Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama has just lost the election

So, I'm awakened at 4:30 AM by my Blackberry. The text message has at last arrived with the anti-climactic news that Obama has chosen Joe Biden as his running mate. It's all downhill from here.

Don't get me wrong: Senator Biden has intelligence, diligence, and a grasp of world affairs informed by his many years in the Senate grinding away on the day-to-day business of the American people. He's not the most exciting person in the room, but he is likely to be the best informed.

In short, he's everything Obama isn't.

While the media were congratulating themselves on ferreting out the answer to the needlessly obscure question of the week, the pundits were offering up reasons why Biden is an excellent choice to be Vice President.

But here's why he's not:
  1. Obama's campaign is about Change; Biden is anything but. There's nothing exciting or different about Biden, and if the voter views Washington insider status as part of the problem, the VP choice will do more harm than good.
  2. Obama is a young man with energy and charm; Biden is another "white-haired, wrinkly old dude" who has more in common with Obama's opponent than with his own running mate. This choice seriously undercuts any arguments about how McCain is too old and out of touch.
  3. Obama's relative lack of experience will be even more pronounced with an (excuse me, Joe) elder statesman on the ticket. He will look like a kid compared to the more senior Senator. It's an upside-down pairing; the question that comes to mind is "Why isn't Joe Biden the candidate, and Obama his running mate?"
  4. This choice will do nothing to appease Hillary supporters, as might have a choice for Kathleen Sibelius. At least she would have made history as the first female in the number two slot, the way perhaps paved by Clinton's example. Now what do HRC's fans have to grab onto? I foresee much more drama at the Denver convention than I was expecting, and wouldn't be surprised to see a "draft Hillary" movement get some real momentum. Might she pull a Lieberman? Time will tell.
The choice of the potential Vice President is the first, most public decision made by a candidate. Obama's choice may prove to be an own goal.

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