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August 18, 2008

Comments

Certainly Biden is the best of the options that have been talked about lately. My worries about him are (1) that he undermines the "judgment" argument about opposing the Iraq invasion and (2) his subservience to the credit industry.

But since he presumably won't be a Cheney-style VP, I'm not so worried about the second point, since he should have less power as a VP than as a senator.

Obama needs an attack dog, and Biden would make a pretty good one. Biden can call bullshit on McCain's sanctimonious prickery more aggressively than Obama can -- or even wants to, perhaps. As a campaign running mate, Biden would be a net asset.

Would he be a net asset in office? That's a harder question. Biden is experienced enough to be helpful in the mechanics of governance. By the same token, he's too old to be a likely successor to a two-term Obama. In that respect, he would be more like VP Cheney than like VP Gore. That can be a two-edged sword, since the ultimate check on a veep's conduct is his aspiration to be elected POTUS himself one day. On balance, I'm willing to risk it. Biden would be as much an improvement over Cheney as Obama would be over Dubya.

And just on linguistic grounds, Obama-Biden plain sounds better than Obama-Bayah or (gak!) Obama-Kaine.

-- TP

I'm having a hard time making a list of things Biden brings that Clinton doesn't. I am not, mind you, a Clinton supporter, but once I've trimmed my expectations to Biden-size (beltway war-enabler), she looks pretty good. She's also aggressive and well-briefed. She's more disciplined than he is and she has demonstrated far greater success getting votes at the national level.

I suppose some of his negatives are lower, and it would be less weird actually working with him.

I'm having a hard time making a list of things Biden brings that Clinton doesn't.

Does "not being married to Bill Clinton" make your list? I might also add "not being affiliated with the incredibly creepy hyper conservative Christianist pseudo-cult known as The Family"...

she has demonstrated far greater success getting votes at the national level.

What are you referring to here? Are you talking about her success in the nomination fight or her legislative record in Congress or something else?

re: Hillary vs. Biden, can we really picture VP candidate Hillary attacking McCain as hard as Biden would? After insinuating that McCain is qualified to be commander-in-chief and Obama isn't??

I would be content with an Obama-Clinton administration, by the way, if we could get it without the fuss and bother of trying to win an election with an Obama-Clinton ticket.

-- TP

I'm making this case through gritted teeth, but just to see how far it goes: (a) it's not her fault she's married to a scoundrel, (b) yes, I'm referring to her success in getting votes in the nomination fight, which, whatever you think about it, is way more impressive than Biden's two outings and (c), yeah, I think she would tear into McC with gusto once her fortunes and Obama's were aligned.

May I point out that given how close-mouthed the Obama camp has been so far, and how much everyone has been reporting rumors that It's Biden in the last day and a half or two, while other sources say it came down to Biden, Kaine, and Bayh, that it's entirely possible that Biden is a stalking horse from the Obama camp to throw us off the track that it's actually Kaine or Bayh?

Mind, I don't want Bayh, either, and Kaine excites just about nobody, but it would be more consistent then the notion that this secret is so tightly held, and yet we're all being told in the past day that it's maybe Biden.

I'm still pining for Chris Dodd or Sebelius, anyway.

"I'm having a hard time making a list of things Biden brings that Clinton doesn't."

He brings not having Clinton's extremely long list of negatives. He brings decades of foreign policy experience, of which, contrary to the notion she sold, she has little beyond the ceremonial duties of First Lady. (If that counts, then apparently Laura Bush is qualified to be President from Day 1, but I don't see anyone making that argument.) Her accomplishments and experience as a Senator in that and most areas pale next to Biden's.

I think there's something to that, Gary, but continuing the logic would suggest that it isn't Bayh or Kaine either.

"I think there's something to that, Gary, but continuing the logic would suggest that it isn't Bayh or Kaine either."

Perhaps, and would that were so, but it would be harder to keep the deep vetting of someone else from leaking. It's conceivable, but seems fairly unlikely.

A shell game of three seems perfectly plausible to me.

