Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Is it Biden?

Speculation that Senator Joe Biden of Delaware will be Senator Barack Obama's choice for vice presidential running mate is heating up.

For several reasons, Biden is a sensible choice. He fills several of the bottom line needs Obama has from his number two. Maybe.

First, Biden is a mature, experienced office holder. He can play Lyndon Johnson to Obama's JFK.

Second, Biden may be seen by many general election voters, by virtue of his long service on and chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the reassuring national security presence that potential Obama voters concerned by the Illinois senator's seeming lack of an overall foreign policy, national security vision.

But Biden does not fit the bill for the third critical quality Obama needs in a running mate. He isn't from the South.

I still think that former Georgia Senator and one-time Senate Armed Services Committee chair Sam Nunn is Obama's best choice for a running mate, the one who can help him the most, especially in the Peach State, which may prove critical this November.

A major downside to Biden is that his version of the Straight Talk Express, while usually refreshing, can sometimes get him into trouble, as happened earlier this year when his characterization of Obama as "articulate" was seen as condescending and racist.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

Biden would be a choice Democrats would love. He's a solid liberal. But Sam Nunn would be far better not only at drawing in southern voters, but beefing up Obama's national security creds and appealing to voters on the right who might be toying with voting for Obama.

The choice of Joe Biden is going to make this a much more liberal ticket than Kerry/Edwards or Gore/Lieberman, and that could discourage cross-over voters.