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In Biden, Obama Opts for Experience Over Change


Barack Obama smiles while listening to Joe Biden after announcing Biden as his vice presidential running mate during a rally at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, U.S., on Aug. 23, 2008. (Mark Cowan/Bloomberg News)

By Dan Balz
DENVER -- In picking Joe Biden as his running mate, Barack Obama moved to address two potential weaknesses in his own candidacy. Biden shores up Obama on foreign policy experience and adds to the Democratic ticket someone capable of and perhaps even eager to lead the attack against John McCain.

The die may have been cast for Biden when the Russians invaded Georgia a few weeks ago. Until then, Obama may have believed he had more latitude in his choice of a vice president. Once the tanks rolled, the discussion shifted toward someone in the mix who would raise no questions in the area of national security. The "first, do no harm" criterion became paramount and concrete.

Among those under consideration, Biden was at the top of the list on national security credentials. Certainly Evan Bayh could point to solid experience as well. Hillary Clinton, who wasn't really under consideration, also would have fit that criterion. But as chairman of the Senator Foreign Relations Committee, Biden's experience is longer and deeper than any of the others.

But while a safe choice, Biden is not a running mate who is risk-free for Obama between now and November. Republicans respect his smarts about foreign policy, but they also see in him a candidate who may stray more than once from the message discipline the Obama campaign prizes.

One Republican described Biden early Saturday as a potential gaffe machine -- a view echoed privately even by some Democrats That may be an overstatement, but given his propensity to talk at length, some Republicans say Biden will at times make the fall campaign as much or more about him than Obama.

Biden has worked to show more discipline as a candidate and came out of his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination with his reputation enhanced. But there is too much history for Democrats to feel confident that he will not produce some moments during the fall that could be prove to be real distractions for Obama.

Biden also will have his 1988 presidential campaign and the charges of plagiarism that drove him from the race resurrected, at least in these opening days as he is introduced as Obama's running mate. But that experience is long in the past and probably does not present a significant problem.

Still, Biden brings far more to the ticket than foreign policy experience. He has a powerful personal story. As a Roman Catholic with working class and Pennsylvania roots, Biden may give the Democrats added credibility among the very working-class voters Obama has struggled to attract in battleground states of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. He has longstanding relationships with organized labor that will give an additional boost to the ticket among a constituency of vital importance this fall.

Biden's record in the area of crime and the judiciary is another asset Democrats can point to that will go beyond his foreign policy credentials.

As far as the chemistry of the ticket goes, Biden's persona and a political personality are in so many ways the antithesis of Obama's. Obama speaks with soaring and often inspirational rhetoric; Biden is direct, blunt and plain-spoken. Obama may seem aloof. Biden is always in your face. Obama offers high altitude passion, Biden's passion is ground level.

But he and Obama are different in another way, one that Republicans were quick to point to on Saturday. Long a fixture in Washington, Biden hardly symbolizes the kind of change that Obama's candidacy has signified.

Obama advisers were out on television Saturday morning pointing out that while he has served in Washington for decades, Biden has never become a creature of Washington, that he rides the train home to Delaware every night and has never lost touch with the people and neighborhoods of home.

On the central foreign policy issue of the campaign, Obama and Biden began in different places. Obama opposed the invasion of Iraq, while Biden supported it. Even as late as the spring of 2007, they were on opposite sides on a vote on funding the war, with Obama opposed and Biden--pointedly among Democratic senators seeking the nomination--in favor.

Republicans will look to exploit those differences and use them to undermine Obama's criticism of McCain's judgment on the war. But Biden also has been one of the most prominent and vocal critics of Bush administration policy in Iraq and has pushed for significant changes in policy for some years.

Biden proved during the primaries that he is a skilled debater, particularly when he keeps himself in check. That is another attribute that recommended him to Obama. Voters ultimately do not make their November decisions on the basis of vice presidential running mates, but the debate between the two running mates will be a well-watched event. Biden should be well prepared for that face off.

But the real debating Biden will be expected to do will be with McCain at long distance. He knows McCain well and, no doubt, has considerable respect for him. Republicans on Saturday were sending around quotations with Biden praising McCain and criticizing Obama as inexperienced.

But throughout the spring, Biden has been more and more vigorous in his attacks on the presumptive Republican nominee's views on the war and other national security issues. The running argument between them will be one of the more important of the fall campaign.

Obama's pick now leaves it to McCain to counter with his own choice, which is expected shortly after the Democratic convention ends late next week. Obama has made clear what he felt he needed with his selection of Biden. McCain's choice will be equally revealing.

By Paul Volpe  |  August 23, 2008; 12:20 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Balz's Take  
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Next: Biden and McCain, Rivals Again

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Fox "News", PUMA and, I'm sorry to say, the Clinton's will have their last shot at Deomcrats and Barack/Biden only up until Wednesday during our week in Denver.

Hillary's supporters are really making it look like the majority of us made the right decision by rejecting her during the primaries.

The more I see Fox "News", PUMA (Republicans disquised as quasi-Democrats), and the McCain camp take advantage of Hillary's words and images to present negative ads against another Democrat (and she simply allows it without any apparent objections) the more convinced I am she would have proven to be a weak leader. Hillary knows who is represented by PUMA.

It is a very gracious Barack and Democratic party that will allow Hillary and "her" supporters to have their last words before we will officially become dismissive of them (Bill and Hillary too if necessary).

Hillary needs to put a stop to the foolishness she is allowing to continue in her name. There is no reason the Clinton's have to "go out" the way they seem to have chosen.

Barack may not have been the better candidate but he did, in all fairness, out-campaign the Clinton's; they took too much for granted, and it was too late when they began to understand that Barack knew his "trade"; he was a junior in Washington politics, he was not new to politics.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Clinton's have so much more to give. They can turn their backs to us and go over to their new found friends at Fox "News" or start up a new party with PUMA. All this will leave them in the dust as the rest of the country moves on to a, "victory for America" with Barack and Biden.

After Wednesday, the party will be done bending over to appease the Clinton's. The ball is in their court.

Posted by: Reggie Boykins | August 25, 2008 5:40 AM | Report abuse

as far as Im concerned you could run a dead skunk against McCain and Id vote for it....
that being said.. I love the Dem ticket and Ill be voting, canvasing and donating... and Im an independant...

Posted by: Levi Cro | August 25, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I was originally suppporting Joe Biden for President, so I couldn't be more pleased with Barack Obama's choice of a running mate. Obama and Biden are a great combination, and he should be able to help Obama maintain a working majority in Congress throughout his Presidency.

If this selection is any indication of the types of people Barack Obama will include in his administration, then he'll do very well. He seems to be quite open to a diversity of passionate opinions, which is a welcome change from the sycophants and yes-men with which President Bush surrounded himself.

Posted by: Matt K. | August 24, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

The John McCain/Karl Rovian camp should consider the odds with care before they “go after” Joe Biden on character. Plagiarism is a small issue. Other than being a POW – which is after all, not a choice of courage but one brought to bear on a person-- John McCain’s own character flaws run pretty deep. Even the CNN special this past Wednesday night, the one on presidential candidates, revealed McCain is morally deficient. No, CNN didn’t call McCain morally deficient; they just revealed it. McCain cheated on his first wife, not once, but many times for many years. That says a lot about a man: he repeats his mistakes and doesn’t learn from them, he cares more about self-gratification than the people he’s supposed to protect, he thrives on risk – poor qualities in a president. He has “BAD JUDGMENT.” And the fact McCain took out a marriage license in Arizona to marry his heiress before he even divorced Wife #1, doesn’t that say something about him too? He’s DISHONEST. He LIES, even to governmental bodies. Cool. George Bush & Dick Cheney do that a lot, too.

The McCain/Rovian camp say Obama outlined his weakness by appointing Biden whose strength is in foreign affairs. Uh-oh. That means McCain better cross Mitt Romney or anyone else who knows anything about finances off his list. Adding Romney to the ticket would be an admission that McCain is a total dunce on Issue #1 (“It’s the Economy Stupid.”) Of course, McCain’s said that he didn’t know much about the economy many times. Then said he did. Then said he didn’t. Either McCain is confused or keeps lying, it’s hard to know.

Which brings up another issue if Romney becomes McCain’s man. What’s Romney know about foreign policy? Romney fought any wars lately? Met with any foreign leaders? When’s the last time he traveled to Afghanistan? Iraq? Maybe he did go and I just missed it. But I do remember McCain felt he should reassure Americans that he would pick a running mate that was ready to take over from Day One. I lack all confidence that Romney is that man.

Posted by: Linda A | August 24, 2008 7:12 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA BLOWS IT WITH VP PICK!

AP: Analysis: Biden pick shows lack of confidence

Obama Picks Old White Man as Running Mate

I think he can be ready, but right now, I don't think he is," Biden told ABC News debate moderator George Stephanopoulos about an Obama Presidency. "The presidency is not something that lends itself to on the job training."

Selecting Joe Biden who voted for the Iraq war, won his job in the Senate over 35 years ago when Obama was only 11, detracts Obama ticket's agent of change, yes and he voted for the IRAQ war, an old guy according to Obama camp during the primaries. His selection removes all attacks Obama camp using against McCain…Bad bad decision…Maybe doing what Uncle Ted told him to do, by letting inexperienced Caroline Kennedy make the VP decision wasn’t such a good idea.

Obama will loose…

Biden dropped out of the 2008 race after a poor finish, but not before he talked dismissively of joining someone else's ticket. "I am not running for vice president," he said in a Fox interview. "I would not accept it if anyone offered it to me. The fact of the matter is I'd rather stay as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee than be vice president." It was his second try for the White House. The first ended badly in 1988 when he was caught lifting lines from a speech by British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock. Just like Obama.

VP pick Joe Biden’s known as (“The gaffe machine”) wild mouth managed to run him afoul with Indians, 7-Eleven clerks and African-Americans.

"You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking," he told C-SPAN. "I mean you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean “he enthused. "I mean, that's a storybook man, not a fairy tale??

This ticket has already begun to will draw deep criticism from Democratic voters who support Obama for his stand against the war in Iraq. Now that’s appears not too important to Obama? This guy is a total flip flopping liar. These voters who will never forgive Biden for approving the war anymore than they would forgive President Bush or former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld nor Obama for playing his faithful supporters as fools. It shows Obama have no Plan or direction.

Lastly, Biden DOES NOT put on the table any state on the table to help with electoral vote? With Biden comes the very real risk that his loose lips around reporters will render all sorts of new gaffes and scandals in the coming months that will swamp the Obama campaign's message. McCain camp is jumping up and down for this gift from Obama


Obama Sued in Philadelphia Federal Court on Grounds he is Constitutionally Ineligible for the Presidency

http://www.americasright.com/2008/08/obama-sued-in-philadelphia-federal.html

Posted by: Anonymous | August 24, 2008 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Choosing Biden shows that Obama intends to get things done quickly. Biden knows how to get bills passed in Congress. It's like JFK choosing LBJ. This ain't no capitulation, folks: It's making sure the Change he's promising can be delivered.

Posted by: Steve23 | August 24, 2008 2:56 AM | Report abuse

To "Obama in prison".
Where were you in the last two presidential elections when the elections really were stolen? You're going to all this trouble for a primary? Its not going to go anywhere.
We already know that the person who started Puma is a Republican operative who never supported Hillary. We also know that these other movements have been stirred up by Carl Rove's bloggers in an effort to divide the Democratic party to try to defeat Obama. Are you one of Carl Rove's bloggers or one of McCain's or are you just one of their victims? If you are a victim, you've been systematically led down the primrose path and brainwashed. Even if Hillary could get the nomination, which she can't she couldn't win now. All the Obama supporters would get mad and walk out and there aren't enough "Republican women" who would vote for her. I like Hillary too but allowing McCain into the White house will hurt her. He isn't for Hillary or for you and what you are doing will be a terrible embarrasement for her. Please think about what you are doing. These Republican trolls who have turned you against Obama and filled you with hate are laughing at you behind your backs.

Posted by: Janet | August 24, 2008 2:13 AM | Report abuse

This is the first time in the history of campaigns that a candidate has been criticized for choosing a running mate who could compliment him with his strengths. It must have hit not only a vein but a home run given the uproar from the right.
Joe Biden is an excellent choice and will help Barack Obama bring the positive change this nation needs. Any change from the failed policies of this present administration will be like a welcome breath of fresh air to the American people.
Unlike McCain, Joe Biden is in touch with the majority of the American people and continues to live a life similar to the lives of the majority of the American people.
John McCain is the richest man in Washington. He comes from wealth and privilege and has no real compassion for hurting Americans. He has gone global and has consistently encouraged contracts and American jobs to go overseas to foreignors.
He even wrote a letter to the pentagon to encourage them not to consider national security when awarding the military tanker contract that should have gone to Boeing but instead was awarded to the foreign Airbus along with 44,000 American jobs. Of course his own staff lobbyied for Airbus. This deal was so improper the GAO overturned the decision after congressional hearings. It's still up in the air.
McCain's tax plan will devastate the middle class whereas Obamas tax plan will reduce taxes on middle-class families and also on small businesses. With a McCain presidency we can kiss our social security, health care, education goodbye. The disabled will be toast.

We can forget about lower gas prices. McCain received another million plus from the oil companies the minute he endorsed offshore drilling and lied to the American people. Offshore drilling will only amount to a few cents at the gas pump in the 10 years it takes to process it. There's no guarantee America will see a drop of it as the oil companies will likely sell it to the highest bidder overseas. Obama has told the oil companies that he's going to take him on. He's told the corporations, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the auto industry that they need to change their ways.
Is it any wonder you see bogus lawsuits and outrageous accusations about Obama's birth, citizenship, religion and anything else these rich interests can come up with to discredit this good and decent man? Don't be taken in by these lies and character assasinations. He was born in Hawaii. His birth certificate has been examined and it is legit. All of this character assasination is an attempt to bring him down so these rich interests can continue to steal your money and do you financial harm. Don't listen to them. There is no truth in the Ayers story or in any of the others.
This is all concentrated swiftboating at its worst. You'll wake up one morning to discover it was all a lie. Hopefully, you'll still have a roof over your head when you finally do wake up.

Posted by: Janet | August 24, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Biden is very experienced in taking positions that are quite different than Obama on Iraq etc., and he has a lot of experience questioning Obama's experience. That's why this pick is a loser.

Not WRIGHT for America has a great spoof post on Obama debating his running mate rather than McCain. http://www.notwrightforamerica.com It underlines what a problem this will be for Obama.

Posted by: Blue Davis | August 24, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

ATTENTION ALL PUMAS: Hillary refused to be vetted. Sorry. Not Obama's fault. Can't choose a VP who won't be vetted.

From an AP article: "“Hillary Rodham Clinton, who ran so closely to Obama in the primary, was never seriously considered, said two officials involved with the search. She asked not to be vetted unless she was going to be picked, the two officials said, speaking on a condition of anonymity to describe the private discussions.”" That's like refusing a job interview unless they first promise to hire you. Who do you think would hire you under those terms?

Posted by: LuckyCharm | August 24, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FOR VIOLATING VOTER'S RIGHTS OR BEING CONSTITUTIONALLY INELIGIBLE OR BOTH.

“We Will Not Be Silenced”

Email: susanunpc@gmail.com

Thanks to several alert readers here at No Quarter, I have learned about a new documentary on Caucus Fraud that is just coming out. “We Will Not Be Silenced, ” by Gigi Gaston, came into being according to their website because:

As Americans, we expect certain liberties and rights that were granted us by our forefathers, who wrote documents like the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. “We the people” expect that these fundamental rights will always be protected.

However, in the current Democratic Presidential Primary, this has not been the case. We believe that the The Democratic National Committee (DNC) made a grave error by depriving American voters of their choice of Hillary Clinton as Democratic nominee.

Senator Clinton, by all accounts, except caucuses, won the Primary Election and, therefore, should be the 2008 Democratic Nominee.

That didn’t happen, due largely to illegitimate and illegal acts. We have interviews of many accounts from caucus states recounting threats, intimidation, lies, stolen documents, falsified documents, busing in voters in exchange for paying for “dinners,” etc.

There are at least 2000 complaints, in Texas alone, of irregularities directed towards the Obama Campaign, that have lead to a very fractured and broken Democratic Party.


The preview, all 33 minutes of it, is compelling. In essence, it is a visual companion to the work of Dr. Lynette Long at Caucus Fraud and Peniel Cronin on Primaries and Caucuses (which will appear at NQ shortly). In short, it is disturbing not just how this happened, but THAT it happened in our country.


I invite you to watch the preview to this documentary, about which the authors said this:

This documentary is about the disenfranchising of American citizens by the Democratic Party and the Obama Campaign.

We the People have made this film. Democrats have sent in their stories from all parts of America. We want to be heard and let the country know how our party has sanctioned the actions of what we feel are Obama campaign “Chicago Machine” dirty politics.

We believe this infamous campaign of “change” from Chicago encouraged and created an army to steal caucus packets, falsify documents, change results, allow unregistered people to vote, scare and intimidate Hillary supporters, stalk them, threaten them, lock them out of their polling places, silence their voices and stop their right to vote, which is, of course, all documented in “We Will Not Be Silenced.”


This documentary contains powerful, important information. I urge you to spread the word however you are able. Now is the time.

To view, CLICK HERE.

My deepest thanks to all of those at “We Will Not Be Silenced” for your commitment to democracy, to the rights of Americans, all Americans, to vote. Thank you for your courage and integrity in getting this critical information out. And thank you for bringing the voices of these Americans out for us all to witness.

For links go to www.noquarteusa.net.

Posted by: OBAMA IN JAIL | August 24, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama has clearly sewn up the Biden wing of the Democratic Party.

