Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biden My Time

As I'm sure you've heard by the time you read this, Barack Obama has selected Joe Biden, senior senator from Delaware, as his running mate. Honestly, I'm a little bit baffled, but the more I think about it, the more convinced I am.

My initial reticence stemmed from the fact that when I think of Joe Biden, I immediately think of two things: plagiarism and unfortunate remarks. As many know by now, when running for president in 1988, Biden borrowed words from a speech given by a British politician, leading to his downfall in the primaries. According to Wikipedia, he correctly gave credit to the Brit on all occasions except for one which was videotaped, so I doubt it was intentional, but the story has stuck around enough that a professor of mine related the story as an all-time great presidential campaign gaffe. Similarly, on the day he announced his candidacy in 2008, he remarked that Obama was "clean" and "articulate." Ouch. Again, I'm sure it was an honest mistake, but that's loaded language.

However, upon further thought, I'm reminded of how fantastic he was during the early debates. He's quite witty, and can speak passionately and knowledgeably about important issues (no doubt a result of being the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.) Also, the quickness of tongue that sometimes get him in trouble is pretty great at times. Example: When Pres. Bush was speaking at the Knesset, he compared Obama's willingness to negotiate with Iran to Neville Chamberlain appeasing Nazis. Biden's response? "This is bullshit." Awesome. Since the environment is my top issue, I'm also happy to see that the League of Conservation Voters has lauded the choice; Biden has a lifetime LCV score of 83%, which is pretty bangin', and he's been strong on climate change.

So, I suppose on the whole, I'm cautiously optimistic about this choice. I still don't really see what voters it will help him pick up, but hey, they know more about campaigning than I do. I'm excited for today's rally to see them together for the first time, and looking forward to what lies ahead.

Besides, on an entirely shallow level, "Obama/Biden '08" just sounds good.


Alexandra said...

it gives the ticket the foreign policy experience that Obama lacks alone! So it picks up the peeps worried about that, plus working class Pennsylvannia folk (bc Biden grew up there) too.

OBaiden '08!

Aviva said...

Check out Grist's factsheet on Biden: