23 August 2008

Bidin' My Time

A.D. Freudenheim, The Editor

Whatever other news there is to write about this week, it’s important (well, “important”) to note that Senator Barack Obama today selected Senator Joe Biden to be his vice presidential running mate.

This is possibly the dumbest of the smart choices he could have made. That is not really saying very much. To be blunt about it, Biden seems like a terrible, terrible choice.

For one thing, Biden has screwed up every one of his own presidential campaigns. Whether it’s an issue of plagiarism, or of talking about someone being a nice, clean, articulate black guy, the biggest range of Biden’s presidential-type experiences consist of him not getting very far trying to run for president.

As for some notion of a rationale: picking a running mate with more experience, and picking a running mate with more Senate experience are not – in case there is any ambiguity about this – the same thing. Biden’s resume advantage over Obama consists of many more years of being in the Senate. Again, this is not saying much; Biden also, by virtue of being older, has more years of experience eating, pooping, and putting his pants on in the morning, but none of these are really qualifications for being president or vice president either. Biden does not even have the distinction of being a Congressional inquisitor, like some of his colleagues; his performance during the George W. Bush administration is no more distinguished than his previous decades in the Senate, and is not marked by any kind of vigorous opposition to Bush administration policies, either foreign or domestic.

The smartest thing about selecting Biden is that he has been around the block so many times it’s hard to imagine there are a lot of skeletons left in his closet. On the other hand, that’s hardly reassuring.

Oh, sure: I’m ready and willing to be surprised by the performance of the Obama-Biden team. I’m also ready and willing for McCain to continue reassuring the American people that he knows nothing about the issues that most concern them, like the economy. Alas, Obama-Biden’s path to victory may very well rest more solidly on the McCain team’s commitment to defeat.


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