What that represents is not entirely clear. The MSN seems to want to anoint him as a working class hero, a man who has lived through adversity and now has a son going to Iraq. He is painted as man of great experience, more than 30 years in the Senate.

Much of this, except for the political longevity seems new to me. Joe Biden has been on the national scene since at least his failed run for the Presidency in 1988. He garnered a handful of votes this year, his campaign being most notable for commenting on Obama’s hygiene and lack of experience.

I suppose a man who is largely unknown will get to define himself and if he wants to he can cast himself as working class hero. But it rings a bit tinny for this Senator with decade’s long service in the Senate with his principal focus being foreign affairs all of a sudden picking up the cause of the common man.

Biden adds little to the ticket geographically. Delaware is a safe state and if this guy can help in PA well, good, but if that’s the margin of victory then Obama has more problems than it appears.

There is nothing intrinsically exciting about Biden and this may be why he garnered only about 250,000 votes out of 37 million cast.

I had wanted to say he was the Dick Gephardt of the new millennium, but that’s unfair to Gephardt.

It is unfair to to make too much of the VP choice, and in truth Obama made a decent choice in a bad situation. Biden is smart and a highly respected politician, a statesman of sorts. He also is not shy on the attack. All of these qualities will stand him in good stead.

It remains debatable about whether the pick satisfied the cardinal rule: don’t hurt yourself with your pick.

Let’s start with Obama’s biggest problem: Hillary Clinton. Obama cleverly has pushed Mrs. C off the stage for the moment. With her roll call, and the family speeches she had threatened to take over the convention and by delaying his pick until Saturday at 3 AM (!). Obama was able to dominate the news cycle until today and will do so through Monday, at least, so he got a short term advantage.

But Obama has done nothing to stem his long term damage.

The PUMAs are furious over the way Hil was treated in the process. It has become clear that she was not even vetted at the end. She was passed over for a man whom she outpaced in the primaries by a factor of over 75 to 1. A man who is supposed to do for Obama what everyone believes she herself could do. Nail down blue collar white votes in places like PA and OH. Something she had done handily long after Biden left the race.

Many will dismiss these PUMAs a Republican figment, but the pundits are on the air talking about it. Susan Estrich just said on Fox that her email is “buzzing with anger” over the way Hillary was treated. And the McCain campaign has already put up an ad criticizing Obama for passing her over. That sounds like a political first. Got to websites like “Hillary is 44” and you get a picture of dissatisfied voters willing to vote for McCain, if only to punish Obama and the establishment that they feel unfairly turned them aside. There is no fury like a woman scorned!

Many of you have heard the PUMA leaders on various media outlets proclaiming their disaffection. There is no doubt that Hillary and most likely Bill will be gracious at the convention, but they know their supporters will understand the code under which they are living and will carry the water for them independent of anything that the former first couple says.

The next problem: The VP pick is supposed to fill out the top dog’s weaknesses. Sometimes this is electoral, sometimes it demographic or personality. Here it is experiential. What the Biden pick shows is that Obama felt the heat of his inexperience, particularly on the foreign policy front and by picking Biden he filled in that gap, but also highlighted it.

Opponents snipe at each other all time, but Biden went to the jugular attacking Obama on his seminal weakness, lack of experience.

Finally, if you listened to the speeches today from Springfield there wasn’t a lot of hope and change. We got a clear signal that Obama is abandoning that theme.

First he choose anti-change with the consummate Washington Insider in Biden and then both he and his running mate went to a populist theme of going after the working class and the gripes of the little people against the entrenched interests. There is no change there, no post-partisanship, no reaching across the aisle and finding common found in that. Populism has been the message of the Democratic Party since FDR. Ain't nothing new in that.

If Springfield was any evidence of where the Obama campaign is heading I say it is heading for a big “ho hum”. The bloom is off the rose. I don’t think Biden cements a thing with the true believers; as Hillary might have given them hope for victory. Now it remains a slog.

If McCain is smart he will avoid the trap that Biden represents. To go for the attack dog, the big debater. He needs to use his pick more epically, more tonally.

Romey will be looked on as the safe choice, but he brings demographic weakness with evangelicals. And give life to the seven to eleven house gaffe. Pawlenty is the sentimental choice and will bring youth and freshness and his own heartland populist appeal to the Sam’s Club voters. Ridge and Liebermann’s trial balloons sunk like lead.

I continue to come back to Rob Portman, the telegenic family man from Cincinnati whose quiet authority and laser like intelligence will assure that he will hold his own in any conversation. His coming from Ohio will help and draw the contrast with Biden as the Eastern pick. His stones in the budget and trade and economic matters generally will stand him in good stead.

That Portman is a former official of the Bush Administration is his only problem. But I wonder how much this guilt by association goes. Portman survived his stint in Washington with his reputation enhanced. He is likely to get a media honeymoon. His personal likeability assures that. In truth the Republicans do not lack for attack dogs against Barack Obama. Besides he is better attacked abstractly through the media rather than directly, personally.

McCain has the chance to go for a game changer and a dark horse who the media will be forced to cover and discover, it should be good for substantial coverage right through and passed the convention.

Nate seems to want to hang this campaign on running against Bush and presented a contrast against Bush. I think that misses the trajectory by just enough to spin him out of orbit. Bush failed because he mismanaged Iraq, and because his mismanaged the budget (query is Portman to blame or did he leave b.c he was not listened to), as the housing crisis flared up and gas soared he became the bogey man in whom all bad things were projected. Its’ a lot to ask of a man and a lot to ask that all that enmity - -if it holds upon – be transferred to McCain.

McCain-Portman ‘08

********

The Gaffes have begun:

Obama: “the next PRESIDENT of the United States . . . “

Biden: “Barack America”

A bit self-conscious aren’t we?

Posted by: Pete Kent | August 24, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

scott,
I am no shrinking violet and I have been known to use colorful language at times. I also have some very strong feelings about this election I just choose not to share them in such a negative mud slinging fashion. My comments were directed at some of the posts that were over the top and had very little substance just emotion.

I do appreciate the importance of this election. I am a midwestern mother of 3 in a very republican state our immensly popular Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was mentioned several times as a possible running mate for the dem ticket but I will just say that even in a very repub state like kansas that some people do not feel real comfortable with the wealth of the McCains highlighted by the homes comment.

Most people who build airplanes in Kansas with the Boeing tanker deal do not feel much love loss for McCain who most of us could tell by the fruit of his actions that he was not protecting the interests of American workers. We have alot of military in Kansas that might work for him but it might not.

We suburban moms (soccer moms) if you will are not real comfortable with McCain agreeing recently with the lady who said we might need to reinstate the draft and I am all for protecting our interests in the USA but no reason to rush head first into battles our military is being stretched. Many believe cooler heads prevail, I don't believe that is how John McCain's temperament is usually described.

McCain may pick up some of the rural voters because of the abortion issue. Romney might help but as much wealth as would be on that ticket most Kansans can't relate to. There are 3 homes within a block of my suburban home that have been foreclosed upon forcing my property values lower so it is harder to relate to someone that has more homes then they can remember and then offer the lame excuse that they are all in their wifes name that is just silly.

So Obama having ties to Kansas brings quite a bit of excitement. I'm not saying Kansas will vote anything but Republican especially since Bush and Cheney are here constantly raising money, but it has been a more interesting election cycle.

When I explained to my teenagers 3 of them that McCain would have a better chance of carrying Kansas they had a very hard time understanding that as the young people seem to overwhelmingly be for Obama. Sometimes one needs to consider the wisdom from the mouths of babes. This will be their inheritance are we protecting it and being good stewards. I believe more soulsearching needs to be done by all of us no matter what vote you cast.

Posted by: gc | August 23, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
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BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!

Posted by: Bait -N- Switch (TM) | August 23, 2008 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Check this out:

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2065855/posts

Suit filed Thurs. in Fed. Court in Philadelphia - Obama constitutionally ineligible for presidency.

The lawyer (Philip Berg) who filed the suit said this in an interview on Fri:

"Sen. Obama really owes it to everyone to confront this. He should threaten me. “Berg,” he should say, “here are the documents and, if you do not withdraw the suit, I will sue you.” Right now, he has no basis to sue me. If he does have the documents, he should show them, and I’ll walk away. I’ll withdraw the case. But, again, he must show me a certified vault copy of his birth certificate and must show me a certified copy of the oath of allegiance taken between the time he was 19 to 21 at a Consulate, U.S. Embassy or the like. If those documents can be presented, again, I’m out of here. But I don’t think he can, I don’t think he will, and I think it is a total disgrace on his part."

I think if Obama/campaign can't produce these documents in 48 hours, Obama is toast, and DNC, etc. will be begging Hillary to be candidate.

Posted by: FAR | August 23, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Fear breads hate and ignorance...which is a majority of the post hear. Non of them have any real facts or a frazed parroted from sean Insanity or Bill'o the clown. At some point your going to have to get over it because Obama is our next president Biden is our Vice president. period.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA-BIDEN '08


Nuf said...

See you in November

Posted by: OBAMA '08 | August 23, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

gc- Excuse the frank language....this is only the most important moment in recent American history leading to a crucial decision about which WE all feel very strongly. This isn't a tea party. Obama is not experienced enough to be President, by his own running mate's still unrepented opinion. Yet he enrolls his supporters in "Camp Obama" two day cult meetings in order to convince them he is. Sorry for the salty talk, but we're fighting a cult of personality!

Posted by: Scott | August 23, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Aspergirl, quoting springrain wrote:

It's 3 a.m., the cell phone rings... you get it.

----------
Problem is, you never know who is on the other side of that phone.

The more I see this, the more I wonder if Obama really was set up as a simple democratic front man, meant to be pushed aside, like Bush.

The democrats have done everything else the Republican Rove way, why not this, too, Obama clearly overshadowed by people like Biden, and Bayh, even Clinton.

And that is really weird, very sad, too, because in the end, it's still about national security, no matter who you think you are -- if it didnt' work out for Cheney, it won't work out for the democrats, either.

But they always were a day late and a dollar short, (those adverse to Clinton, anyway).

I would have expected better from the democrats, but I guess they thought the republican way was best.

Too bad.

I wonder if Axelplouffe is starting to think the same way?

Posted by: Mordant Cowboy | August 23, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

After reading some of these posts I have come to the conclusion that many of you no matter who you are voting for could use some lessons in manners and civility.

I personally believe that many of you should be ashamed of the things you have written. I bet you do not treat people like this in person and yet many of you are rude and mean and have no respect for others opinions. Either some of you guys and gals need to get a life or you need to lighten up.

Many regular people look through these posts; and instead of persuading anyone that your candidates have the answers most people are just turned off because many of you come off as being sick and twisted and people choose not to join in.

As an American I believe in a better America than some of you represent and I believe our founding fathers did as well. I think most of them would be ashamed of how many of you are choosing to act like this on this forum

Posted by: gc | August 23, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Aspergirl wrote -

treetopflyer, you say below that you read it from top to bottom and the united states code had no such provision that the attorney filing the suit cited? What language did you read the united states code in?
=============================================================
If you'd clicked on the links I thoughtfully provided you'd know.

Even though you didn't do me the same courtesy of providing a link to the amendment history you cited, I was able to google it and find it. That's fine, I won't dispute it. What I do dispute, however, is the assertion that Obama was born outside the United States. Berg's complaint states:

">Obama was enrolled by his parents in a public school, Fransiskus Assisi School in Jakarta, Indonesia. Plaintiff has received copies of the school registration where it clearly states Obama's name as Barry Soetoro and lists his citizenship as Indonesian, Obama's father is listed as Lolo Soetoro, Obama's date of birth and place of birth are listed as August 4,1961 in Honolulu and Obama's Religion is listed as Islam. This document was verified by television show Inside Edition, whose reporter, Matt Meagher took the actual footage of the school record."

First, it overlooks the possibility that at the time Obama may have had dual citizenship, just as my younger brother (born in Milan) had dual American-Italian citizenship (which he renounced on his eighteenth birthday because otherwise he'd have had to do his military service in Italy). It's also interesting to note that Berg is prepared to accept the document's veracity pertaining to Obama's citizenship, but not to his birthplace. A bit selective in his use of evidence, I'd say.

Moreover, Berg states, "...you may not hold dual citizenship or multiple citizenships with foreign Countries. U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1." There is no mention of dual citizenship in this section. Read it for yourself.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articleii.html#section1

Berg also states: "To date, Obama has refused to prove he is qualified under the U.S. Constitution and his eligibility to run as President ofthe United States."

To date, Berg or anyone else has yet to prove him ineligible. Burden of proof rests with the accuser, not the accused.

Now comes something really interesting, which the Republicans and their supporters don't want you to know - and typical of their ineptness, lead anyone with an internet connection and not much of a life straight to. Watch how Berg shoots himself in the foot:

"Wayne Madsen, Journalist with Online Journal was a contributing writer and published an article on June 9, 2008 stating the GOP sent a research team to Mombasa, Kenya and located a Certificate Registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr. at a Maternity Hospital, to his father, a Kenyan Citizen and his mother, a U.S. Citizen."

Now here's what Wayne Madsen reported:

"
WMR -- GOP dirty tricks operatives dispatched to Kenya to dig up any useful "dirt" on Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, Jr., and his late Kenyan father Barack Obama, Sr., believe they have found a "smoking gun." In this case, it is a birth certificate from the Kenyan city of Mombasa registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr., on August 4, 1961. However, the registration is a common practice in African countries whose citizens abroad have families with foreign nationals. Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to his Ann Dunham of Wichita, Kansas, and Barack Obama, Sr., of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Kenya. Obama's parents were enrolled at the University of Hawaii. They divorced when Barack Obama was two years old."

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/printer_3349.shtml

And more to that effect. In other words, the very article which Berg tries to use to prove his case throws doubt on it!

That pretty much puts the whole argument to bed, as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: treetopflyer | August 23, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama's choice of Biden has nothing to do with the Russians invading Georgia, this is the old politics of pandering gearing toward Catholics. This is a monumental blunder since Biden has long been discredited as a plagiarist.

Posted by: pete | August 23, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Biden's a Homosexual hater!!

Posted by: Alan Soucy of Ape10, Ipswich | August 23, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

That's Obama, allright, AsperGirl-narcissistic as hell, but the kiddies, they don't understand that, because they too, are narcissistic; they don't have enough life experiences to separate form from substance-they go strictly for the form! They're into their "i want a guru who's not white like me" thing-dazzled and mesmerized by words, not substance.

It is all for nought, though- that Obama/Biden ticket got punched and used up long ago-it's going straight to the trash bin come November.

Posted by: SPRING RAIN | August 23, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm sensing that there's going to be some convention floor drama... WOW!

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

HA I UNDERSTAND NOW WHY OBAMA WON'T PROVIDE A COPY OF HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE TO LEGITIMATE JOURNALISTS ON REQUEST.

Even if Obama was born in Kenya and his mother registered his birth in Hawaii believing that it was okay (not aware of her age being a year too young), she still did the wrong thing.

Obama's birth certificate shouldn't have been a Hawaii one but a "United States State Department Record of Birth Abroad". As Obama knows, the Hawaii birth certificate, where his mother registered his birth after returning to Hawaii with him, isn't the right legal document for him, even if she did convey "natural born" status to him. The Hawaii birth certificate isn't legal. He needs to produce a properly recorded State Department "Record of Birth Abroad" in response to the question of his birth certificate.

This is why his campaign has done all this no-attribution, no provenance, bad-image-scan mailing about and posting of his birth certificate at DailyKos and using clueless, off-beat reporters to "report" that his birth certificate is okay. Instead of having someone responsible who can be held accountable for saying "this is Barack Obama's proper birth certificate". It's not a forgery, but it's not a legal birth certificate because the only legal birth certificate Obama can have is a state department birth abroad one.

I knew there was a reason for all the DailyKos skulduggery and no-account, no-provenance, handwaving around that image scan.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

There now appear to be 2 newspapers carrying the story about the lawsuit against Obama, according to Google:

Philadelphia Daily News, PA
Cleveland Leader, OH

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday, and can be verified by logging into the federal government's cases site.

I wonder how long mainstream media will ignore this one?

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Electing most republicans nowadays is like hiring a pyromaniac to work for the Fire Department. They talk tough and make a big show out of trying to solve problems that they helped create. They love to use your money to lock some people up and bomb others, never addressing the underlying causes because that comes back to them. Their pro-CEO, antifamily policies make it difficult for hard working people to take care of their families, which actually leads to more abortions.
Read Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" or John Perkin's "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." If you still believe the neocon propoganda afterward, at least you can stop relying on name calling and give an informed argument instead. Once you see things from a more informed perspective you probably won't be able to believe neocon propaganda.

Posted by: Charles W | August 23, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

>>SPRING RAIN wrote: "CLINTON CAMP OUTRAGED"

Not only the stuff you quoted, BUT Obama had to send the announcement by a 3 a.m. cell phone message.

It's 3 a.m., the cell phone rings... you get it.

How could that be intended to be anything but a mean-boy smack at Hillary?

If I had any doubts about Obama's character before, this immature, grievance-minded behavior he's shown in the past 3 months toward Clinton and her supporters is totally inconsistent with anyone someone would consider "presidential timbre". He's a narcissistic punk who cleaned himself up and got an ivy league degree and network, but is still full of 20 years of Trinity Church grievances and petty resentful mentality.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

FROM CNN;

CLINTON CAMP OUTRAGED

(CNN) — Evan as Hillary Clinton praised the newly-minted Democratic presidential ticket Saturday, some in her circle are furious Barack Obama did not appear to give the New York Democrat serious consideration for the No. 2 spot, or even ask for her consultation on the matter.

"Set aside that Obama said she'd be on anybody's short list, set aside anybody's feelings on whether she was deliberately snubbed and the pros and cons of whether it should be her," a former Clinton strategist told CNN's Candy Crowley. "Focus on the politics of it and you have about a quarter of Clinton loyalists still not joining the caravan…for God's sake, not to even make a show of taking her seriously is flatly stupid."

