Friday, August 22, 2008

Barack Obama Picks Joe Biden For V.P.

The race for the White House is about to get really nasty. Barrack Obama's campaign of change has selected the ultimate Washington insider to be his running mate in Election 2008. With the selection of Joe Biden, Obama has chosen to forget about his campaign of change and embrace the politics of political attack. The truth is that Biden will be Obama's Republican attack dog for the next few months. The tone of this campaign is going to get very sour, very quickly.

The choice of Biden opens up several lines of Republican attack. Biden criticized Obama's lack of foreign policy experience in the Demcratic primary when he was a candidate and Biden voted to fund the Iraq war while Obama did not.

The other troubling thing about the selection of Biden was how it was done. Obama promised to announce the selection in advance by a text message. That entire process was compromised when the selection was leaked and a hurried text message was then made to his mailing list at 2am on Saturday morning. The execution was not well done and shows a lack of campaign experience.

The Associated Press has the following analysis of the Joe Biden selection for V.P.:

By RON FOURNIER, Associated Press Writer Sat Aug 23, 2:12 AM ET

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.

Democratic strategists, fretting over polls that showed McCain erasing Obama's lead this summer, welcomed the move. They, too, worried that Obama needed a more conventional — read: tougher — approach to McCain.

"You've got to hand it to the candidate and the campaign. They have a great sense of timing and tone and appropriateness. Six months ago, people said he wasn't tough enough on Hillary Clinton — he was being too passive — but he got it right at the right time," said Democratic strategist Jim Jordan. "He'll get it right again."

Indeed, Obama has begun to aggressively counter McCain's criticism with negative television ads and sharp retorts from the campaign trail.A senior Obama adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity, said his boss has expressed impatience with what he calls a "reverence" inside his campaign for his message of change and new politics. In other words, Obama is willing — even eager — to risk what got him this far if it gets him to the White House.

Biden brings a lot to the table. An expert on national security, the Delaware senator voted in 2002 to authorize military intervention in Iraq but has since become a vocal critic of the conflict. He won praise for a plan for peace in Iraq that would divide the country along ethnic lines.

Chief sponsor of a sweeping anti-crime bill that passed in 1994, Biden could help inoculate Obama from GOP criticism that he's soft on crime — a charge his campaign fears will drive a wedge between white voters and the first black candidate with a serious shot at the White House.

So the 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.

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