Of course, maybe it is Biden; certainly there are plenty of reasons why it's plausible.

Perhaps too plausible. :-)

Or, you know, not. It's not as if I have any idea, after all. I'm just hoping it's not Bayh, but not entirely confident.

(a) it's not her fault she's married to a scoundrel

I don't care if Bill is a scoundrel; I worry that he would be difficult to manage and might cause new and interesting political problems for Obama. Plus I don't think he's willing to disclose donor info on his library or charity, which seems pretty important in terms of conflict of interest avoidance.

(b) yes, I'm referring to her success in getting votes in the nomination fight, which, whatever you think about it, is way more impressive than Biden's two outings

Well, if Biden (or Dodd or Richardson) had the Clinton machine pushing for them and fundraising for them, perhaps they'd be a little more competitive.

(c), yeah, I think she would tear into McC with gusto once her fortunes and Obama's were aligned

But given all the video footage of her deriding Obama and puffing up McCain, she won't necessarily have credibility to make those attacks. McCain will run commercials showing her criticizing Obama and praising him and then use that to claim that her attacks on him aren't honest and that Democrats lie compulsively.

Actions have consequences. Clinton decided to go for broke during the nomination process and did a bunch of things that objectively make it harder for her to be Obama's running mate. I see no reason to coddle her like a spoiled child, sheltering her from the consequences of her actions.

What really *are* Biden's accomplishments, apart from being an old white man who has been in the Senate forever? I agree HRC's background as a foreign policy sage is kinda confected, but I'm not convinced Biden's is better.

Back at Turbulence: (a) Bill's business activities are sleazy as hell but nobody's nailed him yet and the voters already know what he's like. Post-election the Clintons are trouble no matter what & there may be something to be said for keeping them inside the tent directionofpissingwise. (b) I don't think you can entirely discount the deep support she got among older women. (c) What does credibility have to do with making a successful attack? You just need shamelessness and repetition.

I'm with you on the premise of your last paragraph, but the consequence doesn't follow: this is not child-raising and sadly politics is not a matter of people getting their just deserts.

I've expounded at length about why it cannot be Clinton. Turbulience has covered most of it, especially the Bill Clinton angle, but I'll add that there are real transparency/corruption issues that Obama refused to raise in the primaries (read up on Sen. Clinton's brothers some time, or see if anyone knows who funded the Clinton Library) and that Sen. Clinton has been doing the bare minimum for Obama, while Bill Clinton has done nothing constructive and is widely rumored to be badmouthing Obama behind the scenes.

But the single most important point is in Turbulence's 2:17AM comment, a part that Colin passes over: the veep nominee can not be on videotape from six months ago saying that McCain is qualified and Obama is not. That alone is enough to disqualify Sen. Clinton.

Re Biden: he has some upsides, but I really think it would be a shame to muddy the Iraq issue by saying a Dem who backed the invasion has the judgement to be President. Not having paid oodles of attention to Biden, I have no idea what he's said recently about his Iraq vote. Two Senators, including someone who's been there for thirty years, also has downsides.

I'd prefer Tester, or Schweitzer, or Strickland, or Clark, or Webb if he didn't have a toxic past on gender issues. Still, Biden would be a step above Kaine or Bayh.

To be completely pragmatic: many voters may swallow the [n-word], if backed up by the white caucasian (but not Georgian ;-)) male but not the [n-word] and the [b-(or c)-word] together, especially not with the rumor that at least one of them is the antichrist.
I also agree that Hillary Clinton's anti-Obama pro-Son of Cain statements have burned her at least for this campaign (if the Son of Cain bought the farm and the opponent would be Romney or Huckabee that would not matter that much but still leaving the "old Clinton issues").

That was the best line of all the debates, methinks. Quotable and on target.

I have mixed feelings about Biden, but he's certainly knowledgeable about foreign policy.

"What really *are* Biden's accomplishments, apart from being an old white man who has been in the Senate forever?"