A top Clinton advisor also told CNN they were "outraged," over how the process was conducted.

"You can't put [Obama VP vetters] Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy on an hour plane ride to Chappaqua just to check the box? They should have done it just for the optics," this person said. "Barack never even said to her, 'Here's how I envision the job'– not one discussion with her about [the position]."

"They thought her supporters were mad before? They are really mad now," this person also said. We knew it was never going to happen but you would have thought they might at least make a show of it."

Former Clinton strategist Paul Begala echoed similar frustrations on CNN Friday night.

"I think there are a lot of Hillary voters who are going to say, 'Hey, wait a minute, man You said you were going to put her on the short list. You know, you didn't even vet her. You didn't call her. You didn't seek her advice,'" Begala said. "By the way, he didn't seek President Clinton's advice either. He's actually the guy who I think picked the best vice president in American history. You would think maybe you would sort of check in with him."

THAT'S OKAY, DON'T WORRY-WE HAVE OUR WAYS OF GETTING BACK AT THE DYNAMIC DUO-NOT! MILLIONS OF HILLARY SUPPORTERS ARE CROSSING OVER TO VOTE MCCAIN/ROMNEY-HAPPILY!

DEMS4MCCAIN.ORG

Posted by: SPRING RAIN | August 23, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

What would Po' Barack do if Po' Joe's brain aneurysms blew out again (like Po' Rep. Jones' aneurysm did recently) on the very same day the doctors diagnosed Po' Barack with lung cancer?

Dang! He knew he should have given up those coffin nails but the GOP pressure was too, too much!

Posted by: DaTourist | August 23, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

That's right! They were bought with Cindy's beer money, and not a one of them, I might add, has 4 fireplaces and a music room, unlike Obama's Rezko felon financed mansion!

And if Cindy wants to buy 5 more houses, so what? I could care less-more power to them!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I can tell you one thing about John McCain and Cindy's seven homes!

Rezko had nothing to do with any of 'em! Not a dime!

Posted by: DaTourist | August 23, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Differences define?

Well, Po' Joe dishonestly plagiarized Neil Kinnock, a Brit pol only remembered now because of Biden's literary pilfering.

And Po' Barack?

Po' Barack cozied up to Tony Rezko for 17 years, a convicted bag man for dishonest politicians who bought and sold their offices. No one knows why Rezko sold that lot adjacent to Obama's million dollar house (gotten for $300,000 below market value!) to Obama for half what he paid, or what Obama did to make up for it.

Posted by: DaTourist | August 23, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

BARACK-BIN-BIDEN-OH MY GOD! THAT MAKES ME LAUGH! GOOD ONE! THOSE TWO KNUCKLEHEADS ARE GOING TO GET CREAMED COME NOVEMBER! AND AS A DEM FOR MCCAIN/ROMNEY I'LL BE LAUGHING MY ARSE OFF! DUKAKIS/BENTSEN INDEED!

JOINING THE TRASH HEAP OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGN HISTORY-OBAMA AND LOOSE LIPS BIDEN! THOSE TWO DEFINITELY DESERVE EACH OTHER!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

>>Ann wrote: "Since not one of you is an attorney, or for that matter qualified to read the comics, I suggest you go back to grammar school and start again."

Why is there always some girl hanging around reminding everyone that we are all too stupid and under-qualified to think for ourselves about what the Big Grownup people do?

Don't you have to go paint your toenails or pluck your eyebrows or something?

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

>>MOswingvoter wrote: "Sure looks to me like Obama's US citizenship fits under sec. 301(g) of the immigration act that treetop so kindly provided a link to. Nothing remarkable here."

The text of the statute that treetopflyer provided links to only apply to those persons born now, not under previous versions of the code. To see the statutes applicable to Obama, you have to see what nationality requirements were applicable at the time of his birth, which means you have to look at the amendment history, too.

The attorney's claim is properly filed with respect to invoking those provisions of 8 USC 1401's that set forth the age and residency requirements of the citizen-parent.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

1.African American students ruining DC Schools comment in Iowa
2. Indian 7 Eleven cashiers
3. Obama's hygeine "storybook stuff"
4. Almost thrown out of law school for plagiarism
5. Falsely claiming to be top of his class
6. Believes Obama lacks judgement to be president
7. Would be honored to serve with or against McCain

I guess Biden has to get his 7 houses in order soon as well....GREAT CHOICE

Posted by: Scott | August 23, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

treetopflyer, you say below that you read it from top to bottom and the united states code had no such provision that the attorney filing the suit cited? What language did you read the united states code in?

Philip Berg's lawsuit's invocation of the prevailing statute is:

" 6. If in fact Obama was born in Kenya, the laws on the books at the time of his birth stated if a child is born abroad and one parent was a U.S. Citizen, which would have been his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, Obama's mother would have had to live ten (10) years in the United States, five (5) of which were after the age of fourteen (14). At the time of Obama's birth, his mother was only eighteen (18) and therefore did not meet the residency requirements under the law to give her son (Obama) U.S. Citizenship. The laws in effect at the time of Obama's birth prevented U.S. Citizenship at birth of children born abroad to a U.S. Citizen parent and a non-citizen parent, if the citizen parent was under the age of nineteen (19) at the time of the birth of the child. Obama's mother did not qualify under the law on the books to register Obama as a "natural born" citizen. Section 301(a)(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of June 27,1952,66 Stat. 163, 235, 8 U.S.c. §1401(b), Matter of S-F-and G-, 2 I & N Dec. 182 (B.I.A.) approved (Att'y Gen. 1944). Obama would have only been Naturalized and a Naturalized citizen is not qualified and/or eligible to run for Office of the President. U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section Clause 4."

So the factual basis for this whole "born abroad" story that Obama's Kenyan family tells, is that his mother wasn't allowed to fly back because she was too pregnant, and she gave birth to him there and then took the baby back to Hawaii where she registered the birth. But Obama's birth records exist in Kenya but don't exist in Hawaii. And, as the guy claims,

"The laws IN EFFECT AT THE TIME of Obama's birth prevented U.S. Citizenship at birth of children born abroad to a U.S. Citizen parent and a non-citizen parent, if the citizen parent was under the age of nineteen (19) at the time of the birth of the child." (emphasis mine)

If you look at the text of 8 USC 1401(g), it states:

"...(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years..."

So according to the statute, the parent-citizen giving birth had to have lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years of their life, with at least 2 of those years after age 14. But wait, what were the statutes in force at the time of Obama's birth? Turns out there was an amendment in 1986. Apparently, your "top to bottom" reading omitted the amendment history. In particular, the 1986 amendment, which reads:

"1986--Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 99-653 substituted ``five years, at least
two'' for ``ten years, at least five''."

So with the 1986 amendment reversed, the statute required that the parent-citizen, prior to their child's birth abroad, have resided in the U.S. at least 10 years of their life, with at least 5 of those years being after age 14. So anyone under 19 years old cannot convey "natural born" U.S. citizenship to a child born abroad. Obama's mamma launched her career as a Third World ho at the tender age of 18.

As for when the 1986 amendment was effective, the text of 8 USC 14 states:

"Effective Date of 1986 Amendment: Section 23(d) of Pub. L. 99-653, as added by Pub. L. 100-525, Sec. 8(r), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2619, provided that: ``The amendment made by section 12 [amending this section] shall apply to persons born on or after November 14, 1986.''"

Since Obama was born in 1961, the pre-1986 statute applies to him, 19 year old limit and all.

(http://frwebgate5.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=530420399306+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve)

*****************

>>treetopflyer wrote:

"Aspergirl wrote -

You should read the lawsuit's documents before making this comment.
----------------------------------------------------------
I have.

Every so often when an issue like this lawsuit BS crops up, it pays to follow the links posted. ...

There is no such provision in this code - I've read it top to bottom.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Sure looks to me like Obama's US citizenship fits under sec. 301(g) of the immigration act that treetop so kindly provided a link to. Nothing remarkable here.

Posted by: MOswingvoter | August 23, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Since not one of you is an attorney, or for that matter qualified to read the comics, I suggest you go back to grammar school and start again.

The lawsuit is specious and frivolous. Berg should be sanctioned by his state Bar for filing a groundless lawsuit and wasting the court's time.

Posted by: Ann | August 23, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Biden looks very Presidential, if I'm dealing with the both of them regarding a complex issue, say, as a foreign head of state, I address Biden, not Obama.

So, this is a replay of Bush-Cheney, isn't it? Or even Dmitry, and VLad imir Putin.

If they're elected, that is...

Posted by: Mordant Cowhand | August 23, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

JAC wrote: "I'm reading a lot of TROLL talk about how bad Senator's Obama and Biden are BUT I'm not reading anything Positive about Senator McCain."

What's this "TROLL' business. You are doing more trolling than anyone else I've read on this comment sheet.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I would say they are certainly different . . . one is completely inept and the other is a loud mouthed fool.

Posted by: rplat | August 23, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

BARACK-BIN-BIDEN, will lose.

Posted by: Dashriprock | August 23, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Go Treetopflyer!

Posted by: Obama2008 | August 23, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm reading a lot of TROLL talk about how bad Senator's Obama and Biden are BUT I'm not reading anything Positive about Senator McCain.

No one is addressing Senator McCain's comment that if you make more than $5 MILLION he considers you rich. $4.9 MILLION you're middle class.

Am I they only one who sees a huge disconnect?

Or Senator McCain's reasoning for not supporting Senator Webb's G.I. bill.
Senator McCain's said if the G.I. bill passed then the troops would not reenlist decreasing the number of troops in the military.

Lame huh!

But Senator McCain claims to support the troops.

Is that like Senator McCain supported the troops before he didn't support the troops???

Come on TROLLS why are you supporting Senator McCain??????

Posted by: JAC | August 23, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey Barrack, is it just me?

http://www.digitalpublius.com/

Check it out, and participate.

Posted by: digitalpublius | August 23, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Aspergirl wrote -

You should read the lawsuit's documents before making this comment.
----------------------------------------------------------
I have.

Every so often when an issue like this lawsuit BS crops up, it pays to follow the links posted. The first one you already have:

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2066207/posts

This is the lawsuit by Philip Berg. You can read here for yourself the house of sand this man is trying to build, especially the claim that because Obama's mother was not yet 19 that meant Barack was not born a US citizen. Here are links to the US code that he cites to support his claim.

http://www.uscis.gov/propub/ProPubVAP.jsp?dockey=cb90c19a50729fb47fb0686648558dbe
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001401----000-.html

There is no such provision in this code - I've read it top to bottom.

Berg better hope he gets a judge that doesn't have a law library or access to the internet, or better, one who can't read. Otherwise he's going to get a stern reprimand the moment he has the nerve to set foot in the courtroom and his case dismissed. Of course, the point isn't to win the case. The point is to provide trash talkers on the internet with something that makes BS claims about Obama's eligibility to run look legitimate. It's a typical voter suppression tactic - raise doubts about your opponent without any real evidence, and hope laziness will take over in the voters' minds where the tiniest bit of research and "put your money where your mouth is" is called for.

Berg is trying to play us. I've given you links to all the unbiased proof you need of that. If you don't have the time to click on a few links, read a few paragraphs, and determine for yourselves whether this man's claims are legit, you're letting him (and anyone who circulates his garbage) make a fool of you.

Posted by: treetopflyer | August 23, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

>>Mike wrote: "My favorite part about this will be watching the Loony-Left totally ignore the fact that Biden supported going into Iraq."

Apparently, they are ignoring the fact of this lawsuit filed by a real attorney and Clinton supporter in PA on Thursday. No mention of it in any newspapers.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Apprently this lawsuit was filed Thursday afternoon, according to some blog:

http://www.americasright.com/2008/08/obama-sued-in-philadelphia-federal.html

"A prominent Philadelphia attorney and Hillary Clinton supporter filed suit this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Commission. The action seeks an injunction preventing the senator from continuing his candidacy and a court order enjoining the DNC from nominating him next week, all on grounds that Sen. Obama is constitutionally ineligible to run for and hold the office of President of the United States.

"Philip Berg, the filing attorney, is a former gubernatorial and senatorial candidate, former chair of the Democratic Party in Montgomery (PA) County, former member of the Democratic State Committee, and former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania. According to Berg, he filed the suit--just days before the DNC is to hold its nominating convention in Denver--for the health of the Democratic Party.

...

"I filed this action at this time," Berg stated, "to avoid the obvious problems that will occur when the Republican Party raises these issues after Obama is nominated.".

Berg cited a number of unanswered questions regarding the Illinois senator's background, and in today's lawsuit maintained that Sen. Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen or that, if he ever was, he lost his citizenship when he was adopted in Indonesia. Berg also cites what he calls "dual loyalties" due to his citizenship and ties with Kenya and Indonesia.

Even if Sen. Obama can prove his U.S. citizenship, Berg stated, citing the senator's use of a birth certificate from the state of Hawaii verified as a forgery by three independent document forensic experts, the issue of "multi-citizenship with responsibilities owed to and allegiance to other countries" remains on the table.

In the lawsuit, Berg states that Sen. Obama was born in Kenya, and not in Hawaii as the senator maintains. Before giving birth, according to the lawsuit, Obama's mother traveled to Kenya with his father but was prevented from flying back to Hawaii because of the late stage of her pregnancy, "apparently a normal restriction to avoid births during a flight." As Sen. Obama's own paternal grandmother, half-brother and half-sister have also claimed, Berg maintains that Stanley Ann Dunham--Obama's mother--gave birth to little Barack in Kenya and subsequently flew to Hawaii to register the birth.

Berg cites inconsistent accounts of Sen. Obama's birth, including reports that he was born at two separate hospitals--Kapiolani Hospital and Queens Hospital--in Honolulu, as well a profound lack of birthing records for Stanley Ann Dunham, though simple "registry of birth" records for Barack Obama are available in a Hawaiian public records office.

Should Sen. Obama truly have been born in Kenya, Berg writes, the laws on the books at the time of his birth hold that U.S. citizenship may only pass to a child born overseas to a U.S. citizen parent and non-citizen parent if the former was at least 19 years of age. Sen. Obama's mother was only 18 at the time. Therefore, because U.S. citizenship could not legally be passed on to him, Obama could not be registered as a "natural born" citizen and would therefore be ineligible to seek the presidency pursuant to Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

Moreover, even if Sen. Obama could have somehow been deemed "natural born," that citizenship was lost in or around 1967 when he and his mother took up residency in Indonesia, where Stanley Ann Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian citizen. Berg also states that he possesses copies of Sen. Obama's registration to Fransiskus Assisi School In Jakarta, Indonesia which clearly show that he was registered under the name "Barry Soetoro" and his citizenship listed as Indonesian.

The Hawaiian birth certificate, Berg says, is a forgery. In the suit, the attorney states that the birth certificate on record is a forgery, has been identified as such by three independent document forensic experts, and actually belonged to Maya Kasandra Soetoro, Sen. Obama's half-sister.
...

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

My favorite part about this will be watching the Loony-Left totally ignore the fact that Biden supported going into Iraq. Can you say: Hypocrites?

Posted by: Mike | August 23, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

>>treetopflyer wrote: "This means that McCain, born in Panama, a US citizen by birth because of his parentage, is eligible to be president, as would Obama had he been born in Kenya. Because his mother was a citizen he was by birth a "natural born" citizen. This whole lawsuit is groundless."

You should read the lawsuit's documents before making this comment. An extract from the complaint is below:

2. In or about 1967, when Obama was approximately six (6) years old, his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, a citizen of Indonesia and moved to Indonesia with Obama. At this time, if Obama was Registered as a "natural born" citizen, which he did not qualify to be registered as, he would have lost his U.S. Citizenship when his mother married Lolo Soetoro and took up residency in Indonesia. The first requirement is that naturalization must be achieved through "application." Such type of naturalization occurs, for example, when a person acquires a foreign nationality by marriage to a national of that country. Nationality Act of 1940, Section 317(b). Additionally, there is rumor circulating on the Internet that his Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, adopted Obama.

1. The Nationality Act of 1940 provided for the loss of citizenship when the person became naturalized upon the naturalization of his or her parent having custody of such person. Obama's mother expatriated her U.s. Citizenship when she married Lolo Soetoro, a citizen of Indonesia and relocated her and her son (Obama) to Indonesia.
2. Obama was enrolled by his parents in a public school, Fransiskus Assisi School in Jakarta, Indonesia. Plaintiff has received copies of the school registration where it clearly states Obama's name as Barry Soetoro and lists his citizenship as Indonesian, Obama's father is listed as Lolo Soetoro, Obama's date of birth and place of birth are listed as August 4,1961 in Honolulu and Obama's Religion is listed as Islam. This document was verified by television show Inside Edition, whose reporter, Matt Meagher took the actual footage of the school record.
3. In or about 1971, Obama's mother sent Obama back to Hawaii. Obama was ten (10) years of age upon his return to Hawaii.
4. Sometime after the return of Obama to Hawaii, Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham returned to Hawaii and divorced her husband, Lolo Soetoro. At the time of Divorce, Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham could have regained her U.S. Citizenship. In order to regain her citizenship, Obama's mother would have had to take the oath of allegiance required. Such oath of allegiance may be taken abroad before a diplomatic or consular of the United States, or in the United States before the Attorney General or the judge or clerk of a Court. Such Oath of allegiance would have been entered in the records of the appropriate embassy, legation, consulate, court or the Attorney General and upon demand, a certified copy of the proceedings, including a copy of the oath administered, under the seal of the embassy, legation, consulate, court or the Attorney General shall be delivered. The certified copy shall be evidence of the facts stated therein before any court of record or judicial tribunal and in any department or agencyoftheGovernment oftheUnitedStates. 8U.S.c.§1435.

