with the new Bible Bill that was passed in TN.
Still recovering form the shock.

23 08 2008

I gotta tell ya, I was annoyed about the Biden thing this morning. You can take all the bad stuff that’s been said about the pick and this morning I would have ditto-ed it.

Now that I’ve had the luxury of 8 hours in a plane with a toddler right next to me I’m less cranky about the pick and more intrigued as to how he will be utilized. Biden’s a gunslinger, shoot from the hip kind of guy, not always that accurate, but intimidating as hell to an opponent. Obama needs that.

As long as Obama sticks to and strengthens his message, Biden can do some of the dirty work and still help the ticket.

People may not vote for a ticket because of the Veep, but they’ll sure vote against it because of one.

24 08 2008
Jeffraham Prestonian

Well, I honestly wanted to see:

1.) Brian Schweitzer, Governor of MT;
2.) Wes Clark;
3.) Hillary Clinton (I knew the issues here, but it sounded good to me for a while)

That said, I like what Rude Pundit had to say about Biden. 🙂

24 08 2008

I kinda agree with Cracker’s friend and others sorta. I have been way out of the loop this week and unaware of much, but as soon as I read it, it occurred to me that Biden was probably the best choice vs. McCain.

Between the name recognition, years in office experience, and age, I just think if that was probably the best vs. McCain move that could have been made.

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