Biden:

[...] Biden is a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which he chaired from 1987 until 1995 and served as ranking minority member from 1981 until 1987 and again from 1995 until 1997. In this capacity, he dealt with issues related to drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties. While chairman, Biden presided over two of the most contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings: Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas in 1991.[12]

Biden has been involved in crafting many federal crime laws over the last decade, including the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the Biden Crime Law. He also authored the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which contains a broad array of measures to combat domestic violence and provides billions of dollars in federal funds to address gender-based crimes. Although part of this legislation later was struck down as unconstitutional, it was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005. In March 2004, Biden enlisted major American technology companies in diagnosing the problems of the Austin, Texas-based National Domestic Violence Hotline, and to donate equipment and expertise to it.[13][14][12]

As chairman of the International Narcotics Control Caucus, Biden wrote the laws that created the nation's "Drug Czar," who oversees and coordinates national drug control policy. In April 2003 he introduced the controversial Reducing Americans' Vulnerability to Ecstasy Act, also known as the RAVE Act. He continues to work to stop the spread of "date rape drugs" such as Rohypnol, and drugs such as Ecstasy and Ketamine. In 2004 he worked to pass a bill outlawing steroids like androstenedione, the drug used by many baseball players.[12]

Biden's legislation to promote college aid and loan programs allows families to deduct on their annual income tax returns up to $10,000 per year in higher education expenses. His "Kids 2000" legislation established a public/private partnership to provide computer centers, teachers, Internet access, and technical training to young people, particularly to low-income and at-risk youth.[15]

Throughout his career Biden has vehemently opposed tort reform, while continuously joining Senate Republicans to support stricter bankruptcy laws.[16]

Foreign Relations Committee

Biden is also a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In 1997, he became the ranking minority member and chaired the committee from June 2001 through 2003. His efforts to combat hostilities in the Balkans in the 1990s brought national attention and influenced presidential policy: traveling repeatedly to the region, he made one meeting famous by calling Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic a "war criminal." He consistently argued for lifting the arms embargo, training Bosnian Muslims, investigating war crimes and administering NATO air strikes. Biden's subsequent "lift and strike" resolution was instrumental in convincing President Bill Clinton to use military force in the face of systematic human rights violations.[citation needed] Biden has also called on Libya to release political prisoner Fathi Eljahmi.[17]

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Biden was supportive of the Bush administration's efforts, calling for additional ground troops in Afghanistan and agreeing with the administration's assertion that Saddam Hussein needed to be eliminated. The Bush administration rejected an effort Biden undertook with Senator Richard Lugar to pass a resolution authorizing military action only after the exhaustion of diplomatic efforts. In October 2002, Biden voted for the final resolution to support the war in Iraq. He has long supported the Bush administration's war effort and appropriations to pay for it, but has argued repeatedly that more soldiers are needed, the war should be internationalized, and the Bush administration should "level with the American people" about the cost and length of the conflict.[18]

In November 2006, Biden and Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, released a comprehensive strategy to end sectarian violence in Iraq. Rather than continuing the present approach or withdrawing, the plan calls for "a third way": federalizing Iraq and giving Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis "breathing room" in their own regions.[19]

The original Wikipedia entry gives lots of links, of course.

For a long time Senate Democrats have been in the minority, of course, and you can't "accomplish" much of anything if by that you mean passing legislation. Mostly his accomplishments have been as a watchdog, and accumulating a lot of knowledge and what one would hope are smarts on an awful lot of issues, particularly in the areas of foreign affairs and the judiciary.

Other Senate candidates have similar "accomplishment" questions, be they longstanding Senators, or Senator Clinton, and neither does Tim Kaine have a long list of "accomplishments" in that sense.

Biden voting record.

But, hey, wouldn't it be quite the surprise if it's Clinton after all? :-)

It's not going to be Clinton. In addition to reasons already mentioned, she'd motivate a lot of Republicans who might sit this campaign out to work, and would fire up a lot of Republicans who might not vote, to vote.

Proof that it wasn't going to be Clinton has been available for two months: Patty Solis Doyle is to be the VP nominee's chief of staff.