31. As stated above, The Nationality Act of 1940 provided for the loss of citizenship when the person became naturalized upon the naturalization of his or her parent having custody of such person. Obama's mother expatriated her U.S. Citizenship when she married Lolo Soetoro, a citizen of Indonesia and relocated her and her son (Obama) to Indonesia.

Obama's mother failed to take the oath in order to regain her U.S. Citizenship. Therefore, Obama would not have been able to regain his U.S. Citizenship until he turned eighteen (18) years after he took the oath of allegiance before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, or in the U.S. before the Attorney General or the judge or clerk of court. Plaintiff is informed, believes and thereon alleges Obama failed to regain his citizenship by taking the oath of allegiance. Since the oath of allegiance would have been entered in the records of the appropriate embassy, legation, consulate, court or the Attorney General, if Plaintiff is incorrect, then Obama should be able to produce in Court a certified copy of the proceedings, including a copy of the oath administered.

Investigation further showed in 1981, Obama traveled to Pakistan using his Indonesian passport. At the time of travels to Indonesia, Obama was twenty (20) years old. He was well aware he maintained his Indonesia citizenship, and failed to regain his United States citizenship. Indonesia does not allow dual citizenship. Had Obama regained his United States citizenship, he would have been traveling on a United States Passport.

...

(full text of lawsuit at http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2066207/posts)

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

In spite of all the Obama attention, here at Youth for McCain*, we couldn't be more energized. Because economic expertise is so critical and neither McCain, Obama nor Biden has it, we're backing Neil Cavuto whom, we believe, has an outside chance against favorites John Bolton and Dan Quayle

*Site: www.you-magoo.org.

Posted by: Rory Sokolovsky | August 23, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Whose job improved today? The reporters covering the Democrat candidate for Vice President.

Joe Biden is a human gaffe machine...What anticipation! What excitement!
He has the constant potential to overturn the applecart of the Obama campaign.
You never know when he'll stick his foot in it. "Did he just say that?" "Oh, I can't believe he said that."
"What a blooper!"
"Hello, newsroom --- stop the presses. I've got a breaking story."

This guy is a ticking rhetorical time bomb. As a reporter, your shot at the front page or a live shot happens when the Biden bomb goes off. There should be loads of fun in store. I can't wait!

Posted by: John Conneely | August 23, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Weirder and weirder... Obama seems to be trying to recast Biden as a Clinton:

On Biden's day, flickers of Clinton
by Scott Helman
Boston Globe

She may not be the one on stage today, but Hillary Clinton was an unmistakable presence up there in Springfield with Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

The message, the tone, the strategic posturing for the fall -- major elements of the first Obama-Biden event of the campaign were positively Clinton-esque. It was almost as if the populist campaign she waged in the last months of the Democratic primary race had been reignited under the bright afternoon sun of central Illinois.

In the primary, Clinton couldn't go an hour without pitching herself as the kind of "fighter" America's middle-class families need. Today, Obama pitched Biden as "the kind of fighter who I want by my side in the months and years to come."

"That’s what it’s going to take to win the fight for good jobs that let people live their dreams, a tax code that rewards work instead of wealth, and health care that is affordable and accessible for every American family," Obama said.

Obama also dubbed Biden "that scrappy kid from Scranton who beat the odds." Scranton, remember, was the home of Clinton's father's family, and she rooted herself firmly in that working-class ancestry to win big in in the Pennsylvania primary. It seems pretty clear Biden plans on doing the same.

...

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/08/on_bidens_day_f.html

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It is unclear whether one's birthplace is important. The Constitution says a US president must be a "natural born citizen", not a "native born citizen". My own interpretation is that the president needs to be a citizen from birth, not that (s)he has to be born on U.S. soil. The fact that we use the term "naturalized", not "nativized", to refer to the process of making a foreigner a citizen would lend weight to this interpretation. A person who is born a citizen, regardless of location, has no need to be "naturalized", therefore (s)he can be assumed to be already "natural born".

This means that McCain, born in Panama, a US citizen by birth because of his parentage, is eligible to be president, as would Obama had he been born in Kenya. Because his mother was a citizen he was by birth a "natural born" citizen. This whole lawsuit is groundless. A ruling, however, would help for once and for all clarify the meaning of "natural born" in the Constitution.

Posted by: treetopflyer | August 23, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

dear WillNotBeFooledByObamaNATION

Nice try (at least we know your point of view from your sig.) but no cigar!
Phillip Berg's petition may be a clever new form of smear but it won't get anywhere because:
1. Obama was born in the US (Hawaii was already a state when he was born)
2. Neither Obama nor his mother lost US citizenship when she married his Indonesian stepfather. American's marry non-American's everyday... I'm married to a German citizen and I currently live in Berlin. It doesn't affect yones citizenship. I was congratulated at the US consulate though, when Iregistered the marriage. As for Obama's mother, I believe I read somehwere that she even worked at the US Embassy in Jakarta.

But if this theme really bothers you (I'd just love to 'turn' a Rep. troll ;-)
John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone... technically speaking....

Posted by: Chris | August 23, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Biden: "...right now I don't believe he (hussein) is (ready to be president). The presidency is not something that leads itself to on-the-job-training".

Biden: " I would be honored to run with or against John McCain. He'd leave the country better off."

The democrats are having a sale: TWO POMPOUS GAS-BAGS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! Forget the tire gauge - the dems have a new energy plan: wind-power through endless hot air.

Here's the stuff the loony-left liberal media WILL NOT TELL YOU:

Biden and hussein are both so lacking in honesty and ethics they blatantly plagiarize the words of others.

The many, many plagiarized speeches of Biden have been well documented. While at Syracuse Law School, Biden plagiarized a law review article in a class paper he wrote. He has not only plagiarized Americans, but British politicians as well, such as Neil Kinnock, then-leader of the British Labour Party. He's a true international plagiarizer. (This is what the liberal media mean when they say biden has "international experience".)

In his mediocre law school, Biden was only able to graduate 76th in a class of 85 - i.e., he was in the lowest 10.5%! Of course, while campaigning, he claimed falsely to have graduated in the "top half" of his class. A plagiarizer and a LIAR!

hussein is so mentally deficient from extensive drug use he even has to plagiarize his hollow platitudes. (His mental deficiencies appear to rival those of Biden.) His many plagiarized speeches have also been documented, including his theft of words from a speech by Deval Patrick, from Robin Williams' movie "Man of the Year", and others. Like Biden, hussein also has been caught in many, many lies.

Yep, the character of these two is as pathetic as it gets - they deserve one another. America deserves neither.

Posted by: ALEX H. | August 23, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

While in Africa on August 03 2008, President Bill Clinton questioned the constitutionally qualification of BARACK OBAMA.

Why is this NOT being INVESTIGATED by the MAIN STREAM MEDIA???

Phil Berg files a lawsuit raising the question in federal court. law suit filed in U.S. District Court (Philadelphia) seeking an injunction preventing Obama from continuing his candidacy and a court order to prevent his nomination at the upcoming Democratic Convention.


Thursday, August 21, 2008
Obama Sued in Philadelphia Federal Court on Grounds he is Constitutionally Ineligible for the Presidency
by Jeff Schreiber
America's Right.com

A prominent Philadelphia attorney and Hillary Clinton supporter filed suit this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Commission. The action seeks an injunction preventing the senator from continuing his candidacy and a court order enjoining the DNC from nominating him next week, all on grounds that Sen. Obama is constitutionally ineligible to run for and hold the office of President of the United States.

Here is a link to this Suit:

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2066207/posts

Posted by: WillNotBeFooledByObamaNATION
--------------

Uh, Barack Obama was born in HAWAII, which was a state for six years at that time.

McCain? Born in Panama. Granted to American parents, but still born in Panama. Now, I'll admit to not being sure of this, but I don't think too many anti-McCain groups are planning a lawsuit to try and keep him from being elected. Look, this thing doesn't have legs, and if anything, hurts your case. This is NOT the way to go. Let Obama simply beat McCain instead.

Posted by: SAGG | August 23, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden- Twice Failed Presidential Candidate- 1st to plagiarism next to comments about Obama's hygiene and Indian 7 Eleven cashiers- 5000 votes in 2007-8 Primaries.

Hilary Clinton- Once failed Presidential Candidate- Lost to sexism and the theft of Michigan/Florida Delegates- 18 million votes in 2007-8 Primaries.

Obama Choosing Biden- PRICELESS!

Posted by: Scott | August 23, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!
BIDEN / OBAMA '08!!!

Posted by: Bait -N- Switch (TM) | August 23, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

While in Africa on August 03 2008, President Bill Clinton questioned the constitutionally qualification of BARACK OBAMA.

Why is this NOT being INVESTIGATED by the MAIN STREAM MEDIA???

Phil Berg files a lawsuit raising the question in federal court. law suit filed in U.S. District Court (Philadelphia) seeking an injunction preventing Obama from continuing his candidacy and a court order to prevent his nomination at the upcoming Democratic Convention.


Thursday, August 21, 2008
Obama Sued in Philadelphia Federal Court on Grounds he is Constitutionally Ineligible for the Presidency
by Jeff Schreiber
America's Right.com

A prominent Philadelphia attorney and Hillary Clinton supporter filed suit this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Commission. The action seeks an injunction preventing the senator from continuing his candidacy and a court order enjoining the DNC from nominating him next week, all on grounds that Sen. Obama is constitutionally ineligible to run for and hold the office of President of the United States.

Here is a link to this Suit:

http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2066207/posts

Posted by: WillNotBeFooledByObamaNATION | August 23, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The Post in its editorial just printed this whopper of a remark by Biden, when he talked to the Post editors this past year:

"

Mr. Biden seemed to suggest that one reason so many of the District's schools fail is the city's large minority population and contrasted D.C. schools with those in Iowa. "There's less than 1 percent of the population in Iowa that is African American," Mr. Biden said. "There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with." The Biden campaign quickly issued a statement asserting that the candidate was referring to socioeconomic status, not racial differences. The lesson we took was not that Mr. Biden is a racist, but to worry about his tendency to speak too much before he thinks enough."

HOLY MOLEY-ARE YOU SERIOUS, BIDEN? DO YOU THINK MINORITIES ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR YOUR TICKET, WHEN YOU GO AROUND SAYING S--T LIKE THIS! YOU'RE NUTS, BESIDES BEING AN INTELLECTUAL LIGHTWEIGHT-JUST PLAIN NUTS! THOSE HAIRPLUGS HAVE TRULY AFFECTED YOUR BRAIN!

Posted by: SPRING RAIN | August 23, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Biden is a great choice for BHO and especially if he can't stand HRC! That's best he can get! With that said, it re-enforce the fact that BHO doesn't have experience and doesn't even have the confidence! I think Putin helped to put Joe Biden on the ticket. I just realized that this is the BHO's weakest point - he has been drifting That's the last thing we need from a leader. Look what GWB preached before he took office and look what we really got from him. Look the BHO 15 month ago and do you see a trace of that BHO now, None! He is reflective and no principals, bowing to the pressures every single turn. He is rising because of his stance of IRAQ war, which I happen to agree but now IRAQ is non issue and McCain has it covered. We are in a bad economy situation under GWB but what BHO knows about economy? He is suppose the agent for change and now he is looking for one of the oldest DC insiders for help! It really begs the question, what he is really running for and what he is really
stands for? Does he know and remember that himself?

We need a real leader not drifter and that has proven disaster for all organization!

Posted by: LC | August 23, 2008 1:09 PM

---------------

Yet once again I'm seeing something sinister forming: That the Repubs are attempting to turn the Bush argument inside out, by saying it's OBAMA that's more like Bush than McCain is. This is just sad and pathetic. Unlike Bush, Obama WILL listen to his advisors, as opposed to Bush's Yes-men and women. Biden actually doesn't live in Washington. He goes back and forth by train to his home in Delaware just about every night, and he's done this for his 35 years as a Senator. Basically, he's working in Washington, but Washington isn't in HIM. Hit McCain, Sen. Biden. Hit him hard.

Posted by: SAGG | August 23, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Good Grief, Anonymous! Do you think anyone has the time or patience to read your interminable rant?

Posted by: Archer717 | August 23, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

For those of use who supported Hillary, this is only half a loaf. Biden knows something about foreign policy and Obama knows about community organizing in Chicago. So I guess we would be a little safer with Biden advising Obama. But why not go for the real thing, John McCain? I'm a lifelong Democrat who will vote for McCain because I cannot vote for an inexperienced junior senator who rose to the leadership of my party by joining the Chicago Democratic machine and by hanging out with the like of Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers (the SDS bomber).

Posted by: Graniteman | August 23, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but after looking at both sides of the pick, I still see Biden as a desperation move on Obama's part. He's like a caricature of the entrenched, untalented senior old white guy who has spent (literally) his whole life in Congress. It's as of Obama made a child's "experience" pick, going for a stereotype of a partisan hack old insider.

As Obama's shine fades and he starts to look and sound like a hollow phony, picking a partisan windbag -- even one who happens to have the foreign policy experience of Moses -- is a weird move.

Here's a snippet from an NRO article that sums up the personal baggage that Biden brings to the ticket to add to Obama's:

"I believe that Barack Obama will not wear well. Indeed, I think his act has been wearing thin for weeks. And I think that his vice-presidential nominee will wear even worse. I’m not sure why he went with Biden — maybe he likes him, personally, which is not the worst thing in the world. It’s helpful if a president likes his vice president (or at least doesn’t dislike him). But I don’t see what Biden gains him. Biden is a slightly risible figure, what with his hair plugs (or whatever) and his many, many examples of public obnoxiousness."

Quick Two Cents
by Jay Nordlinger

-------------

Oh, please. A conservative publication gives a negative review of Biden. Big surprise. I assume you weren't planning to vote for Obama anyway, so go ahead and vote for McCain. I, however, like the pick. Biden's as close to perfect as Obama can get. You Repubs are some piece of work, I'll give you that. One thing, however, gives me some hope (and not just because Obama says so): He's got a better get-out-the-vote campaign and more voter enthusiasm than McCain in all of the battleground states. Heck, in Florida, it's been reported that McCain doesn't even HAVE any foot troopers. Something to think about before you and your ilk proclaim McCain as the next President.

Posted by: SAGG | August 23, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I'm impressed. When I commented earlier there were only a handful of comments here. Now the page is buzzing with troll content. How about a decent and factual discussion? To be had at:

http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/from-across-the-pond-so-its-biden-after-all/

Posted by: European_Elitist | August 23, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"he (Biden) rides the train home to Delaware every night"

So what. Only an idiot would try to drive I95 in rush hour.

Posted by: archer717 | August 23, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

There once was a man named McCain
Whose judgment we once thought was sane
But his approval will dip
'Cause he's joined at the hip
With the Bush that infected his brain

Posted by: Limerick This, Ode Boy | August 23, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but after looking at both sides of the pick, I still see Biden as a desperation move on Obama's part. He's like a caricature of the entrenched, untalented senior old white guy who has spent (literally) his whole life in Congress. It's as of Obama made a child's "experience" pick, going for a stereotype of a partisan hack old insider.

As Obama's shine fades and he starts to look and sound like a hollow phony, picking a partisan windbag -- even one who happens to have the foreign policy experience of Moses -- is a weird move.

Here's a snippet from an NRO article that sums up the personal baggage that Biden brings to the ticket to add to Obama's:

"I believe that Barack Obama will not wear well. Indeed, I think his act has been wearing thin for weeks. And I think that his vice-presidential nominee will wear even worse. I’m not sure why he went with Biden — maybe he likes him, personally, which is not the worst thing in the world. It’s helpful if a president likes his vice president (or at least doesn’t dislike him). But I don’t see what Biden gains him. Biden is a slightly risible figure, what with his hair plugs (or whatever) and his many, many examples of public obnoxiousness."

Quick Two Cents
by Jay Nordlinger
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OWE3NzdmY2I0ZTUzZTBhNWM4ZTk0MDRhNjkxZGMwNmE=

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse


ODE TO OBAMA OPUS 5

He's a Plagiarist and a politician too
Now he's joined Obama and his crew.
They've made quite a fuss.
Threw Clinton under the bus
One wonders who else they can screw.

Posted by: Billw | August 23, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

BRIAN WROTE:

"How can you bash and blame McCain for America's problems being partly due to his "26 of the last 30 years" in Washington, when Biden makes McCain look like a newcomer?"

HA HA HA HA! FUNNY-THAT MADE ME LAUGH, BECAUSE IT'S SO TRUE-HE GETS THE SHOOT FROM THE LIP, MR. HAIR PLUGS AS A RUNNING MATE, WHOSE SENATE SEAT HAS BEEN IMPRINTED WITH BIDEN'S BEHIND, HE'S BEEN SITTING THERE SO LONG! TALK ABOUT OSSIFIED! BIDEN HAS NEVER HELD A REAL JOB, LIKE OBAMA, AND IS UTTERLY CLUELESS ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY!

OBAMA, TRULY YOUR JUDGMENTS ABOUT PEOPLE ARE JUST DARN SCARY!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The American Thinker
August 22, 2008
Bill & Barack's Excellent Adventure
By Thomas Lifson
"William Ayers, unrepentant terrorist and education professor, is once again being tied to Barack Obama in the public mind. Controversy builds over the withholding of the archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an expensive failed school reform effort headed by Obama and effectively run by Ayers, held by the library of the University of Illinois Chicago. Researchers who have gained access to a few documents recording the history of the project have found strong evidence of a very important working relationship between the two men on the project, Obama's sole claim to executive experience.


Oddly enough, even though the project produced no measurable improvement in student performance according to its own final report, educators and administrators -- participants and grantees of the CAC -- were reported by outside monitors to be often "ebullient" about the activities. For insiders, it was an excellent adventure. For the pupils stuck in the failing public schools of Chicago, an ongoing, unrelieved disaster.


