… and they’re off …

Now people who are not politics nerds will begin to focus on the election. As I’ve said, I’m ambivalent about Biden, but I can live with it. See Howard Fineman and John Dickerson for commentary.

10 thoughts on “… and they’re off …

  1. Maybe it’s my advanced age, but I’m really getting tired of people ‘complaining’ about the media, candidates for any elected office, the price of gas etc. etc. etc.

    We get the media we’ll listen to and watch. We get the candidate we’ll give money to and vote for. We pay high gas prices because we use so bloody much of it.

    Frankly, we’re living in a house with a rotten foundation – windows won’t open or close, neither will doors, great cracks opening up almost daily in every wall. And what do we keep doing? We go daily to Home Depot where we buy shims, house jacks, spackle, paint, mouse-traps…We seem content to live like this when, if we deal with the foundation, we won’t have to.

    We really have to take responsibility for that for which we are ultimately responsible.

  2. The US Senate is sometimes referred to as the ‘Millionare’s Club’. Joe Biden (I heard) is the poorest member of the club with a net worth in red ink. It will be interesting to see how that plays in a debate with Romney (I am speculating.)

    Biden is outspoken; that may play VERY well as he blocks for Obama. It fits well that he will attack McCain and respond to criticism. Hopefully, it will allow Obama to stay on message.

    There’s a lot of cerbrial issues I would love to see discussed & debated. But I think that the election will be decided by gut feelings among undecided voters. This fact has been exploited by Republicans with great success, and it’s time Democrats were less intellectual and more passionate.

  3. Yikes, I’m a politics nerd!

    I’m good with Biden. I assessed my own little report card when I heard the official announcement earlier:

    Public speaking ability: EXCELLENT
    Sense of humor: GOOD
    Comic timing: NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
    Whiffs of scandal: NONE THAT I KNOW OF
    Was on Obama’s VP search committee: NO
    Worships Satan: NO
    Raised by nannies and butlers: NO
    Raised by wolves: NO
    Raised by missionaries: NO
    “Obama/Biden” bumper sticker quality: VERY GOOD
    Likely to run for president in 8 years: NOT REALLY (HE’LL BE 73)
    Looks healthy: YES
    Sounds rational: YES

    In the end, a reasonable choice. And the quiet little state of Delaware has something to celebrate tonight. I think that’s nice.

  4. One commentator put it this way — if you are going to change Washington, you need the blueprints and Joe Biden’s got the blueprints to DC. Fact is, as Jimmy Carter showed us, if you don’t know how to work the Congress, you can’t do anything as President. I don’t know how much Biden helps Obama get elected, but if the world is fortunate enough to see a President Obama, having a Vice President Biden will be invaluable in terms of actually getting things done at the other end of the avenue.

    The man is not the machine boss that LBJ was, but he is similar in that he is one of the most connected, respected insiders under the dome who can get the grease under the fingernail, day-to-day stuff done. He knows who to go to, what to say to whom, and what to avoid. The VP candidate’s job is attack dog — he’ll be good — but the VP’s job once elected (at least before Cheney) was to be Nehru to Gandhi, to be the one who starts the levers moving NOT to make policy.

    DC is a town that lives on process and inertia. Too many people are too invested in figuring out how to work the system to want to see it changed at all. The only way to bring change is to have in place someone who knows where the joints are, how much they can bend, and how much finesse and how much pressure is needed to bend them. In this regard, it’s a fine choice.

  5. Biden works for me. a closer look at Biden shows some good assets.

    In my mind I was hoping that Obama would choose a women (Hillary or Sebelius) as a running mate. My logic is that if you’re going to break a barrier,which Obama will do, you might as well break two of them in one stroke. I know that is wishful thinking, but I really believe America in large part has had enough of the mindless macho commander-in-chief type bullshit that’s been foisted upon us ad nauseam, and they are ready to listen to reason regardless of the choice of VP.

    Gas prices are on the march !

  6. SteveG, excellent analysis.

    Swami, I was rooting for Sebelius, much to the chagrin of my family of Kansas Dems (“Don’t take our cool governor!”). However, with Biden, I’m starting to sense the power of name recognition. An Obama/Sebelius ticket would translate into “Obama/Who?” in the minds of most Americans.

    And I can’t imagine Hillary was ever a serious consideration. Talk about someone who would insist on being “co-president.”

  7. I was rootin for Sebelius too – but I’ve come around to see that Biden brings a better balance to the ticket, for all the reasons commenters upstream have listed. My only qualm is the horrid bankruptcy bill, but then what would you expect from any senator from Delaware?

  8. One more qualm about Biden – I saw this in a comment (on Digby?). According to the comment, Biden was instrumental in getting Clarence Thomas his job on the Supreme Court – Biden cut off testimony from three female coworkers who were going to provide additional testimony – along with Anita Hill – about instances of sexual harrassment in Thomas’ past. Fast Forward to 2000, and Thomas became one of the key justices who voted to make George W Bush president in Bush v Gore.

    Had Thomas been denied his position on the Court, then-President Bush Senior would likely have nominated someone more moderate and acceptable to the Congress of that day, which in the future, would have yielded a different outcome to Bush v Gore. A great plotline for a “Back to the Future” episode, where the past is changed to alter the future, no?

    I don’t know how true all of this is, and maybe Biden had legitimate reasons to not hear the additional witnesses, but what a difference a small decision, one forgotten afternoon in a subcomittee, made for the country’s future. Let’s hope his good angels prevail in our future.

  9. Well, if Biden intentionally aided in the appointment of Thomas to the Supreme Court, I’m sure he now knows he made a big mistake. Thomas’s fixation on male endowments aside, Thomas has proved unequivocally that he’s not up to the intellectual rigors of the Court. Obama offered the kindest criticism possible of Thomas at Saddleback, and for those who can read between the lines it was sufficient to get the point across.

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