Bill Clinton needs to lay off the attitude starting yesterday.

My question about Biden is whether there's enough air in the room for him and anybody else.

I have a friend who has a good line: "Yeah, I have an ego like everyone else, but I try to leave it in the car".

I'm not sure Biden can leave it in the car.

Thanks -

I heartily endorse the good senator from MBNA.

I want Schweitzer or Sebelius, please, and there's a lot to be said for Clinton if Bill disappeared and if she had never denigrated Obama (so -- no).

I could live with Biden or Kaine, I guess, but I'm not thrilled. What are the known negatives on Reed or Strickland?

"a third way": federalizing Iraq and giving Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis "breathing room" in their own regions.

An idea that has gone nowhere, being a non-starter with most Arabic Iraqis, IIRC. Not much of a sign of foreign policy smarts.

McCain will run commercials showing her criticizing Obama and praising him and then use that to claim that her attacks on him aren't honest and that Democrats lie compulsively.

I too think Turbulence is exactly right that this alone means Clinton shouldn't be the VP nominee.

I think a governor is most likely--Kaine, Sebelius, Schweitzer. But Biden works, and if this is a foreign policy but not Iraq election, a governor doesn't strengthen the ticket as much. My summary of Biden is from an NPR reporter around December, who noted his notebook had wound up filled with "Biden just made a really good point...." If this turns into a foreign policy election on the resurgent Russians, Biden is a great asset. (The Georgians requested him. They didn't ask for McCain or anyone on his staff.) He knows this stuff, but in a forward thinking, called this a couple years ago, way. Obama and his veep need to judo "McCain knows this cold war stuff" into "McCain is all excited to re-fight last century's war, but can't adjust to the new reality on the ground," and Biden is one of the best choices to do this. Domestically he would be okay, I believe.

On Hillary....there's a gazillion reasons she'd be a bad choice, starting with being a truly dreadful executive. But the first one that sprang to mind for me, too, was Bill. After the primaries, it's quite clear Bill would not discreetly occupy the Naval Observatory. He'd be out there, putting his foot in it--mostly in his mouth.

Hillary would be a great choice--that way we could have three Presidents instead of just one, each having their own policy shops and media people. That'll be 50% better than the Bush Administration!

Anyone who believes that Hillary Clinton has any chance of being the veep seems delusional to me. It seems blindingly obvious to me that she knowingly turned her back on that possibility when she campaigned that Obama didn't meet the commander in chief test but that McCain did. This is akin to going in to work one day, telling off your boss, ripping posters off the wall, and storming out the door. Do you think you would have any chance if you tried applied for a job there again? And how much of an idiot would your boss be if he hired you back after that sort of behavior? No, Clinton should not be the VP. There were myriad reasons against it anyway, but when she made those statements about the commander in chief threshold it was the obvious closing of the door of that possibility.

Biden, though, is not very appealing to me. Of the three names that are being bandied about lately (Bayh, Biden, Kaine) Biden would probably be my choice, but none of those three have very much appeal to me. In fact, I've been extremely disheartened lately by Obama's swerve to the right (aka, the post-primary race to the center). I would love to see Obama choose someone who was against the war from the beginning and that reinforces the change message. But since the VP has so often gone on to run for president my greatest hope is that Obama chooses someone that would be a worthy successor. Even though I know it has no chance of happening I would love to see a Feingold pick, and even a Sebelius or Reed pick would be miles better than white-bread war supporter Evan Bayh.

I loved that quip--but then again, I loathe Rudy.

Hmm, can't he get somebody who didn't vote for the AUMF? It would be pretty pathetic if someone who has voted for the biggest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam got rewarded with the vice-presidency,

"May I point out that given how close-mouthed the Obama camp has been so far, and how much everyone has been reporting rumors that It's Biden in the last day and a half or two, while other sources say it came down to Biden, Kaine, and Bayh, that it's entirely possible that Biden is a stalking horse from the Obama camp to throw us off the track that it's actually Kaine or Bayh?"

My thoughts exactly.