Obama and his campaign long have gone out of their way to downplay, in fact distort, the long and evidently deep relationship between Ayers and Obama. In the Philadelphia Democratic debate last April, George Stephanopoulos asked Obama about his relationship with Ayers, and the candidate responded:


"This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

"And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn't make much sense, George. [....]

"So this kind of game, in which anybody who I know, regardless of how flimsy the relationship is, is somehow -- somehow their ideas could be attributed to me -- I think the American people are smarter than that. They're not going to suggest somehow that that is reflective of my views, because it obviously isn't."


Almost two months earlier, the "neighbor" talking point campaign manager David Axelrod introduced the notion that Obama and Ayers were mostly just neighbors, telling The Politico's Ben Smith,


"Bill Ayers lives in his neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school," he said. "They're certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together."


Ayers and his wife are in their sixties, while the Obamas are in their mid-forties. Ayers' children are all adults, while Obama's children are currently 10 and 7. Axelrod's prevarication is telling, bespeaking confidence that nobody in the media will bother to dispute an obvious falsehood.


"Flimsy" turns out to be a completely misleading word when it comes to characterizing the Obama-Ayers relationship.


Notwithstanding the campaign's efforts to direct attention away from Ayers, a 527 group, American Issues Project, has just released the following ad tying Obama to Ayers, and says it is spending 2.8 million on television airtime in key states.

Despite the legally questionable embargo of the CAC archives, most of its tax returns and official evaluations of the CAC have already been made public. In the hands of intrepid bloggers such as Steve Diamond, Tom Maguire and Dan Riehl, there is already proof of Obama's extensive involvement with Ayers over the course of his chairmanship, and an emerging picture of Obama's indecisiveness and absence when serious problems needed leadership.


Barack Obama joined the CAC shortly after William Ayers and Anne C. Hallett received news that their letter of November 8, 1994 submitting a grant proposal to The Annenberg Challenge had been approved. They were to get as much as $49 million from Annenberg, plus tens of millions more dollars from other foundations. Obama's involvement predates by months the actual incorporation of the CAC and his appointment as founding chairman of the board. He came on board almost as soon as the proposal was approved.


How on earth did a relatively unknown associate at a politically-connected but small Chicago law firm come to be entrusted with the heady task of handing out tens of millions of dollars of other people's money?

Keep in mind that Obama was at this point in his career very undistinguished considering his pedigree. It would be a kind understatement to say he had underperformed his academic resume. Three years out of Harvard Law and the Law Review Presidency, here is a short list of some of the things Obama had not done:


Clerked for a US Supreme Court Justice (or any Federal Judge);


worked in an important legal position at any level of serious responsibility;


written a law review article or note or published anything of legal substance.


As of 1995 Obama may have had the most professionally empty resume of any President of the Harvard Law Review three years gone from "The Law School."


And yet Ayers gave him a gig that would enable him to hand out large amounts of money to many people in Chicago, who could be expected to be grateful, once Obama ran for office -- as he was to do later that very year, in an event held at the home of Ayers and Dohrn.


Quite clearly, Obama was already well-enough known and trusted by Ayers to be offered the sensitive, prestigious and highly visible post of chairman of this important new undertaking. So we must ask, when did Obama and Ayers actually first get to know one another? And how did they come to trust one another?


One possible connection between Ayers and Obama was Sidley Austin, the prestigious Chicago law firm where Obama had a summer job after his first year at Harvard Law School, and where he met his future wife Michelle, assigned to him as a mentor. Also working at Sidley Austin was Bernadine Dohrn, wife of William Ayers, and a fellow Weather Underground terrorist. Given the shared "progressive" politics of the three, they probably knew one another and associated together at a firm known as a white shoe corporate practice.


Or Obama might have met Ayers even earlier, during his stint as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, in fact. Ayers was a well-known and very active figure in left wing Chicago politics, and might have encountered the young, articulate, Ivy League educated rookie black radical Obama, working in a Saul Alinksy spinoff.


We soon will know much more about the period of collaboration between Obama and Ayers following the start of the CAC. Even if the archives continue to be withheld from public scrutiny, the cat is out of the bag with the documents available to all. The formidable analytical engine of bloggers trading insights and new data is warming up.


But the period prior to 1995, the time when Bill and Barack, the terrorist and the presidential aspirant, got to know one another and build the relationship of trust, is one excellent adventure likely to remain obscure."

Please note the quotations and attribution Vice Plagiarist nominee Biden

Posted by: Scott | August 23, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama,

I am a long time Obama supporter and have had your back from the very beginning. I was very excited to watch the Veep week unfold and was amazed at the fresh and innovative way your campaign managed the announcement. It was an excellent weeklong drumroll to an historic event, marking your first major public decision.

In your very first and most important decision you were faced with an opportunity.

You could have chosen to make a decision that was all about YOU (your campaign, your ambitions, your character, your supporters) or you could have chosen to make a decision about US (the Democratic party, the American people).

Your decision could have echoed your slogan "Yes WE Can" and include all of us, or you decision could have confirmed the fears of many and screamed - "I don't need you".

I wanted to believe in you so bad. I did believe in you. I KNEW deep down in my heart that you were going to make the RIGHT decision so when you missed the mark so badly I was absoultely devastated. Saddened for you. Saddened for our party. Most of all, saddened for America.

I think it is terrible that you have chosen to alienate 50% of our partners in the democratic party, and 25% of our fellow Americans by excluding them from your ticket .

In making the decision you have, you have underlined what many (including your own VP choice) have been warning folks about all along. That you don't have the experience to lead. That you feel the need to recruit a 36 year Washington Insider.

How can you bash and blame McCain for America's problems being partly due to his "26 of the last 30 years" in Washington, when Biden makes McCain look like a newcomer?

You have also confirmed to the nation that bipartisanship is not a strength of yours. Indeed, how can you unite a government or a country when you can't even unite your own party?

It is sad. Had we all become part of the process we could have changed this nation together, but it is evident now that the only change you are after is a change of residence for yourself.

In a final act of shameful irony, you have chosen to celebrate this divisive decision on the sacred ground of our Nations greatest uniter. You will further wrap up your acceptance speak on the anniversary of another of our greatest uniters in Martin Luther King and his great "I have a Dream" speech.

For me that will culminate what has been the "Rodney King" of slaps in the face and the death of a dream for 50% of the Democratic Party.

I wish you good luck and hope your judgement improves dramatically, especially if you are chosen to govern our nation, but from here on in you are on your own, as you have made it so crystal clear that is your wish.

Best Regards,

Suspended Democrat
Hoping for REAL change in 2012

Posted by: Brian | August 23, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

If Biden is elected, it will be such a change to have someone in Washington who understands the reasoning behind the law he studied, while in school.

Whew!

Washington hasn't seen THAT in awhile.

Posted by: Mordant Cowboy | August 23, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

How to Make Up with a Friend - Redbook
http://www.redbookmag.com/your/fight-friends-yl

Obama and Biden have most definitely made up. All America voters can learn from this.

- Biden's propensity to talk at length. Mr Biden do keep your answers to 30 seconds.

- One Republican described Biden early Saturday as a potential gaffe machine. Mr. Biden meditate before going on all talk shows and interviews.

- one that Republicans were quick to point to on Saturday. Long a fixture in Washington, Biden hardly symbolizes the kind of change that Obama's candidacy has signified. Mr. Biden just answer "I'm the Experience that compliments Hope!" Feel free to use this as its a common saying.

- Biden is always in your face. Mr Biden I have no answer. Don't move Head forward?

Good Luck Mr Biden. We know you will do well. Go Obama!


Posted by: Kevin | August 23, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The lesson learned since Obama's foreign trip is that diminishing your opponent is more important than inspiring the masses.

Enter Joe "Bare Knuckles" Biden.

Less than 24 hours after the pick, the message boards are fluttering. Flutter all you want today. September, October and November are all that matter.

We'll see how well they work together, how well "Bare Knuckles" hits. Or not.

Personally, do I like that ridiculous ads like "celeb" and stuff have been airing? No. They demean McCain and they demean the electorate. How do I feel that they're working? I'm more demoralized than ever by them. That's not substance, that's high-school behavior. McCain went there, and it chipped away at people who wanted to support Obama. A John Kerry administration would have sucked. But not as much as the second Bush Administration. And Bush beat Kerry in much the same way - stupid, high-school (or lower) level ads and attacks.

Do I like that Obama is airing the "Houses" ad? No, I'm not thrilled. Am I thrilled that it is working? I'm ashamed to be absolutely frickin' gleeful. Giddy. Giggling. Woo-hoo! Obama is inclined to be high minded, big picture, visionary - and all those things are great, after he gets elected. So if that's the way McCain wants to play it, then keep pounding the fists, Joe "Bare Knuckles" Biden.

Posted by: SonOfHistoryProf | August 23, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

SOMETIMES CONTRAST JUST MAKES THINGS WORSE
I was curious about how this would be received here.

Went out this morning just to return surprised at the unanimity of opinion.

That the ticket needs to be reversed.

All capable, long in the Senate Biden is going to do is make it glaring clear how inexperienced and pointless Obama is as potential presidential material.

What this essentially gives people is a decision on whether they want an experienced president or an experienced vice president. Which do you seriously think they are going to end up picking?

If the Democrats really do want to win this election, they'll reverse the ticket at the very last moment, while they still can.

What you 've got right now, bottom line, is McCain running for president with Biden running for vice president and Obama running for Poster Boy.

Since George Bush gave us eight years of a Poster Boy being managed by a crafty, long-time political animal in

Cheney, this exacerbates all the similarities that are becoming ever more obvious between Obama and George Bush.

Nobility in defeat is an admirable ideal. Consistency in defeat is what the Democrats have trained themselves to expect.

You can bet Karl Rove is having a very good morning today. You've just handed him the brass ring of his third consecutive election.

-gala1

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse


ODE TO OBAMA OPUS 4

There once was a dude named Biden,
His foot and his mouth oft' colidin'
When he opens his mouth,
Things often go south
So the trend toward McCain will widen.

Posted by: Billw | August 23, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, what DID Biden mean when he used the word "clean" to describe Obama, huh? Did he mean, he wasn't on drugs? Did he know about his predilection for cocaine, you think?

And what about Biden's remark that "you have to have an Indian accent to go into Dunkin Donuts" -I've been in plenty of DD shops, and I've not seen any Indians -what was up with that, huh?

And these little zingers are from Mr. Hair Plugs-Are-Us? Mr. so-called Foreign Policy Expert who is dangerously reckless on matters involving war situations around the world? What other howlers does he have waiting for the American public, huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

My faith in God tells me the Lord has brought Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden together at this time to lead our great nation.


Posted by: bobnsri | August 23, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"IT'S OUR TIME!!! IT'S AMERICA'S TIME!!! AND WE MUST PROTECT OUR TROOPS!!"

Yes, that and then some...I'm on board.
Go Michelle, Go Jill!!!

I definitely feel safe with this combination.

Posted by: Obama2008 | August 23, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

YES WE CAN!!! YES WE CAN!!! Tell it like it is Biden!!

Obama/Biden Beginning '09

Posted by: Obama2008 | August 23, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

funny thing! i've already totally shifted my focus from obama to biden without biden opening his mouth as the vp candidate----YET!

Posted by: mark | August 23, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

This probably won't be printed; John McCain is a corrupt, baby killing, gold digging, bribe taking, war mongering opportunist and Bush poodle who offers 8 more years of disaster. If he gets elected, the American people will deserve him and continue being collectively guilty of crimes against humanity.

Posted by: dr. reality check | August 23, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, to put it in Senator Biden’s words, “that clean and articulate African-American made a good choice” even though in Biden’s opinion he is not ready to be a leader!

Posted by: Plagiarist’s rule | August 23, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Pete - Government work is real work. It's the work of ensuring the security and freedom of 300,000,000 people and a $15 trillion economy. Plus having to balance the competing demands for services and justice from thousands of different groups, who on top of everything else don't want to be taxed for it. It deals with every imaginable aspect of the real world there is. Hardly what I'd call easy.

Posted by: treetopflyer | August 23, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

After looking at some of the negative, and foolish comments of the so called right and conservatives on the choosing of Joe Biden to be the Vice Presidential running mate of Barak Obama, I am can only invoke the sentiment of the old seer who wrote " he who listens to a jackass when he is braying, is more stupid than the jackass" I therefore end my comment.

Posted by: samiael | August 23, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Here is how Britain's BBC correspondent sees the Biden pick:

BIDEN, A NECESSARY ANTIDOTE?

Would he have made this choice a year ago? Six months? Even a few weeks? Joe Biden is Vladimir Putin's contribution to American politics - he is a necessary antidote to the Obama lack of worldly wisdom, which before Georgia was a bit academic to most Americans or amorphous and unfocused as an issue (perhaps they could take a punt, roll the dice as Bill C helpfully put it) but post-Georgia is back at the top of the pile of concerns.

McCain did well on Russia - he avoided frightening threats but managed to seem tough and aware. He took the 3AM call. Obama needs a pal who can do the same. But something of the Obama appeal has been diminished by the choice - it is going to be very difficult to rail against Washington insiders with one at his right hand. There is also - if Biden performs well - the Dukakis Lloyd Bensen issue, which is, to put it delicately, Why is it this way round: why isn't the able, experienced, reassuring guy the one at the top of the ticket?

EXACTLY-OBAMA/BIDEN IS GOING TO JOIN THE DUKAKIS/BENTSEN TICKET ON THE TRASHHEAP OF HISTORY COME NOVEMBER!

Posted by: SPRING RAIN | August 23, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Biden may not be a safe choice as the author points out but he will be funny.

I was getting so tired of the coverage of the race but now with Senator Joe Biden as Colonel Foghorn Leghorn and Barak Obama as bdep bdep bdep Herery Hawk this is going to be fun.

Here is a typical Foghorn Leghorn,who never used one word when one hundred would do, quote just to show you what a treat this pairing will be.

"Okay, I'll shut up. Some fellas have to keep their tongues flappin' but not me. I was brought up right. My pa used to tell me to shut up and I'd shut up. I wouldn't say nothin'. One time darn near starved to death. WOULDN'T TELL HIM I WAS HUNGRY!!"

Posted by: Mike | August 23, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

That Obama and his wife abide racism was proven by his 20 year attendance at Wrights church. His "typical white person" remark topped things off, proving he himself is a racist.


Posted by: Billw | August 23, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

holy cow, obama picks some rich white guy to be his running mate... big surprise

Posted by: caducus | August 23, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

KEN, DWAYNE-as a Dem. who has never voted Republican in my entire life, until now, I'd have to say I agree with you both-BIDEN IS A LIAR, AND HE IS A VERY DANGEROUSLY HOT-HEADED WAR-MONGER, AND BIDEN IS SERIOUSLY CREEPY AS WELL.

AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED THE DEM. PARTY DID INDEED PUT THE NAIL IN THE COFFIN WITH BIDEN-BUT THEY'LL SEE IN NOVEMBER-SOON ENOUGH-IT WILL BE A LANDSLIDE FOR MCCAIN/ROMNEY.

Posted by: SPRING RAIN | August 23, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

AND ROMNEY SPEAKS FLUENT FRENCH AS WELL!

That means he cannot be the selection. French fries scare Bush and remind him of his lies.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 23, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The grumpy ones still pining for HRC are
"Fans" of the first lady.
They are like obsessed fans of a movie star.

It has nothing to do with issues, equal pay for women, which Obama supports, and control of their bodies, which Obama supports.
McCain intends to choose judges who will end ROVE v Wade.

The HRC "fans" are like jilted lovers.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 23, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Barrack & his wife are Socialist, American hating, Black Power Racist proven by 20 years of attending & supporting the Church of Hate Maybe hate of the CIA enabled 9-11 and who trained bin Laudin, is true.
I hate the men who enabled and trained bin Laudin. Dont you?
What does this attack above really mean?
socialist? That attack using a loaded word means the author is against providing health care for everyone. I suppose they are not a Christian, since Jesus wants us to treat our neighbor as we wish to be treated. What's the explanation for opposing a fair tax system and the restoration of the American dream of an education?
and that attack using loaded words means the author is against providing college education to our young and to our military.
Black power racist? That's just a lie.
America hating? That's a lie too.
Exaggerating and lies. The best the fundamentalists can do.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 23, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama just make the judgment error that will cost him the election. Joe Biden is more like Bush than McCain is. He's a cheater, a liar, a thief, and a lunatic war monger that sold his soul to israel.
This is Obama's idea of change?

Posted by: DWayne | August 23, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

As a wag on a local BLOG posted:

NAIL; MEET COFFIN!

or

EMPTY SUIT MEETS STUFFED SHIRT!

or as Dave Letterman says:

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!

Posted by: Mainaic | August 23, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's another one to think about--according to Senate voting records- Joe Biden voted FOR the Iraq war spending bills, while Hillary and Obama voted AGAINST the war spending bills.

Posted by: Cheryl | August 23, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Barack Obama! After all the preening and self-victimization, he chose an old white racist cracker!

But seriously, Joe biden is one of the creepiest men in politics...right behind Barney Frank.

Posted by: Ken | August 23, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha HA-JON-O, I THINK, LITTLE KIDDIE, YOU NEED TO GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT ABOUT BIDEN - HE HAS A MUCH MORE SERIOUS PLAGIARIZING EXAGGERATING HIS ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS PROBLEMS THAN YOU WANT TO RECOGNIZE!

FROM LARRY SABATO, LAW PROFESSOR, UNIV. OF VIRGINIA:


"Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden Jr., a U.S. senator from Delaware, was driven from the nomination battle after delivering, without attribution, passages from a speech by British Labor party leader Neil Kinnock. A barrage of subsidiary revelations by the press also contributed to Biden's withdrawal: a serious plagiarism incident involving Biden during his law school years; the senator's boastful exaggerations of his academic record at a New Hampshire campaign event; and the discovery of other quotations in Biden's speeches pilfered from past Democratic politicians."

