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It’s Official: Obama Chooses Biden

by @ 6:26 am on August 23, 2008. Filed under 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Politics

Barack Obama has sent his message to the world:

(CNN) — 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.”

Before the text messages were distributed, multiple Democratic sources confirmed to CNN early Saturday that Obama wanted the Delaware senator as his vice president.

Not that there was really any surprise to the announcement. As much as the Obama campaign did what it could to keep people, and especially the media, in suspense, the signs that BIden would be the nominee have been there all week, and the Republicans have apparently been preparing for it:

Sen. John McCain’s campaign quickly reacted to word that Biden would be Obama’s running mate, calling attention to Biden’s past comments about Obama’s experience.

“There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama’s lack of experience than Joe Biden,” McCain campaign spokesman Ben Porritt said in a written statement.

“Biden has denounced Barack Obama’s poor foreign policy judgment and has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realizing — that Barack Obama is not ready to be president.”

In a debate during the Democratic primary contest, Biden raised questions about Obama’s foreign policy experience.

“Who among us is going to be able on day one to step in an end the war? Who among us understands what to do about Pakistan? Who among us is going to pick up the phone and immediately interface with Putin and tell him to lay off Georgia because Saakashvili is in real trouble. Who among us knows what they’re doing? I have 35 years of experience,” Biden said.

During another debate, moderator George Stephanopoulos referred to some of Biden’s comments on Obama.

“You were asked, ‘Is he ready?’ You said, ‘I think he can be ready, but right now, I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training,'” Stephanopoulos said.

“I think I stand by that statement,” Biden replied.

And, only three hours after the announcement, they’ve already got an ad ready:

All in all, though, Biden was a smart choice for Obama for the reasons that The New York Times states perhaps more honestly than it wanted:

WASHINGTON — 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.

A safe choice. Even a smart choice. But picking someone who’s been part of Washington for more than three decades is hardly change we can believe in:

DENVER – The candidate of change went with the status quo.

In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy — rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.

He picked a 35-year veteran of the Senate — the ultimate insider — rather than a candidate from outside Washington, such as Govs. Tim Kaine of Virginia or Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas; or from outside his party, such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; or from outside the mostly white male club of vice presidential candidates. Hillary Rodham Clinton didn’t even make his short list.

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.

Yea, Biden can be an attack dog alright, whether that’s a good thing or not, though, is something that only the next 73 days can tell.

This much is clear though. While Biden will get a lot of good media attention today and throughout the convention, this isn’t a pick that is going to excite the public the way an unconventional, albeit riskier, pick might have.

In the end, Barack Obama, who is running for President against an old white guy who’s been in the Senate for decades chose as his running mate an old white guy who’s been in the Senate for decades.

Again, doesn’t really sound like change to me.

3 Responses to “It’s Official: Obama Chooses Biden”

  1. Kevin Pierce says:


    NEWSWIRE–Barack Obama has selected U.S. Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware as his intended vice-presidential ticket-mate.

    Using track as a guide,
    Judge the running mate’s stride
    As he sprints between north and deep south:

    Can he dash down a phrase,
    Trot it out where it pays,
    Yet avoid running off at the mouth?
    Light verse, ripped from the headlines

  2. [...] during the Republican primaries, but I don’t think they’ll have the same impact that McCain’s Biden ad apparently did for one very simple reason – while Biden said more than once during the primaries [...]

  3. [...] judgment. In Barack Obama’s case, it’s fairly clear that he passed that test when he picked Joe Biden. When it comes to McCain’s selection of Palin, though, the jury is still out and, at the very [...]

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