Being a native Delawarean, I never thought I'd live to see the day my state delivered a president -- or a vice president. So we'll see.

Partly: Bayh or Kaine put their states in play. Little ol' Delaware? Whether Obama wins it or not, I don't think it would make or break his campaign.

That said, it would be nice to see a VP choice NOT based on "will he deliver such and such state?"

That, and as Gary pointed out, Biden's qualifications are impressive.

Also, I think Biden would be more of a team player and less of an egotist than Russell fears -- he's gotten better with age.

And I agree 100 percent with Nell: Clinton -- combined w/ Obama -- would whip the GOP into an earthquaking frenzy. We don't need that.

I just hope Biden says at some point "every sentence out of this guy's mouth is the same thing, a noun, a verb, and I was a POW in Vietnam!"

I think Biden's perfect. He is perhaps the only man in America who can treat McCain with the contempt he so richly deserves, and not get the Wes Clark treatment from the media.

What are the known negatives on Reed?

A) Already running for re-election to the senate (though that didn't stop Joementum).
B) Really, really doesn't want to run for VP.
C) Would be replaced by a Republican if he won.

Perhaps someone could venture a guess -- or give a strategic reason -- as to why Barack Obama seems to be waiting until the last possible second to name his VP choice.

More to the point, is this quote from an ABC News opinion piece:
"The fog of speculation over who will accompany Sen. Barack Obama down the aisle in Denver has obscured his message. There are no doubt compelling reasons for the time it has taken Obama to choose his running mate. The question is, has he paid a price for his deliberateness?"

As someone who supported Hillary Clinton during the primary, I was amazed and impressed at how letter-perfect the Obama campaign was.

But at the risk of sounding anti-Obama, those letters seem out of place ever since his overseas tour. Who knows? Maybe such a tour was putting the cart before the horse.

Anyway, naming his VP would be one way for Obama to get back to setting the tone of the campaign and, hopefully, halt the momentum McCain has going, as evidenced by recent polls.

What got me to thinking this way was -- in the "Supporting the Troops" thread -- a rant worth any Democrats' salt by John Thullen that said, among other things:

"The new Zogby poll shows McCain with a 5-point lead over Obama, with a nine-point differential in McCain's favor over who can better handle the economy being the deciding factor.

The fact is that while Obama is back on his heels it seems over McCain's tawdry little patriotism attacks, the American people don't give a crap about the troops.

They want to know (no they don't; they just want, want, want) how it is that it is so expensive now to fill the gas tank and go shopping, Remember, George Bush promised them uninterrupted shopping on underinflated, undertaxed tires.

McCain promises them a shopping surge using the Fannie Mae credit card bankrupted on their watch.

Obama should immediately propose drilling in Yellowstone Park using Dick Cheney's face as a drill bit."

It's become blasphemy for a Democrat to speak ill of Senator Obama, so I am glad that John Thullen observed the senator being back on his heels before I did.

Obama all but asked McCain to apologize for questioning his patriotism yesterday. It didn't play very well before the cameras and I don't think it will play well before the electorate.

The good senator just isn't very good at attack-style politics, which tells me he should bring in Biden to the fold sooner rather than later.


Perhaps someone could venture a guess -- or give a strategic reason -- as to why Barack Obama seems to be waiting until the last possible second to name his VP choice.

Because witholding it helps generate buzz and good press? Every minute the media spend speculating about who it might be is a minute that McCain can't get air time.

More to the point, is this quote from an ABC News opinion piece:
"The fog of speculation over who will accompany Sen. Barack Obama down the aisle in Denver has obscured his message. There are no doubt compelling reasons for the time it has taken Obama to choose his running mate. The question is, has he paid a price for his deliberateness?"

I think this assessment is garbage:

1. There's no reason whatsoever to believe that any message has been obscured.

2. This is peak vacation season when Americans are not really paying attention to politics.

3. There's no reason to believe that any "price" has been paid for any deliberateness. This is just lame media efforts to gin up fake controversy and page hits because they're impatient children. There's no there there. If there was, ABC News would be telling us what the price was and how they know, but they don't know jack, so they just insinuate.