AND MCCAIN IS NOT 72 YEARS OLD YET, SO YOU WERE INCORRECT,WEREN'T YOU? IDIOT!

Posted by: SPRING RAIN | August 23, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

years from now, people will wonder who is paying so many pundits to be so stupid.

Posted by: kravitz | August 23, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Reagan, a newcomer, had Bush; now Obama has Biden. Vision, People, Money, Marketing, Operations - Obama has a clear advantage in all of the key areas. People don't want a continuation of the failed Bus policies. 3-1 spending advantage after the conventions. Huge grassroots support, large organizations in the cities. Enthusiastic support. Historical support among young and black voters. Even Intrade, which has Obama with a 61% chance of winning, is probably understating the odds here. This is Obama's election.

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 23, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Another senator who has never held a real job, doing real work in the real world.
Is this democracy of the people by the people and for the people?

Posted by: pete | August 23, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Go GOOGLE 'Ted Kaufman' and "Joe Biden" and then you'll find a closet of ammo for use by McCain.

Four decades as 'The man from DUPONT' will weigh heavily on the shoulders of lib/dems who've been chanting about evil corporations that pollute.

There is a big difference between policy executed by the Pentagon, and whatever it is that State does, and what the CIA does.

Biden might talk a good theoretical game when it comes to US foreign policy; but in the real world, it's the execution of military options and policy which really counts.....then there is the CIA...Do we really want Joe Wilson and Valeria Plame running the CIA?

Posted by: Mainiac | August 23, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Get your facts straight, spring rain. McCain will be 72 in just 6 days. The term "serial" refers to a pattern of repeated behavior. Biden was caught in law school lifting some text, but even his law professor played it down (this saw the light of day many years later during his 1988 bid for POTUS). And the 1988 incident reporting was tres unfair and misleading. The person he quoted in his speech was credited in all but one presentation: the one that was videotaped. Hardly serial.

Posted by: jon-o | August 23, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

As everyone but politicians, Liberals & the Media knows, Action talks, Bull Sh-t walks!

Barrack sit at the feet of his friend and Mentor for 20 years, supported him with his money, his family, subjected his children to his hate filled rants and listened to hate venom spewed out against whites, Jews, American, & everyone with the exception of Blacks and Muslims!

Barrack & his wife are Socialist, American hating, Black Power Racist proven by 20 years of attending & supporting the Church of Hate and backed up by Barracks words in Dreams of my Father!

All the pundits, talking heads, Liberal drivel and warm tingling feeling below their waist, cannot change the facts.

Now, he says it was repugnant to him and he does not endorse it or agree! Anyone that drinks that Barrack Cool-Aid should seriously consider an head transplant! It is 20 years too late for anyone with an brain to accept. Either Barrack is lying or he has an serious mental problem! No one in their right mind would sit in the Church of Hate for 20 years and support it every way possible, unless they agreed with the message or they were crazy!

What if an White Republican politician had sit at the feet of his Friend and Mentor in an Baptist Church for 20 years and listened to him preach, rant and spew out racist hate bile against everyone and everything except Whites and Baptists.

Oh, The Outrage, the Moral Condemnation, The Media, Blacks leaders, all the Black Rev's would be popping out of every cracker jack box to get in on the action & check out the possibilities for Liberal white guilt and Blackmail. While all Blacks, Liberals and Democrats would be squealing like pigs caught under the gate!

Republican politicians Major and Minor would be shoving and pushing to get in front of the TV cameras and join in the condemnation, often & loudly, to show the world how politically correct they are.

Every one of the known and unknown in the universe would be calling for his head, no punishment would be enough, resigning from office would not be enough, the poor follow would have to change his name, travel incognito, flee the country! The IRS and FBI would be investigating the church, the church closed and all its members disbanded and scattered to the four winds!

What does Barrack, the Magnificent (May Peace be upon Him) have to do? Why just make an nice little speech blaming it all on his little old white typical grandmother, just throw her under the bus of his racist prejudice and if that is not enough, just whites in general!

But Wait, that speech was for the Rev. Wright and his hate rants, Not why Barrack the Chosen one, the scion of the Muslim goat herder, the deserted son of the typical black father, I am the One We have been waiting on, Barrack the Great, sit in the church for 20 years and listened to his Friend and Mentor spew out venom. That He, the Supreme One, found repugnant and disgusting but with just one little speech and never answer why the Magnificent One and his Affirmative action Wife (may Peace be upon them) have so much hate and sit in church applauding the Rev. Weight for 20 years and all is right in the Barrack cult land.

If nothing else this campaign has Exposed the racism of Blacks and the total Blinding, Unbelievable Hypocrisy, the like of any Balance or Morals that the Liberals, Democrats, and Media have! They have been exposed as Lying, Deceitful, Bigoted Hypocrites, Unable or Unwilling to face or to tell the truth!

Posted by: Black Saint J | August 23, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA/BIDEN-THE PERFECT MARRIAGE BETWEEN A TELEPROMPTER AND A COPY MACHINE!

Posted by: SPRING RAIN | August 23, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Amen, jonstephens, and the tome that follows after your entry is an example of another type that should be stripped.

Lighten up, folks, the choice of VP is just window dressing for the election. Beyond November its technically meaningless (unless as president you willingly relinquish power to the veep, such as the current situation). Well, unless POTUS croaks or the senate is 50/50......

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Dave, Biden is 65 years old, and has had significant health problems, (quite apart from those horrid hair plugs he has!) in addition to not being nearly as bright as HE thinks he is, otherwise, he would never make those ridiculous comments nor be a serial plagiarizer as he is! So I'd be careful, if I were you, throwing around McCain's 71(not 72) years of age, as if there is some great divide here!

Posted by: spring rain | August 23, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Does Biden offset the perceived credentials of McCain?
We simply do not know McCain well enough to answer.

For example, I ask folks "who were the 'Keating Five'?" And most do not know.

The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The five senators, Alan Cranston (D-CA), Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), John Glenn (D-OH), John McCain (R-AZ), and Donald W. Riegle (D-MI), were accused of improperly aiding Charles H. Keating, Jr., chairman of the failed Lincoln Savings and Loan Association.

Posted by: Republican VN Era Vet | August 23, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

If Balz picked the caption for this article, it makes no sense and it moreover represents the propensity of the media to make everything "either/or." Are you saying that because Biden has experience, he cannot be for or effect change? Certainly it rules out change through the 72 year-old McCain. In fact, any decent liberal, as Biden is, is for lots of change, especially after eight years of Republican misrule and regression.

Posted by: Dave | August 23, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

NOW, LET'S COMPARE BIDEN'S FOURTH FROM THE BOTTOM OF HIS SYRACUSE THIRD TIER LAW SCHOOL DEGREE WITH MITT ROMNEY, WHO NOT ONLY GRADUATED NUMERO UNO, WAS THE VALEDICTORIAN AT BYU, BUT THEN WENT ON TO GET A DOUBLE LAW DEGREE AND MASTER'S IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION FROM HARVARD, WITH HONORS! AND ROMNEY SPEAKS FLUENT FRENCH AS WELL!

THERE IS NO COMPARISON HERE FOLKS, MOVE ALONG WITH THE OBAMA/BIDEN TICKET-ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SEE HERE!

Posted by: SPRING RAIN | August 23, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Joseph wrote:

"This was a very intelligent choice. Joe Biden is a very educated and articulate man. The man has a PhD."

JOSEPH, I REALLY REALLY HATE TO BURST YOUR BUBBLE, BUT JOE BIDEN WOULDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH A PHD IF IT KICKED HIM IN THE ASS. BIDEN HAS A LAW DEGREE, YOU KNOW, IT'S CALLED A JD WHICH STANDS FOR JURIS DOCTOR, AND HE GRADUATED FOURTH FROM THE BOTTOM OF HIS LAW SCHOOL CLASS, THIS, IN ADDITION TO BEING A SERIAL PLAGIARIZER! SHEESH! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? LOOKING AT SOME MORE OF BIDEN'S PLAGIARIZING ANTICS? GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT, BUDDY!

Posted by: SPRING RAIN | August 23, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a lot of scared right-wingers on here. Biden is the smartest and toughest running mate that Obama could have selected, and shows how smart he is too. Time to kick the Repubs out of DC and clean up their mess. Biden will get it done with Obama. Then we'll have Supreme Court Justice Hillary Clinton and Sec. of State Bill Clinton next. I'd be scared too if I was a bushie minion. Your days are almost over.

Posted by: OB | August 23, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

jonstephens - I totally share you view on trolls on these pages, and wish the WaPo would do more to curb them so something resembling intelligent debate would actually occur on these pages. Unfortunately, they won't, because these people generate more hits for their ads because of the endless titfor tat (misspelled on purpose to evade contextless screening software) they create.

Trolls thrive on attention and the WaPo thrives on hits. The best thing to do is deprive both of them of their oxygen and just not respond. Simply pretend they don't exist. What are they going to do, hit you? They don't know any more about who or where you are than you know about them, so screw them.

Posted by: treetopflyer | August 23, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"Biden has worked to show more discipline But there is too much history for Democrats to feel confident that he will not produce some moments during the fall that could be prove to be real distractions for Obama."

OH I CAN'T WAIT EITHER! BUT IT WOULD BE HARD TO TOP BIDEN'S "NICE, CLEAN, INTELLIGENT AFRO0AMERICAN" REMARK, HIS "YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN INDIAN ACCENT TO WALK INTO A DUNKIN DONUTS' REMARK-AND OF COURSE, THE TWO SERIAL PLAGIARIZER BLOWHARDS TRULY ARE A MATCH MADE IN HELL-FOR US DEMS. THAT IS! IT WILL BE A VERITABLE LANDSLIDE FOR THE MCCAIN/ROMNEY TICKET-MARK MY WORDS!

Posted by: SPRING RAIN | August 23, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, this has been like a Shakespeare play - A presidential contender knowing that he can win by choosing Hillary as VP - and he desperately wants to win - but for his pride, sexism, and narcissism, he just can't do it.

Oh, well - so it goes! It's all over but for the crying!

Posted by: Keith | August 23, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

This was a very intelligent choice. Joe Biden is a very educated and articulate man. The man has a PhD. Now that doesn't make him unimpeachable but it certainly speaks volumes of his discipline and tenacity, we know what idiots can wreck. I am very glad to see Hillary wasn't selected.

Posted by: Joseph | August 23, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

>>billw wrote: "McCain's campaign group are happy today."

I know. It's so sad. Obama really does have some kind of hubris.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The American Thinker
August 22, 2008
Bill & Barack's Excellent Adventure
By Thomas Lifson
William Ayers, unrepentant terrorist and education professor, is once again being tied to Barack Obama in the public mind. Controversy builds over the withholding of the archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an expensive failed school reform effort headed by Obama and effectively run by Ayers, held by the library of the University of Illinois Chicago. Researchers who have gained access to a few documents recording the history of the project have found strong evidence of a very important working relationship between the two men on the project, Obama's sole claim to executive experience.


Oddly enough, even though the project produced no measurable improvement in student performance according to its own final report, educators and administrators -- participants and grantees of the CAC -- were reported by outside monitors to be often "ebullient" about the activities. For insiders, it was an excellent adventure. For the pupils stuck in the failing public schools of Chicago, an ongoing, unrelieved disaster.


Obama and his campaign long have gone out of their way to downplay, in fact distort, the long and evidently deep relationship between Ayers and Obama. In the Philadelphia Democratic debate last April, George Stephanopoulos asked Obama about his relationship with Ayers, and the candidate responded:


"This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

"And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn't make much sense, George. [....]

"So this kind of game, in which anybody who I know, regardless of how flimsy the relationship is, is somehow -- somehow their ideas could be attributed to me -- I think the American people are smarter than that. They're not going to suggest somehow that that is reflective of my views, because it obviously isn't."


Almost two months earlier, the "neighbor" talking point campaign manager David Axelrod introduced the notion that Obama and Ayers were mostly just neighbors, telling The Politico's Ben Smith,


"Bill Ayers lives in his neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school," he said. "They're certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together."


Ayers and his wife are in their sixties, while the Obamas are in their mid-forties. Ayers' children are all adults, while Obama's children are currently 10 and 7. Axelrod's prevarication is telling, bespeaking confidence that nobody in the media will bother to dispute an obvious falsehood.


"Flimsy" turns out to be a completely misleading word when it comes to characterizing the Obama-Ayers relationship.


Notwithstanding the campaign's efforts to direct attention away from Ayers, a 527 group, American Issues Project, has just released the following ad tying Obama to Ayers, and says it is spending 2.8 million on television airtime in key states.


Despite the legally questionable embargo of the CAC archives, most of its tax returns and official evaluations of the CAC have already been made public. In the hands of intrepid bloggers such as Steve Diamond, Tom Maguire and Dan Riehl, there is already proof of Obama's extensive involvement with Ayers over the course of his chairmanship, and an emerging picture of Obama's indecisiveness and absence when serious problems needed leadership.


Barack Obama joined the CAC shortly after William Ayers and Anne C. Hallett received news that their letter of November 8, 1994 submitting a grant proposal to The Annenberg Challenge had been approved. They were to get as much as $49 million from Annenberg, plus tens of millions more dollars from other foundations. Obama's involvement predates by months the actual incorporation of the CAC and his appointment as founding chairman of the board. He came on board almost as soon as the proposal was approved.


How on earth did a relatively unknown associate at a politically-connected but small Chicago law firm come to be entrusted with the heady task of handing out tens of millions of dollars of other people's money?

Keep in mind that Obama was at this point in his career very undistinguished considering his pedigree. It would be a kind understatement to say he had underperformed his academic resume. Three years out of Harvard Law and the Law Review Presidency, here is a short list of some of the things Obama had not done:


Clerked for a US Supreme Court Justice (or any Federal Judge);


worked in an important legal position at any level of serious responsibility;


written a law review article or note or published anything of legal substance.


As of 1995 Obama may have had the most professionally empty resume of any President of the Harvard Law Review three years gone from "The Law School."


And yet Ayers gave him a gig that would enable him to hand out large amounts of money to many people in Chicago, who could be expected to be grateful, once Obama ran for office -- as he was to do later that very year, in an event held at the home of Ayers and Dohrn.


Quite clearly, Obama was already well-enough known and trusted by Ayers to be offered the sensitive, prestigious and highly visible post of chairman of this important new undertaking. So we must ask, when did Obama and Ayers actually first get to know one another? And how did they come to trust one another?


One possible connection between Ayers and Obama was Sidley Austin, the prestigious Chicago law firm where Obama had a summer job after his first year at Harvard Law School, and where he met his future wife Michelle, assigned to him as a mentor. Also working at Sidley Austin was Bernadine Dohrn, wife of William Ayers, and a fellow Weather Underground terrorist. Given the shared "progressive" politics of the three, they probably knew one another and associated together at a firm known as a white shoe corporate practice.


Or Obama might have met Ayers even earlier, during his stint as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, in fact. Ayers was a well-known and very active figure in left wing Chicago politics, and might have encountered the young, articulate, Ivy League educated rookie black radical Obama, working in a Saul Alinksy spinoff.


We soon will know much more about the period of collaboration between Obama and Ayers following the start of the CAC. Even if the archives continue to be withheld from public scrutiny, the cat is out of the bag with the documents available to all. The formidable analytical engine of bloggers trading insights and new data is warming up.


But the period prior to 1995, the time when Bill and Barack, the terrorist and the presidential aspirant, got to know one another and build the relationship of trust, is one excellent adventure likely to remain obscure.

Posted by: Scott | August 23, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse


Vincent re Clinton's supporters:
"What could satisfy them after their beloved candidate blew all her inherent advantages with a clumsy campaign?"

No. The media and Obama not being vetted until half way through the primaries cheated Clinton out of the nomination.


Posted by: Billw | August 23, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I wish the Washington Post would use some editorial judgment and not publish any string of words that people send in. Left, right, or middle, just run comments that discuss issues and substantial information, not screeds, nor insults, nor so's-yer-old-man retorts, nor obviously false factoids, nor old junk repeated ad nauseam that does not contribute life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It's not censorship any more than killing fleas is cruelty to animals.

Posted by: jonstephens | August 23, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

At 3am, when Obama sent out his text message, did McCain have have a stoke or was it a heart attack? Poor guy, I feel sorry for him.

Posted by: John | August 23, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

old rehashed politician.. elected to the senate in 1972... no wonder he does foreign policy.....when was the last time Biden went to WalMart or any other store.. now never..
this dem can't back this ticket..

Posted by: robinhood | August 23, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

AsperGirl:
"The worst thing that could have happened for McCain was for Obama to overcome his grievance mentality and pick Clinton as VP. Since Obama didn't, it's all downhill for McCain now."

McCain's campaign group are happy today.

Posted by: Billw | August 23, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

It's really only in the wake of W's reign of terror that working as a team can be seen as a sign of "weakness." We have to remember that W's choice of VP was also "telling" -- Cheney chose himself!

Posted by: Flavor13 | August 23, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

What is this talk about Liberal and Conservative? I consider my self conservative (from values point of view) yet I support abortion (when justified), I am for owning one small gun for defence, against owning asault rifles and more than one gun. I am for family values, yet ok if gays want to have their way. I can go on, but the point is that it is not black and white and there is always moderation/centrist approach that is best.

I am supporting democrats because i feel they are less evil than alternative. I earn more than 250k, but I am ok if my taxes go up, for the sake of my children, country, and the world. I want my children to live a happy life, not serve in the draft in a desert to defend oil profits.

Ok, I am done with my 2c.

