This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

A Safe Pick


Barack Obama has named the Delaware Senator, Joe Biden, as his running mate.

It is not the most exciting choice, but it is a solid one.

Biden brings foreign policy expertise to the ticket. He has been Chair of the Senate foreign relations committee for years and is comfortable dealing with the men in uniform. The recent crisis in Georgia put further pressure on the Obama camp to find a running mate who had some expertise in this area. Biden is more than capable of countering the accusations from the McCain camp that the Democrats will be weak on foreign policy.

Biden is also older. With an electorate increasingly aged, this has got to be a good thing. Obama has never been great at reaching the grey vote.

He is also combative. He will take the fight right to the Republicans and with the campaign getting increasingly negative and the attacks on Obama more personal, this is an absolute necessity. In Biden, the Democrats have found someone who can give as good as he gets.

He is also a Catholic and pro-abortion. Two demographics the Democrats need to win back the White House.

All in all it is a steady choice, if not exactly an inspiring one.

It would have been better had Obama copied Clinton's example in 1992 and chosen a running mate who was just as transformational as he is. But that is always a risky move.

As it is, Obama has found a candidate who balances his foreign policy inexperience and also knows a thing or two about governing.

The only problems I can see are that in choosing Biden, Obama draws more attention to his lack of foreign policy credentials. The Republicans are bound to exploit this.

Biden is also known for his gaffes, so these will be regurgitated by the Republican attack machine over the next few months and used to embarrass the Democrats.

But, no choice is ever perfect and in choosing Joe Biden, Obama has found a solid, experienced politician who will campaign well and take the fight right to the Republicans.

Roll on the convention....

2 comments:

Democrat said...

Yes, I was a little disappointed that he didn't go for the transformational candidate. But on reflection and after listening to his speech, I think Biden might well be a very effective attack dog on McCain - and that is desperately needed. He is also folksy and homespun and has good strong roots. Although he might not be safe, I don't think anyone is going to be able to attack his record, or uncover any devastating dirt. So in that sense a solid choice.
It will also be fun watching him lay into the Bush McCain Republicans...
(PS Great video by the way!)

Doug said...

(Asyou can imagine, I'm fairly ecstatic about this!)

Maybe unwise to use these slightly rusty parallels, and not even Biden can ever be as great as the Philosopher King Leo McGarry, it does look another extra bit like the Santos '06 ticket.

(from a few months a go):
http://playpolitical.typepad.com/race_for_the_white_house_/2008/02/west-wings-matt.html

Wont be particularly important to the run-off the veep nom, but I do think (unfortunately )it was important that Obama chose someone who was a) white and b)male given the difficulties he might face in November.