Obama Taps Joe Biden for VP – Storybook, Man
Barack Obama has listened to David Brooks and chosen Joe Biden as his running mate.
How the Press is Covering the News
CNN: “Obama chooses Sen. Joe Biden to be running mate”
Sen. Barack Obama has selected Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, according to his official Web site and a text message the campaign sent to supporters on Saturday. “Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee,” the text message, sent at around 3 a.m. ET, said.
“Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois — the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago,” Obama said in an e-mail sent to supporters Saturday morning. “I’m excited about hitting the campaign trail with Joe, but the two of us can’t do this alone,” he wrote. ” We need your help to keep building this movement for change.”
Liz Sidoti and Nedra Pickler, AP/Breitbart: “Obama taps Biden to be running mate”
Biden, 65, has twice sought the White House, and is a Catholic with blue-collar roots, a generally liberal voting record and a reputation as a long-winded orator.
Across more than 30 years in the Senate, he has served at various times not only as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee but also as head of the Judiciary Committee, with its jurisdiction over anti-crime legislation, Supreme Court nominees and Constitutional issues.
In selecting Biden, Obama passed over several other potential running mates, none more prominent than former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, his tenacious rival in dozens of primaries and caucuses.
Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny, NYT, “Obama Chooses Biden as Running Mate”
Senator Barack Obama has chosen Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware to be his running mate, turning to a leading authority on foreign policy and a longtime Washington hand to fill out the Democratic ticket, Mr. Obama announced in text and e-mail messages early Saturday.
Mr. Obama’s selection ended a two-month search that was conducted almost entirely in secret. It reflected a critical strategic choice by Mr. Obama: To go with a running mate who could reassure voters about gaps in his resume, rather than to pick someone who could deliver a state or reinforce Mr. Obama’s message of change.
Chris Cillizza, WaPo’s The Fix, “Obama Picks Biden as V.P.”
Barack Obama has chosen Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate, a pick designed to shore up the Illinois senator’s foreign policy credentials in advance of the November election against John McCain.
Biden’s selection was confirmed by a Democratic source after an evening of speculation that centered on the Delaware senator when it was reported that the other top contenders were no longer under consideration. Biden had been considered the frontrunner for the job in recent weeks — a position confirmed by a last-minute, unscheduled trip last weekend to meet with the president of Georgia.
Joe Biden: The Right Choice?
The early media narrative is set: Obama went with Biden to shore up his lack of experience, especially in the realm of foreign policy. AP’s Ron Fournier, in a piece headlined “Analysis: Biden pick shows lack of confidence,” argues this is a bad idea.
The picks say something profound about Obama: For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn’t beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack. The Biden pick is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative — a strategic decision that may be necessary but threatens to run counter to his image.
[T]he question is whether Biden’s depth counters Obama’s inexperience — or highlights it?
After all, Biden is anything but a change agent, having been in office longer than half of all Americans have been alive. Longer than McCain.
And he talks too much. On the same day he announced his second bid for the presidency, Biden found himself explaining why he had described Obama as “clean.”
And there’s the 2007 ABC interview in which Biden said he would stand by an earlier statement that Obama was not ready to serve as president. It seems Obama is worried that some voters are starting to agree.
I tend to agree with Fournier here. Even though he’s among the most liberal Democrats in the Senate, Biden is one of my favorites. His tendency to shoot from the hip makes him more human. Further, I think he meets the “Ready on Day One” test.
The downside, however, is that he highlights Obama’s weaknesses. Biden has been in the Senate, making weighty public policy decisions, since Obama was a schoolboy. The campaign will therefore be faced with the inevitable question: Shouldn’t this ticket be flipped?
Then again, the same was said of the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2000. The difference, though, is that people have an intuitive — if perhaps dubious — sense that running a state is better preparation for the presidency than Congress or the bureaucracy.
Obama doesn’t have that fallback. His whole candidacy is based on personal qualities — youth, energy, smarts, charisma, passion — and a sense that he’s Not Another Politician. As a wise man once put it, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
I’m not sure he wins if he goes down the same old road of attack politics. His hopes for the presidency ride on, well, Hope.
Other Blogger Reactions
Here’s a sampling from my feed reader, in rough order of their posting on the subject:
- Jim Geraghty, Campaign Spot: “I can’t recall a running mate who immediately before being selected told reporters, “I’m not the guy.” Unless Team Obama told him he was out, and then changed their mind, Biden began his role as Obama’s running mate by lying to the press.”
- Taegan Goddard, Political Wire, notes that Biden got “immediate protection” from the Secret Service even before the pick was announced.
- Stephen Green, VodkaPundit: “I’m jumping the gun here, but I’ll go ahead and coin the word right now…O’Biden. Change you can believe in — because it’s been in Washington since 1973 already.”
- Richard Fernandez, Belmont Club: “Both Obama and Biden are Senators, and neither has held an executive position of any magnitude.”
- Orin Kerr: “Being from Delaware myself, I think that’s pretty cool; I’ve liked Senator Biden ever since he spoke to my 7th grade class during our class trip to Washington.”
- Trollhammer, Java Report: “Praise the Lord and pass the popcorn. This is going to be more fun than Carter/Mondale ’80.”
- Ezra Klein: This pick “suggests the Obama campaign is ready to take the foreign policy fight to McCain.”
- Shawn Brimley, Democracy Arsenal: “Senator Biden has long been a leader that understands the centrality of foreign policy issues and has shown clear leadership as Chairman of the SFRC. His series of comprehensive hearings on Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other key issues provided context to complex issues, and accountability to a White House that prefered to keep America in the dark on central issues of statecraft.”
- Genghis, Ace of Spades HQ, “While you’re waiting breathlessly for the Secret Service to arrive at Sen. Biden’s residence to arrest his hair plugs for making terroristic threats against the presumptive Democrat(ic) nominee for the U.S. Presidency, you might as well read this story.”
- Greg Ransom, PrestoPundit: “The insufferable self-regard of this ticket is going to set some sort of record, even among self-obsessed politicians. Have we ever had two candidates who so love to hear themselves talk?”
- Marc Lynch, Abu Aardvark: “I’m thrilled about the pick of Joe Biden. I never had a strong VP preference, but Biden was by far my favorite of the short-list that emerged over the last week. . . . Smart, experienced and tough guy who will complement Obama in many ways.”
- Steve Benen, Political Animal: “I’ll have plenty of commentary and analysis in a bit, but I thought I’d get the thread going. Pleased with the pick? Relieved it’s not Bayh? Does Biden improve Obama’s chances in November?”
- Dale Franks has an excellent roundup of pre-announcement discussion of Biden and Biden quotes over at QandO. And then there’s this, from Jon at Exurban League:
Best of Joe Biden
Some selected Joe Biden posts from the OTB archives.
- Biden: “I’m Not the Guy”
- Joe Biden, Neocon?
- Joe Biden and Me Won’t Be Hillary’s VP
- A Noun, a Verb, and 9/11
- Joe Biden’s Son Headed to Iraq
- Biden: Obama Clean, Articulate, Bright African-American
- Biden: “You cannot enter a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have an Indian Accent” (Video)
- Biden: Abandon Confirmation Hearings for Judges
- Joe Biden Running for President in 2008
- Biden: Hillary Clinton Likely 2008 Nominee
- DRAFT BIDEN