Biden a Good ‘Governing’ Pick?

15 Sep


From Political Punch:

The National Review’s Jonah Goldberg asks how on earth Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., can consider Biden a good “governing” pick considering:

  • Obama justified his entire bid against Hillary Clinton on the grounds that he had shown superior judgment by opposing the Iraq war.
  • “Obama said over and over that we can’t have the same people in different chairs if we want real reform.
  • “His ad mocking McCain makes much hay of the fact that McCain came to Washington in 1982.

“Well: Biden supported the Iraq war, he’s even more of Washington insider than McCain (his heroic Amtrak commute notwithstanding) and he was well into his second six year term in the Senate when McCain was first elected to the House in 1982. Now either Obama’s campaign rhetoric is a lie, or Biden isn’t a good governing pick by Obama’s own standards.”

As Biden might say, “folks, answering this question will literally make your head explode.” (Biden is the only person I’ve ever encountered who never uses the word “literally” literally.)

I like Joe Biden. He’s a reliable source of gaffes (which I enjoy) and he does know his stuff- that’s bound to happen when you’ve been in Washington as long as he has been. As solid and dependable as Biden is, he falls short of the new/hope/change politics of Obama’s core message. Biden diluted the Obama message enough that it was possible for McCain to grab hold of it with his surprising Palin pick.

Maybe a VP candidate like Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who appeals to four key groups: Virginians, Catholics, working-class white voters and Hispanics (he speaks fluent Spanish), could have echoed the Obama core message of change not deflated it. Obama could have pushed a message of ‘bringing a new generation to Washington’ with a pick like Kaine at his side.

Kaine likely lost out because he lacks foreign policy and Washington experience. If you’re pushing a change message to a voting pool eager for it, then perhaps that could have been overcome. Most voters seem to understand that a president has help in the form of a chief of staff, secretary of state and other high level cabinet people who are extremly knowledgeable in specific areas and are able to help carry the load as advisors.

We’ll never know if picking a VP candidate who did reflect that new/hope/change message would have helped Obama win the White House, but at this point, it sure couldn’t have hurt him any more than he is already.


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