Posted by: Texec | August 23, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

What do the Clinton cult-of-personality people want? What could satisfy them after their beloved candidate blew all her inherent advantages with a clumsy campaign?

This sour grapes over the Biden selection is puzzling. I'm a Democrat all the way, but if Obama loses because of the Clintonistas' sniping, I perversely hope that Roe v. Wade is overturned in a McCain administration. It'll serve them right.

Posted by: Vincent | August 23, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Biden knows many of John Insanes secrets. and the call girls Mcinsane regularly used

Posted by: drk | August 23, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Biden is a solid choice also a "thinking women's" hunk - hot. He should have been the democratic presidential nominee.

IF YOU LIKE HAIR PLUGS

Posted by: You are to be kidding | August 23, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Jack Straw, re Obama:
"Does he have any judgment at all?"

Not much:
Rezko
Ayers
Wright
The live baby bill
"Small town people"
"Typical white person"
Pot
"a little blow"
Michelle


Posted by: Billw | August 23, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

This foolish choice plays right into the hands of Hillary's coupmasters, soon to be usurping in Denver.

You'd think the Demos had had enough with liars already, to name a few: the Cornpone Narcissus, the Lord of the Stain and the Great Sainted Hero of Giron & Ally of the Ngo Family; Mr. Jimmy was no slouch either, saying he was a "nucular ingineeya" when what he was was a line officer aboard a nuclear sub (all service academy grads then were awarded the B.S....God knows what the Astro-Nut got).

The Kaffeeklatsch (the mass of comfortable female Leuco-Americans) and our Jewish voters were obviously given short shrift by the incredibly thoughtless Obama ... throw them away for a liar with 3 or 4 electoral votes? Gotta be kidding!

Posted by: Gottabekidding | August 23, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Biden is a solid choice also a "thinking women's" hunk - hot. He should have been the democratic presidential nominee.

Posted by: LH from TN | August 23, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

LOL And the "risk free" running mate would be . . for either party?

Posted by: Scy | August 23, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The only impact for the Barry camp will be negative. Barry slammed HRC for voting for the Iraq War. Biden also voted the same way. Biden is the consummate Washington insider. Is that change? During the primaries, Biden stated numerous times that Barry was not qualified for the POTUS and praised McCain. Brilliant pick for an inexperienced empty suit. Does he have any judgment at all?

Posted by: Jack Straw | August 23, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Any Clinton supporters who think that Obama announcing his VP pick with a 3 a.m. cell phone message was a slap at Hillary Clinton, please don't forget to donate a small amount to the John McCain 2008 campaign or Hillary Clinton's campaign (to help her retire her campaign debt) any money you might have sent to Obama as a donation this year.

Even small amounts add up!

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Someone said Obama put lipstick on a pig. He also threw Clinton under the bus.
She actually deserved the nomination, but the media and Obama not being vetted
until half way through the primaries cheated her out of it. All Clinton supporters should consider voting for McCain. Obama's half muslim anyway...

Posted by: Billw | August 23, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Biden is an arrogant hothead. It won't take him long to fly off the handle. You think McCain has a temper, wait'll you get a load of this phony. Also has a penchant for racist comments while in restaurants. Wonder if the Post will check HIS "macaca" moments.

Posted by: muskrat | August 23, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

The democrats are having a sale: TWO POMPOUS GAS-BAGS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! Forget the tire gauge - the dems have new energy plan: wind-power through endless hot air.

Here's the stuff the loony-left liberal media WILL NOT TELL YOU:

Biden and hussein share many characteristics. For example, they are both so lacking in honesty and ethics they blatantly plagiarize the words of others.

The many, many plagiarized speeches of Biden have been well documented. While at Syracuse Law School, Biden plagiarized a law review article in a class paper he wrote. He has not only plagiarized Americans, but British politicians as well, such as Neil Kinnock, then-leader of the British Labour Party. He's a true international plagiarizer. (This is what the liberal media mean when they say biden has "international experience".)

In his mediocre law school, Biden was only able to graduate 76th in a class of 85 - i.e., he was in the lowest 10.5%! Of course, while campaigning, he claimed falsely to have graduated in the "top half" of his class. A plagiarizer and a LIAR!

hussein is so mentally deficient from extensive drug use he even has to plagiarize his hollow platitudes. (His mental deficiencies appear to rival those of Biden.) His many plagiarized speeches have also been documented, including his theft of words from a speech by Deval Patrick, from Robin WIlliams' movie "Man of the Year", and others. Like Biden, hussein also has been caught in many, many lies.

Yep, the character of these two is as pathetic as it gets - they deserve one another. America deserves neither.

Posted by: ALEX H. | August 23, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

how many houses does he own?

Posted by: muslit | August 23, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

(1) SUBSTANCE V. POLITICAL VP PICK HAS TO BE VIEWED AS DAMAGE CONTROL:

Balz is right about Biden in PA and with Catholics. But fundamentally, Biden is a substance pick, not a political pick intended to help Obama win a particular state. Biden shores up a foreign policy deficiency of Obama's that became a fatal flaw subsequent to the Russian games over in Georgia.

What does this substance VP pick tell us? Obama's no longer defining the contest parameters, and is in damage control mode.

(2) BACKPEDALING THE 50-STATE STRATEGY:

There are signs Obama's campaign is backpedaling on the 50-state strategy. He's pulling ads in some states.

(3) DIVING DEEP INTO THE DIRT:

Obama's gone deeply negative on McCain, running an hack-at-the-spouse ad against Cindy McCain in Florida. Obama's new swing state strategy is going for deep negative attacks on McCain.

(4) FAILING TO DOMINATE IN THE MONEY GAME:

In the money game, it looks like Obama will be roughly even with McCain this Fall, when the Party coffers are factored in. This means that Obama's money advantage has evaporated and with the $300 Million he's got so far, he hasn't accomplished his mission of helping the electorate get comfortable with him.

(5) NOT LIVING UP TO THE "NEW POLITICS" RHETORIC

With his VP pick, Obama switched from a "change" and "new politics" ticket to an "old politics white senior DC pol who knows what he's teaching the young president" ticket.

Obama also compromised his "new politics means I won't take cynical positions" earlier this Summer with a series of flip flops, including breaking his federal election funding pledge and other reversals that surprised the left winger progressives.

Obama's deeply negative dive into spouse attacks cements the fall of Obama from the pedestal of his "new politics" rhetoric this Spring.

Thus his perfect-worlder rhetoric has met reality, about 3 months after the end of primary season.

(6) ONGOING SUBSTANCE DEFICIENCY AREAS:

Although Obama is shored up the area of his foreign policy ignorance, he's still got a bad, embarrassing energy policy and a Jimmy Carter-esque, high-tax, redistribution of wealth vulnerability when it comes to the economy. If problems continue to unfold in energy prices and the economy, Obama's deficiencies will continue to be a challenge and he might be pinned down in damage control mode for the rest of the year.

(7) MCCAIN'S VP PICK:

The worst thing that could have happened for McCain was for Obama to overcome his grievance mentality and pick Clinton as VP. Since Obama didn't, it's all downhill for McCain now.

From a political perspective, McCain can pick a swing stater and help himself there.

From a substance perspective, all McCain has to do is pick a brilliant businessman/economist and together with McCain's already-really-good energy/environmental platform, his foreign policy competence and an economic VP, he can blow away on the basis of substance the Obama-Biden ticket.

From an identity politics perspective, McCain can pick an inspiring leadership woman or an African American thinker and undermine Obama's narrow base, crippling

(7) SUMMARY

The defensive-scramble mode Obama is in right now is the consequence of nominating an underqualified and inexperienced candidate in a year where there is a whole set of unprecedented and historic global dislocations that would challenge any president. Obama's no longer in a position to drive the campaign dialog but is reacting to events. This is not unlike the kind of president he would be, trying to learn on the job as disasters unfold in this decade where globalization and its dislocations will force many changes on us. This could have been predicted and in fact was predicted by Clinton and her supporters.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Biden is big on putting American money anywhere but America. What Obama doesn't give away, Biden will. We'd need to warn them that we've had about enough of paying a fortune for global anti-americanism.

Posted by: Cat | August 23, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"Delaware senator is a safe choice, but is not a risk-free running mate for Barack Obama"

Jesus Christ wouldn't be a risk-free running mate, given the way the preferred media frame. Poisonous, toxic to public understanding.
And thanks, dead-enders, for all your contributions to the RNC.

Posted by: Bill | August 23, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"Delaware Senator is a safe choice, but is not a risk-free running mate for Barack Obama."

And Dan will make sure we couldn't possibly forget that fact.
The risks of a McCain presidency, on the other hand, are so microscopically small that we need not waste any time on them here . . .

Posted by: wardropper | August 23, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his supporters blasted Clinton for her support of the war--then he nominates Biden- who also supported the war- for his running mate. Talk about HYPOCRISY!

Posted by: Cheryl | August 23, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The only problem is that Biden stated many times during the primaries that Barry is not qualified to be the POTUS and he praised McCain. The GOP will have a field day with his ludicrous pick.

Posted by: Jack Straw | August 23, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Gary | August 23, 2008 12:37 PM hope that all Hispanic voters realize, that they will be at the bottom of the barrel if Baracky Hussein Obama is elected in November. He will have to pacify the black electorate after receiving 99 % of their vote.


Gary the TROLL keeps posting this message
The message is we should vote for the candidate by skin color not proposed policies.

SOOO tell us why you support Senator McCain.
Is it because he wants to tax your employer provided health care benefits?

Is it because he did not support Senator Webb's G.I. bill?

Is it because Senator McCain thinks you are middle class if you earn $4.9 million a year.

Tell us why you support Senator McCain???


Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely - this isn't Thailand, where for all intents and purposes you have to be a former general to run for office. We should hope we're beyond such third world criteria.

Biden's an excellent choice. Sure there are differences, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Did Lincoln show bad judgment in choosing Stephen Douglas, his Democratic opponent in the presidential race, or did Kennedy show bad judgment in choosing LBJ? Not.

Schedule for Monday - breakfast, run, then to Obama HQ in Charlottesville to get back into the trenches. I was waiting for something to reassure me that Barack hadn't gone off the rails since the primaries and this choice is it.

Posted by: treetopflyer | August 23, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden is not a perfect person. But he is a man of character. He is grounded with the middle-class of America. He comes from the working roots of America and he has never forgotten where he came from.

He will make mistakes but nothing he will say or do will negate the positives of the man and his experiences. There was really no one else that could surpass Joe Biden qualifications. All other VP possibilities would have brought their own negatives.
Joe Biden is comfortable in his own skin.

Posted by: kralford | August 23, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Dan,
As a life-long Democrat and a 1992 Democratic National Convention delegate, I am delighted and completely satisfied.
Joe Biden is intelligent, astute, seasoned in foreign policy and ethics, witty, full of snappy repartee -- with Biden at Obama's side, this campaign is suddenly going to become a lot more fun and interesting.
Biden isn't going to let John McCain off the hook for an instant.
Watch Obama and Biden turn McCain's phony "maverick" claim back in his face -- on the issues.
McCain's campaign can't withstand the light of day.
Joe Biden is the lamp to illuminate the corners in the darkness of the McCain obfuscation.
That's because he's been around the Senate a while.
He remembers all the McCain flips and flops.
He can make McCain feel terribly guilty for abandoning the few good initiatives McCain ever generated.
C'mon, Dan.
Admit it.
You've got to be pleased.
NOW, you're going to have a lot more fun covering the back-and-forth of the fall campaign.
Judy in the Big Thicket of Texas
==
[The people like Gary are all over the comments on the WPost & NYTimes like ants at a picnic.
Tickles me --
McCain must have had them chained to their keyboards all night long.
Little slobbering gnomes likely operating from a dirty, dusty, dingy little basement somewhere with 15 or 20 of these (minimum waste) flunkies trying to blanket the country with comments.
"Democrats for John McCain in 2008"?
An oxymoron attractive only to the mentally ill and mentally defective.]

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | August 23, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Biden is a chatterbox, but he seems to have reigned himself in this year amidst the speculation that he could be a Veep choice. Shows he the discipline to unleash his straight talk only when it's beneficial to Obama. Biden's the sharpshooter that Obama needs.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | August 23, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Biden it is. Alright for Biden! I'm sure Obama has made a well thought out decision.

Now, I expect McCain to pick Romney, to cover the area of the economy that he's admittedly said he has no clue about. I anxiously wait to see McCain's choice...

Posted by: Obama2008 | August 23, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Lacolon,

Military experience is vastly overrated. Dubya served in the military even though nobody knows where and look at how great is foreign policy is.....

Posted by: What | August 23, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Biden is a great choice for BHO and especially if he can't stand HRC! That's best he can get! With that said, it re-enforce the fact that BHO doesn't have experience and doesn't even have the confidence! I think Putin helped to put Joe Biden on the ticket. I just realized that this is the BHO's weakest point - he has been drifting That's the last thing we need from a leader. Look what GWB preached before he took office and look what we really got from him. Look the BHO 15 month ago and do you see a trace of that BHO now, None! He is reflective and no principals, bowing to the pressures every single turn. He is rising because of his stance of IRAQ war, which I happen to agree but now IRAQ is non issue and McCain has it covered. We are in a bad economy situation under GWB but what BHO knows about economy? He is suppose the agent for change and now he is looking for one of the oldest DC insiders for help! It really begs the question, what he is really running for and what he is really
stands for? Does he know and remember that himself?

We need a real leader not drifter and that has proven disaster for all organization!

Posted by: LC | August 23, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Toxic Avenger,

Are you kidding? After 7 1/2 years of Dubya and his idiotic ways only true republicans or oil execs would vote for McCain.

Posted by: American First | August 23, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama is no JFK, does not even come close to being a Jimmy Carter. Picking Biden was an interesting choice, but in the long run it really makes no difference; both Obama and McCain are idiots who are running since we do not have any real, intelligent, leaders among our politicians anymore.

Posted by: zendrell | August 23, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Good choice. It is obvious that Obama has put the country first by selecting Biden. He would easily have picked Tim Kane with whom he most feels comfortable. Obama has demostrated the ability to set aside his personal's preferences and decided to do what is best for the country.

Posted by: silverspring | August 23, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The choice is not a bad one at all, however it will upset all those who expected a extraordinary change ticket. What people seem not to understand is, Obama is out there to win. He needs the votes from a majority of Americans and progressives cannot expect him to cater to their beliefs alone. One of the hallmarks of Democracy is compromise and choice. There will be a McCain/? ticket out there and a Obama/Biden ticket. Why not make an informed choice and get done with it?

I do not understand Hillary Clinton supporters who are still seething and threatening to vote for McCain, unless they believe Clinton's politics are closer to McCain's as to Obama's. And I don't understand disgruntled progressives, who threaten to stay away, unless they are willing to go through another 4 years minimum of Republican Supreme Court choices and what not. Make up your minds if you want to win!

Here's what some European newspapers think:

http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/from-across-the-pond-so-its-biden-after-all/

Posted by: European_Elitist | August 23, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

No matter how you spin this selection, deep down, you miserable liberals know you are toast!

Posted by: Toxic Avenger | August 23, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Voters should have listened to Rev. Wright he said"Obama will do what a polititian has to do"

Posted by: roncraw | August 23, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

He begins as the anti-Iraq candidate and ends by selecting a veep to prep for an invasion of Russia.

Posted by: Kacoo | August 23, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"Gaffe-machine"? I bet Biden knows how many houses he owns. (One.)

Posted by: JT | August 23, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Nobama thought he was too good. He thought he was sooo much better than the Clintons. He thought he was Jesus, came to unite the world, and that the Clintons were old fools, lacking his touch. He was cocky, arrogant, clueless, and foolish.

The media pimps fed his ego. They have long ago become pompous fools with no critical thought, no insights, no will to question; in short they became useless long ago. But now they became harmful, feeding a frenzy, cultivating a whole group of simpletons that became groupies of Nobama. These koolaid drinking nuts bought into the whole Nobama snakeoil and believed that if only every one thought like them and voted Nobama, the world will be solved of all its problems.

Now, the Nobama balloon has been pierced. As the writer said, the helium has leaked out. He was never more than a windbag; w/o the helium, he is looking like a very small punctured rubber bag.

The country fell for this 8 years ago. The pity is that those same old fools that bought into the Bush nonsense now have fallen for the Nobama snake oil. These fools think their fault was picking the wrong man then. How silly? The problem was their lack of thought, suspension of questioning ability and skepticism; their willingness to follow the latest fad like a bunch of rats in the Piper story.

Now they have doe it again. Thankfully the election is not over yet, and the Repubs have given us at least a palatable choice, the best they could have done. If it was Giuliani or Freddie, it could have been a Scylla and Charybdis choice in Nov. Now it aint so bad.

And now this pick. The snake oil sloganeer claimed all along that he was for change, what ever that meant. He said judgement was the key, not experience.

But inside he knew all the time that he was a fake; he knew he could fool enough in the dem party to steal the nomination but not the whole country to steal the election. SO he went and picked a garrulous nut that has a big mouth, a foot that fits into that mouth, and a penchant to keep shoving that foot into that mouth.

Change - what change? 36 years of insidership. Anti-war? What is that, for some one who voted for Iraq war. Heck, did this guy even endorse Brrack even by June 2nd? Perhaps Joey was waiting to see which one wins, cause he wanted to be on the ticket regardless of who was on top.

And what of Brraack's lie that HRC would be on "any one's short list". WHat a two faced lie, we all knew he was lying, and now it is confirmed. He did n't even vet. Now the Clinton supporters are free to go where they really want tobe - which is not in Nobama's camp.

Just a few months ago, Joey thought Nobama had no experience to run anything. He thought Mac makes a better ticket. Heck, Joey even said he would be honored to be on Mac's ticket.

Joey was n't lying then. He had nothing to lose back then. He would be lying today.

