The wait is finally over. After tons of speculation, the guessing game is over and done with. The winner of Barack Obama’s VEEPstakes is none other than Sen. Joe Biden.
I have to say that I’m a little suprised, disappointed, and – yes- nervous about this decision. While I can definitely appreciate what Biden can bring to this ticket (namely the mountains of experience and his old, white guyness), I’m also concerned about…well…what he brings to this ticket. The right will have a field day with how his status as a Washington insider contradicts Obama’s message of change, and they’d be correct. But they will also do all they can to destroy the partnership between Obama and Biden. No less than an hour after the VP choice was announced, the McCain camp personally delievered this very clever attack ad highlighting the fact that Biden has cast doubt on Obama’s experience and how Biden indicated how “honored” he would be to run with McCain:
Now what the McCain camp will not tell you is that the latter part of the ad where Biden is seemingly endorsing McCain was from an interview back in 2004 when McCain’s reputation as a maverick was a little more substantive (slick move John). But what we cannot deny is the first half of this clip where recently — and by recently, I mean this year — Biden did say that Obama lacked experience. Even if he has changed his tune about Obama or has laid out a robust plan to give Obama that experience, I don’t trust the average person to have enough foresight to see that. They will respond to Obama’s so-called lack of experience far more than they would to the load of experience that McCain and Biden may have; even when that experience is pretty lackluster. The average uninformed voter will say “Tis better to have tried and failed than not to have never tried…”; which I think is bologne. But this will no doubt become a major theme during this election. Count on it.
Aside from all of that, Biden does not bring Obama any closer to securing most of the 18 million pissed off Hillary Clinton supporters who will significantly impact the outcome of this election. I hate to constantly drive this point; mostly because I’ve grown to strongly dislike Hillspawn, but Obama needs her far more than he needs Biden. Hillspawn supporters who plan to vote for McCain or simply stay home could care less whether Obama adds “a more experienced” person to his ticket if that person is not named Hillary Clinton. When you consider the momentum that McCain has miraculously obtained lately (in part, due to Obama botching a few precious opportunities to really attack), Obama needs to push for as many of those Hill supporters as possible. But most of them are too stubborn to jump aboard unless Hillspawn is in the mix.
For a while I was staggering on the idea that Obama was just another politician. But this latest move only confirms it. It also proves to me that it’s not just ‘a black man’ for which the country is not ready, but also a person of standards and characteristic qualities. So I can’t completely fault him for leaving those principles at the door. But if he insists on going that route, why not at least put himself in the best position to actually get elected? Appeasing those stubborn and relentless Hillspawn supporters may have been his last chance.
Then again, what do I know? I’ve been wrong before about who Obama should pick. Maybe I’m wrong again. We’ll find out in November.