But at the risk of sounding anti-Obama, those letters seem out of place ever since his overseas tour. Who knows? Maybe such a tour was putting the cart before the horse.

I think it is hard to tell. We have very little visibility into the Obama campaign, so we have to rely on assessments from the press. The press are...not good at understanding complex things. I mean, if they were, then maybe they're entire business wouldn't be crashing around them. Besides, the opacity of the campaign and its strategy is a huge plus: more transparent campaigns tend to be poorly managed leak factories.

Anyway, naming his VP would be one way for Obama to get back to setting the tone of the campaign and, hopefully, halt the momentum McCain has going, as evidenced by recent polls.

Eh, polls slide back and forth. It is not clear to me that voter opinion has actually solidified at this early date. Whatever polling we have, the campaign probably has access to much better internal polling that actually measures useful things like how strongly people feel about their opinion.

It's become blasphemy for a Democrat to speak ill of Senator Obama, so I am glad that John Thullen observed the senator being back on his heels before I did.

This is way beyond untrue. People here speak ill of him all the time. I just did in another thread. This claim seems kind of insulting: it implies that people here are so childish that they can't tolerate any disagreement or so infatuated that they can't think straight. You might want to rethink that.

I'm not sure Obama is on his heels. I think the vast majority of people frankly don't have the skills needed to analyze or assess the state of something as complex as a national political campaign. As a result, those same people don't have the skills needed to determine that someone else's analysis (say, the media's) is complete garbage. If you believe Obama's on his heels, then that presumes that the race follows certain very simple dynamics. If the dynamics were that simple, I think our politics would be way less interesting.

The good senator just isn't very good at attack-style politics, which tells me he should bring in Biden to the fold sooner rather than later.

Well, Biden's attack-style politics have been remarkably successful to date. Do you remember all those times when he won the Democratic nomination for President? And who could forget Biden's many victories where he was actually elected President? Hmmm, maybe his attack-style politics leave something to be desired. Like, victory.

I'm still not sure why we think that attack-style politics are very effective in general and why we think they will be effective right now in this particular case. I mean, the combustion that happens inside an internal combustion engine is really great and all, but setting your house on fire to salve your head cold is really dumb. As with most things, the utility depends on time, place, and manner.

This is just lame media efforts to gin up fake controversy and page hits because they're impatient children.

Petulant children, at that. When they found out that Obama's fans would find out about the VP pick before they did, you could hear the scorn in the voices reporting on it.

Maybe Obama feels he owes his fans something and the press a ripe, juicy raspberry?

I just logged after getting home from work and can't stay on long, but . . .

With all due respect, Turbulence, whether it's Obama changing his stance on FISA or his skirting the issue on the D.C. handgun ban, I do feel the senator faces minimal criticism here, such is the devotion of his supporters.

I can relate to that, having found it difficult to criticize Hillary Clinton during the primary season -- although since she didn't lack for critics, there was little need for a supporter to chime in.

BTW, if you watched the debates or have followed his numerous succesful senate campaigns here in Delaware, Biden is not a practioner of attack-style politics. My point is, since Obama prefers to stay above the fray, Biden's mixture of charm and tenacity (versus, say, Kaine or Bayh) would serve him well in this capacity.

Another reason why Biden would be a good choice: He is often referred to as the third senator from Pennsylvania. He is very popular in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, where Delaware is practically a suburb and part of the same media market.

PA -- mirroring blue-collar Ohio and Michigan in its makeup -- will be vital in sending Senator Obama to the White House.

With all due respect, Turbulence, whether it's Obama changing his stance on FISA or his skirting the issue on the D.C. handgun ban, I do feel the senator faces minimal criticism here, such is the devotion of his supporters.

You're entitled to your feelings. Given that hilzoy wrote a front-page post about Obama's FISA vote where she said "I hate, hate, hate the FISA bill. I hate, hate, hate that Obama voted for it and its cloture motion" and given that most of the Obama supporters who commented in that thread expressed some measure of disapproval, I think your feelings are way off base.

