The N.Y. Times reports that Barack Obama has picked Joe Biden as his running mate. And all I can say is ho-hum. He’s playing it safe. Telling the world he’s afraid it will notice his weaknesses and hence the attempt to stick a finger in the dike of his inexperience. This is reactive and not proactive politics. One of the things I’ve admired about Obama’s campaign thus far has been his willingness to make daring moves, to do the unexpected. It allowed him to break out of the mold. It set him apart from Hillary Clinton, the candidate who seemingly tried to do everything the same old, boring, old-fashioned way.
Biden is a consensus builder. He’s not an especially bright bulb. In fact, he comes across as a bit of a buffoon due to his shoot from the lip style. I expect we’ll be seeing Jay Leno and David Letterman dredging up every stupid, silly comment Biden has made in 35 years of Senate service.
Yes, Biden is a steady hand–I was going to say in the Cheney mold though I immediately realized how ridiculous it was for anyone to believe Cheney was being added to the 2000 Republican ticket to add a note of rigor and stability. Biden will certainly add more gravitas to the ticket than Cheney did. But man is he ever old and tired. And I never trust a politician from Delaware who has a perpetual suntan. He also looks like he just had his face “enhanced” by a surgeon’s knife. Biden’s smile, while a mile-wide, somehow always reminds me of Mack the Knife or a gameshow host. And does he ever love to hear the sound of his own voice!
I have to say I wasn’t thrilled by any of Obama’s VP choices. There was the white guy from the Midwest, Evan Bayh; the Catholic guy from the near South, Tim Kaine; and Biden. I thought Kathleen Sebelius would’ve been a groundbreaking pick, though perhaps it wouldn’t bring much politically to the ticket other than a breath of fresh air. And Chuck Hagel–now that would’ve been a groundbreaking candidate who would’ve stolen some Republican thunder.
When I think of the boring prospect of adding Joe Biden to the ticket, I look back fondly on the vice presidential candidacy of Lloyd Bentsen. Now, that was a politician who really had the goods. Only someone of Bentsen’s character could’ve sliced and diced Dan Quayle as he did in that famous debate. Obama needed a Bentsen and I’m afraid he chose an Edsall.
This has been cross-posted at Huffington Post.