Posted by: intcamd1 | August 23, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Can't wait to witness the catharsis next week. This is going to be freaking great.


Obama/Biden 2008

Posted by: Susan | August 23, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

This is good commentary on Balz's part: not too unrealistic and optimistic but reciting the list of key benefits. Nice to see some commentary not all larded up by spin.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 23, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"...An extremely bad day for the Baracky Hussein Obama campaign."

Tell us Gary, the subtext of what your really trying to say by stating his whole name and incorrectly at that.

Nice try. Gutless. Shallow. But expected from a Republican operative.

Posted by: Mad Dog | August 23, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The US news media, for ratings sake, love to portray Senator Obama as the modern JFK, and ergo, the inmense news coverage of his recent visit to Germany. Then again, Senator Obama "... ich bin NICHT ein Berliner ..."

Unfortunately, Senator Obama is no modern Jack Kennedy. Let's take a trip through Memory Lane:

JFK
- 4 years military service (1941 - 1945) and a Pacific Theater decorated WWII veteran
- 7 years US Congress (1947 - 1953)
- 7 years US Senate (1953-1960)

OBAMA
- 0 years military service
- 0 years US Congress
- 2 years US Senate

I do confess that Senator Obama - like our venerated JFK - is indeed a young, handsome, educated, and well-spoken idealistic politician with great personal hopes and expectations. He indeed could had actually become - at best - a VP candidate worth considering and, with this VP experience under his belt, a major contender for the US Presidency later on. Unfortunately, right now, he has no experience in dealing with the three major High Interest Groups that actually control Capitol Hill (i.e., US pharmaceuticals, US oil companies, and US defense contractors) ... unless, of course, he becomes a mere puppet of the Democratic Party inner circle, now that Senator Biden on his side (the modern LBJ?).

Food for thought ... God bless the USA ... and may HE have mercy on our souls should we make a mistake this November 2008.

Posted by: lacolon | August 23, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Gary,

way to set the tone for an intelligent discussion here...

Posted by: cbum | August 23, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

In March 1948, a federal jury convicted both Hensleys of concealing sales of black-market liquor. Jim Hensley’s six month sentence was suspended. A second indictment, in 1953 for falsifying records to evade taxes, was dismissed.

The Hensleys bought a New Mexico horse track in 1952. Eugene Hensley’s role at the track led to lawsuits, tax-evasion charges and prison. In 1969, he sold out to a mob-connected company with close ties to Mr. Marley, according to published reports. (The Phoenix police named Mr. Marley as the man they believed ordered the 1976 assassination of Don Bolles, an investigative reporter for The Arizona Republic.

Posted by: McMafia | August 23, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Biden was right all along: Barack Obama is a "storybook" candidate.

Unfortunately, he tells one story, but lives another. His choice of Biden -- the consummate Washington insider -- shows that his ambition far surpasses his rhetoric. As was already apparent, "change" and "hope" are merely campaign slogans unabashedly employed to win an election.

After the preceding 8 years of deceit and subterfuge, my hope was that we'd at least get a candidate whose success with voters depends on his/her authenticity as leader and human being.

To be perfectly honest, my sense is that on that score, McCain has an edge on Obama.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Obama is a worse choice for president than McCain. To the rest of the world, Obama's face alone sends a powerful message that America can move beyond the racism that once defined it. At this particular time in our history, even the mere symbolism of having an African-American family in the White House would help repair our moral standing in the world.

But if we're truly looking for "change" -- a move away from the corrosive militarism, consumerism and classism that have increasingly defined our recent history -- then both McCain and Obama leave much to be desired.

Posted by: Disappointed in Denver | August 23, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse


Joe Biden is a great choice. And unlike that flatulent gigolo, that "kept woman," Joan McCain, Biden knows how many homes he owns.

Posted by: Parakeeta Byrd | August 23, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

And now some real news the Post refuses to cover. How John McCain rode the wealth of his mobster father-in-law, whose mob partner killed a real JOURNALIST to stop him from telling the truth about McCain and his second wife's mob daddy (having fun on that swing on the McMafia ranch, slimebag fake journalists?). Read as a real newspaper finally tells the American people about the dangerous mobsters trying to get into the WH:
For McCains, a Public Path but Private Wealth
By DAVID M. HALBFINGER
PHOENIX — When Senator John McCain is in Washington, he lives in a luxury high-rise condominium in Arlington, Va., owned by his wife, Cindy Hensley McCain. Mrs. McCain also owns their condos in Phoenix, San Diego and Coronado, Calif., and their vacation compound near Sedona, Ariz. And it is the beer business, Hensley & Company, she inherited from her father that is the source of the McCain family fortune.

That fortune makes Mr. McCain one of the richest members of the Senate. Yet barely a sliver of it is in his name.

The husbands and wives of senators are subject to fewer disclosure requirements than their office-holding spouses. In addition, Mrs. McCain, who files separate tax returns from her husband, controls a privately held company and invests mainly through a web of limited-liability corporations and trusts that have few disclosure requirements. She declined to be interviewed.

“Cindy is a private person, and I think in many ways that defines her,” said Robert Delgado, her father’s successor as chief executive of Hensley & Company, who spoke at the McCain campaign’s behest.

But the Hensley family wealth, from its rough-and-tumble origins to prominence in Arizona’s corporate world, is also the fortune that propelled John McCain into national politics. A clearer picture of that fortune emerges from a review of public records and interviews with employees, business associates, friends and relatives.

Hensley & Company has grown from a tiny operation in the 1950s to the dominant beer wholesaler in Arizona and the third-largest Budweiser distributor in the country, with more than $300 million in annual sales. It plays a leading role in corporate Phoenix — Andy McCain, the senator’s stepson from his first marriage and a top executive of the beer company, is now president of the city’s Chamber of Commerce — and is a forceful presence in state politics on the issues that matter to it.

But by all accounts, Mrs. McCain is far from a forceful presence at the company, where she is chairwoman.

She crisscrosses the country on the company jet, keeps an accountant on the company payroll to mind her personal finances, drives a company Lexus with “MS BUD” plates and says she oversees the company’s “strategic planning and corporate vision.” Yet she almost never shows up in the office, is deemed an absentee owner by Anheuser-Busch and has left scarcely a mark on the company, present and former executives say.
Her business, however, recently found itself at odds with advocates for pediatric hospital beds in Arizona’s neediest communities and for a statewide childhood education program. When the advocates proposed initiatives that would raise liquor taxes, Hensley opposed them.

Mrs. McCain has not said how she would handle her business if her husband were elected president. The federal government has domain over issues important to the alcohol industry, like excise taxes, marketing to under-age drinkers and beverage labeling.

Anheuser-Busch documents suggest that Mrs. McCain’s ownership of Hensley & Company could also create an unusual circumstance. The brewer’s contracts with wholesalers require that absentee owners supervise their managers, attend meetings and make timely decisions, meaning that the business would be overseen by the first lady. And if she chose to withdraw from ownership, Anheuser-Busch would have the right to approve whoever bought her shares, or to make an offer to buy them.

A Colorful Inheritance

He was a young husband and father before he went off to war. Wounded in combat, he returned home a hero, but stunned his wife by divorcing her to marry another woman. The warrior in this case was not Cindy McCain’s husband, but her father, James W. Hensley.

Jim Hensley’s first marriage was to his Phoenix high school sweetheart, Mary Jeanne Parks. Family lore says he was treading water in the English Channel, after his B-17 was shot down, when his daughter, Kathleen Anne Hensley, was born in February 1943.

The marriage ended there, according to that daughter, now Kathleen Portalski. Recuperating far from home, he fell in love with Marguerite Smith, a woman from Tennessee with a 10-year-old daughter. By March 1945, he was divorced, and they married.

Back in Phoenix, he and his brother, Eugene, went into the liquor business with Kemper Marley, a businessman who had cornered much of the market in Arizona after Prohibition ended.

In March 1948, a federal jury convicted both Hensleys of concealing sales of black-market liquor. Jim Hensley’s six month sentence was suspended. A second indictment, in 1953 for falsifying records to evade taxes, was dismissed.

The Hensleys bought a New Mexico horse track in 1952. Eugene Hensley’s role at the track led to lawsuits, tax-evasion charges and prison. In 1969, he sold out to a mob-connected company with close ties to Mr. Marley, according to published reports. (The Phoenix police named Mr. Marley as the man they believed ordered the 1976 assassination of Don Bolles, an investigative reporter for The Arizona Republic. Mr. Marley, who died in 1990, was never charged.)

Jim Hensley sold his stake in the track in 1955, and took a job at a beer wholesaler. After buying the business, in 1959 he got a federal wholesaler’s permit as Hensley & Company.
Few big cities have only one Budweiser wholesaler, but Phoenix had just 107,000 residents in 1950. A decade later, its population had quadrupled. Hensley’s market share shot to 50 percent in 1987, from 20 percent in 1970; it now has nearly two-thirds of the market.

At her father’s funeral, Cindy McCain told of his gentle reaction when she wrecked the car he had bought her after she graduated from the University of Southern California, according to people who were there. She did not mention, as a former employee recalled, that it was a Porsche and that he replaced it with a Mercedes-Benz. When the young Cindy Hensley began teaching high school and was criticized for driving a fancy car, the ex-employee said, her father bought her a Volkswagen to drive to school.

Mr. Hensley also quietly subsidized his first daughter, Mrs. Portalski, and her family. He paid for her children’s schooling, gave them credit cards and wrote company checks of $40,000 a year to Mrs. Portalski and her husband, the couple said in an interview.

But in his will, Mr. Hensley left Mrs. Portalski just $10,000 and her offspring nothing. “It’s so disappointing, just being pushed aside,” she said. Mrs. Portalski said Mrs. McCain added insult to that injury by referring to herself, in her eulogy for her father, as his only child — while her half-sister sat in a front pew.

Shortly after Jim Hensley’s death, Mrs. Portalski’s daughter said, she tried charging a meal and had her company credit card rejected. Her son says he learned that Mr. Hensley’s promise to pay his graduate-school tuition was no longer operative.
Absent, and Entitled

Her father’s death left Mrs. McCain with full control over his company, though she has seldom intervened, executives say. “She’s never been a day-to-day manager in this business,” said Mr. Delgado, the chief executive.

In the late 1980s, she set up a charitable organization out of Hensley headquarters, distributing medical supplies in developing countries. But she disbanded the group in the early 1990s after she became addicted to painkillers and was caught stealing from its supply of drugs.

Since then, her parking space has seldom been occupied. In fact, Anheuser-Busch treats her as an absentee owner, requiring Mr. Delgado to have total control over business operations and capital investments.

Mr. Delgado confirmed that after Jim Hensley died, Anheuser-Busch approached Mrs. McCain about buying the distributorship, because the brewer prefers hands-on owners.
But others who have seen the company’s books gave another reason: The company is handsomely profitable. She owns a controlling 34 percent share of a company with net profits estimated at more than $5 million a year.

In addition, Meghan, Jack and James, the biological children of Mr. and Mrs. McCain, each have 7.73 percent of Hensley & Company. Andy McCain, 45, the senator’s stepson, has 6.8 percent. Bridget McCain, the McCain’s adopted daughter, has shares worth 3.4 percent. (Ms. Hazelbaker of the McCain campaign said Bridget’s stake would eventually equal her siblings’.)

Mr. Delgado declined to discuss equity stakes or distribution of profits and said Mrs. McCain spoke to him a few times a week, often about personal financial issues. He said she took an interest in Hensley’s charitable giving and in “things that could affect the company’s existence.”
Another person knowledgeable about the company’s finances said Mrs. McCain’s involvement in Hensley was more limited. “Delgado will tell her how much money they made, so she can tell him how much she’ll take out,” this person said. As controlling owner, Mrs. McCain is entitled to distribute profits to shareholders whenever she sees fit.

How much she receives in profits is not a matter of public record. Distributions to other shareholders, who discussed them only anonymously, suggest she receives hundreds of thousands of dollars several times a year. Mrs. McCain has released only a two-page Form 1040 from her 2006 return. It listed $4.5 million in income from S corporations (like Hensley), partnerships, rental real estate and other categories; capital gains of $743,000, and dividends of $283,000. Mr. McCain’s tax returns show that his wife received a salary from Hensley of more than $430,000 each of the last two years. (Mr. McCain listed $361,373 of his own income in 2007.)

Senate rules do not require spouses to specify the values of assets or income sources exceeding $1 million, and Mrs. McCain has many of them, including shares in Anheuser-Busch, which at a minimum are worth $2.7 million.

Mrs. McCain has also invested in banks, including one founded by Valley National Bank, where her father got his first business loan. Valley National, now part of JPMorgan Chase, holds a promissory note of $500,000 to $1 million that Mrs. McCain has been rolling over annually since 2003. And Hensley’s entire debt of $30 million is held by JPMorgan Chase, Mr. Delgado said.

Far more of Mrs. McCain’s money is invested in real estate. With Sharon Harper, a close friend, Mrs. McCain has stakes in three office complexes. At the Brophy College Preparatory School, where the McCains’ two sons went to high school, the Harper Balcony sits just over the McCain Colonnade.

Mrs. McCain owns 10 homes, including rental properties.

There are the condominium in the Crystal City section of Arlington; two in an oceanfront tower in Coronado; her father’s condo in the La Jolla section of San Diego; a $4.7 million condo atop one of Phoenix’s newest luxury towers; another unit on its fourth floor; and a $700,000 townhouse nearby.

Then there are Mrs. McCain’s vacation homes outside Sedona. In 1985, a Hensley entity bought the first, along Oak Creek. In 1996, Mrs. McCain bought an adjacent home for $750,000.

Protecting Interests at Home

The booming Hensley business financed John McCain’s entry into politics: after marrying Cindy, he retired from the Navy in 1981 and planned a run for Congress the next year. To that end, he took a public-relations job at Hensley and set about introducing himself to voters. His father-in-law’s wealth — Mrs. McCain was given $639,000 by a Hensley affiliate in 1982 — also enabled Mr. McCain to lend his campaign $167,000.

Today, Hensley & Company is a major donor to Arizona politicians, and has fought increases in the state excise tax, now about 1.5 cents a beer. The tax has risen only three times since the repeal of Prohibition, last in 1984, and remains 16 percent below the national median.

Its contributions have occasionally drawn bad publicity. In 1991, an Anheuser-Busch lobbyist accused Jim Hensley of passing him cash to give to lawmakers. But the lobbyist recanted, and no charges were filed. Hensley workers also told a local columnist in 1989 that they had been pressured to donate to specific political committees and to canvass for Mr. McCain’s first Congressional race in 1982. The company denied it. But workers say Doug Yonko, an executive and nephew of Jim Hensley, still buttonholes colleagues for donations. Mr. Yonko said all gifts were voluntary.

At the national level, the company’s priorities, fought for by the National Beer Wholesalers’ Association, include rolling back the national excise tax of about 5 cents a beer, last raised in 1991, and fighting efforts by hard-liquor distillers to require labels showing the amount of alcohol in a standard serving. The beer lobby also successfully opposed a bill to pay for television advertisements combating under-age drinking.

Still, industry critics acknowledge that Mr. McCain has consistently recused himself from alcohol-specific issues. Yet he has received more contributions from the industry than nearly any other senator.

The reason, beer executives say, is that Mr. McCain is sympathetic to business owners and shares their views on taxes and other economic issues.

But George A. Hacker, director of the Alcohol Policies Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a group that is a frequent opponent of the alcohol lobby, said the industry would benefit if a McCain administration steered clear of alcohol policy to avoid conflicts of interest. Inaction, Mr. Hacker said, is almost always better than action in the industry’s view.

Nothing better sums up the low-key but formidable political power of Hensley & Company than its response to two recent ballot initiatives.

Nadine Mathis Basha, the wife of a supermarket mogul, envisioned an early-childhood education program for toddlers statewide. To pay for it, Ms. Basha said, she approached Hensley in 2006 with a proposal to raise taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Mr. Delgado told her that while he supported such a program, a beer tax would “open the floodgates” nationwide and he would fight it, Ms. Basha recalled. Daunted, she went ahead with a tobacco-only tax increase, and her initiative passed.

This year, Phoenix Children’s Hospital proposed an initiative to raise money for pediatric hospital beds. Polling showed a liquor-tax increase would be an easy sell, but the hospital still offered a 30-year moratorium on any further liquor-tax increases. But Mr. Delgado said he learned that the moratorium was not ironclad and vowed to fight. The hospitals, lacking money for a costly advertisement campaign, folded, according to people involved.

But Hensley & Company is taking no chances. It is supporting another initiative that would require that any ballot measure imposing a tax increase be approved by a majority of all registered voters in the state, not just of those who turn out at the polls.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 23, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Liberal Tickets can't win. The majority of voters who actually show up at the polls, the elderly, the wealthy, and the religiously affiliated, won't buy this socially ultra-liberal team. The moderate Catholic and Evangelical fence sitters are lost for sure. This is too liberal a ticket even for them. Unfortunately, Biden's blue collar connections can't make a dent in the "values vote". Too bad too... If Obama had picked a Casey or a Kaine, he would have had a chance.

Posted by: spikeaus | August 23, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Gary, this hispanic lady is all for Obama/Biden!

Posted by: latina chica | August 23, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

An extremely bad day for the Baracky Hussein Obama campaign.

After all this time and wait, he chooses a man (Joe Biden) with the personality of a "dead fish" - and that is putting it mildly.

I can't believe that Baracky Hussein Obama did not even consider Hillary Clinton.

I can only assume that he believes that he has the women's vote locked up.

I hope that all Hispanic voters realize, that they will be at the bottom of the barrel if Baracky Hussein Obama is elected in November. He will have to pacify the black electorate after receiving 99 % of their vote.

Democrats for John McCain in 2008.

Posted by: Gary | August 23, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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