I'm not sure why you say that Obama skirted anything regarding the hand gun ban. Obama's positions on gun control aren't exactly a secret. And I don't think we have a general rule that all politicians have to give speeches explaining their reaction to all Supreme Court rulings -- do you?

BTW, if you watched the debates or have followed his numerous succesful senate campaigns here in Delaware, Biden is not a practioner of attack-style politics.

You wrote "The good senator just isn't very good at attack-style politics, which tells me he should bring in Biden to the fold sooner rather than later"...if Biden isn't good at attack-style politics, then I don't see how bringing him in at any time can help the problem that Obama just isn't very good at attack-style politics. Perhaps I'm confused though.

Turb,

I read "the good senator" to mean Obama. That seems to be the antecedent of "he" in "he should bring in Biden".

-- TP

Tony, I agree with you. I read the sentence as saying 'because Obama is no good at attack-style politics, he needs to bring Biden in as VP nominee ASAP so that Biden, who is good at such things, can take care of that for him'. Did I misread?

Sorry, Turb -- I guess I misunderstood the last graf of your previous post.

So, we're in sync, right? Biden is in fact a plausible attack dog in the presidential race, even if he has never been one in his senate races. I mean, "Noun verb 9/11" was damn good.

-- TP

Tony, cool, we are in sync. I think Biden would be good, at least compared to much of the competition. I don't think his attack dogness by itself justifies his selection and I certainly don't think it necessitates picking him RIGHT NOW, but it would be a nice trait to have and it would make the VP debates a lot more fun.

PA -- mirroring blue-collar Ohio and Michigan in its makeup -- will be vital in sending Senator Obama to the White House.

Is there some evidence that Obama is in trouble in Pennsylvania? There was a lot of talk about that during the primaries, but it seemed to all be based on the erroneous logic going around then that somehow if Clinton beat Obama in a Democratic primary that implied that McCain would beat Obama in that state in the general. As far as I've seen, he's been doing fine in PA ever since, and it's not likely to be a decisive state.

Sorry, KC, didn't mean to cause any alarm about Pennsylvania.

However, since that state is far from "in the bag," if Biden shores it up some more, that means the Obama campaign could devote more time to Ohio or wherever.

At least Biden is enjoying the VP speculation, bringing bagels and coffee to for the folks at the press stakeout of his home.

Turb,

I understand your point about Obama waiting to name his VP creates speculation that takes air time away from McCain.

At this stage of the campaign, however, if Obama had named his VP, say, on Monday the Dems would have dominated this whole week of headlines -- creating more of an impact, I think, than the mere parlor-game veep guessing.

I wonder if Obama is still wrestling with his decision -- or perhaps he wants to literally wait minutes before his appearance Saturday in Springfield (although I'd question the news value of doing it on a Saturday).

Do you think Obama is biting his lip and still weighing what Hillary would bring as vice president?

I know you don't put much stock in the MSM but I think David Gergen is on to something here.

BTW, I remarked the other day that Obama sounded "very, very tired" on the stump the otehr day. No wonder. The man has a very bad cold.

It's Biden.

At least that is what I derive from the news headline that I just saw on TV that NBC News has learned that Obama has told Evan Bayh and Tim Kaine that they won't be his running mate.

Of course, it could be Hillary. But I really doubt that.

And there's always the possibilty of a wild-card such as Chet Edwards.

But I'd be really surprised if it isn't Biden.

Giving validity to that NBC story, AP is reporting that Tim Kaine told them he will not be Obama's running mate.

It's Biden.

Senator Biden – Draft Dodger Qualification to be Commander-in-Chief
What exactly makes Senator Biden qualified to be Commander-in-Chief other than during the Vietnam War he displayed a phenomenal ability to avoid a military conflict, especially if it posed a personal danger? I would also point out that the Obama-Biden ticket will be historic for another not-so impressive reason, it will be the first ticket of either major party in the past 68 years (since 1940) where neither the presidential nor vice presidential candidate have ever worn this country’s uniform.
Biden and many other of his ilk were technically “Draft Dodgers.” Draft dodging does not necessarily mean “illegal” as the Webster’s Dictionary of the time defined it as simply “avoiding military service.” Applying for student or occupational deferments (and you did have to apply), leaving the country, feigning homosexuality, or signing up for ROTC without any intentions of participating were all things people did, legally and illegally, to avoid performing their duty. I don’t care if your name was Cheney or Clinton, Biden or Romney, don’t insult my intelligence with a lame excuse. “It was the luck of the draw” (Clinton), “If called, I would have been happy to serve” (Cheney) or “look at my doctor’s note, it says I have asthma,” are a little disingenuous when each did everything short of maiming himself (which they didn’t have the guts to do) to make sure he was unavailable to be called.
Also, consider draft quotas were assigned by draft board. When one man evaded, someone else, often less educated or advantaged and always less eligible, served in his place. Additionally, because many of the more capable natural leaders avoided service, we often had to settle for the LT Cally’s of the world for leadership. Think of how many American lives could have been saved if leaders of Clinton, Cheney or Biden’s potential had done their duty. Isn’t it ironic how correct Clinton was when he used to say that “it’s the little guy who plays by the rules that always ends up taking it in the neck.”
As for Biden in particular, he was subject to the draft for most of the Vietnam draft era but continued to avoid service by applying (and it did require applying) for six separate deferments. Although in his best-selling memoir published last year, “Promises to Keep,” Biden recounted his active childhood, working as a lifeguard and excelling at high school football, he never mentions asthma but he now claims that “during the Vietnam War, he got a draft notice but flunked the physical due to asthma.” I’m afraid I’d have to see the government documentation of his physical before believing it as, you may recall, Biden’s record of veracity isn’t all that good. By the time Biden finally got his draft notice, he was already a lawyer so knew how to “manipulate the system.” Was his asthma “discovered” during his draft physical or did Mr. Biden bring in “documentation” from his “private physician” in an effort to establish a disqualifying feature after he received a draft notice. If the latter is the case, the entire matter should be presented to a disinterested panel of physicians now to determine if his disqualification was legitimate.
Having been Drafted and Inducted into the Army in June 1967 in Wilkes-Barre, the Armed Forces Entrance and Examination Station for Northeast Pennsylvania including Biden’s “hometown” of Scranton, I have a little first hand knowledge on how physicals were conducted. I had three disqualifying features detected during my Draft Physical including a “loose knee” from a wrestling injury that should have been surgically corrected. Instead of being disqualified, the doctor stamped my Physical “Waiver” but did warn me to “be careful with the knee in Vietnam so it didn’t dislocate again!” I was inducted later that afternoon and ended up serving an extended tour in Vietnam. I guess I might have “Taken Biden’s Place” in the War but never got so much as a thank-you from him! Then again, my circumstance might have been a little different than Biden’s. When I was drafted my father and brother (who suffered with terrible asthma for his entire 24 year military career) were active duty military, and my mother and four uncles were WWII combat veterans. Being found “unfit for service” would have been too embarrassing. Then again, some people have no shame so can’t be embarrassed.
I remember how Senator (and Medal of Honor recipient) Bob Kerrey put it in 1992 when he said “as I remember it, at that time if you could walk and chew gum, the military would take you.” Wonder how much Joe whined during his physical to get found “not physically qualified” because, I assure you from personal experience, it would not have happened without considerable whining!
Former Virginia Governor, current Senate candidate and Democrat Convention Keynote speaker Mark Warner was quoted in the 26 August Washington Post as saying: “(Biden) has real-world grass-roots, blue-collar appeal. He can go into a VFW hall or Kiwanis Club meeting and ….” He might be able to go into a Kiwanis Club but he definitely has NOT earned the right to enter a VFW Hall! If he was “unfit” to serve then when his country needed him badly, what makes him any more fit to serve now?

A-COL: Do not paste in comments you've already posted all over half the blogosphere in future.

Also: glad to know you opposed Dick Cheney as well.

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