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The Case Against Joe Biden

Yesterday we argued for why Barack Obama should pick Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. Today we tackle the opposite argument.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Over the course of his presidential bid, Biden cemented his reputation as -- how to put this nicely? -- less than disciplined on the campaign trail.

VP Watch

In the summer of 2006, as he was publicly mulling the race, Biden set off a controversy over comments he made about Indian Americans.

"I've had a great relationship [with Indian Americans]," Biden said. "In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."

On the day he formally announced his candidacy, a New York Observer story that quoted Biden as calling Obama "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" came out, and the resultant uproar effectively undercut any momentum Biden was hoping to build.

Joe Biden
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, talks to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) during the hearing.

While Biden was on his best verbal behavior for much of the rest of the campaign, there is no question that his tendency to shoot from the lip worries some in Obama world. As one Democratic consultant put it: "You know there will be three days in the campaign where someone in Chicago will get a call and respond -- 'What did you say he said?.'"

For a campaign that prides itself on its message discipline, choosing Biden would be introducing a wildcard into the mix. The Obama campaign exudes quiet confidence that if they do the basic political work between now and Nov. 4 the Illinois senator will be president. Do they really want to risk it with Biden?

Plagiarizer In Chief

Way back in 1987, Biden was riding high in the presidential race -- widely regarded as a serious contenders for the Democratic party's nod.

Then Neil Kinnock happened. Biden borrowed passages of a speech given by Kinnock, a leader in Britain's Labour Party, without attribution -- a mistake that led to a detailed examination of Biden's public statements that turned up several more examples of potential plagiarism and resume inflation. The feeding frenzy eventually chased the Delaware senator from the race.

The incident has become the stuff of political lore -- type "Joe Biden and Neil Kinnock" into Google and more than 37,000 hits are returned -- even though those close to Biden insist that the actual facts surrounding the incidents are largely overblown.

Maybe. But, while any political junkie worth his (or her) name knows all about the Kinnock incident, it's a mistake to assume the average voter knows about it. In the words of one Republican strategist: "Old news inside the Beltway, new news outside."

That reality means that in every story about Biden done in the aftermath of his selection, Kinnock's name and the allegations of plagiarism would come up. It would complicate the desired flawless roll-out of the new ticket and could even raise questions about Obama's commitment to a new kind of politics.

Washington Insider

The central tenet of Obama's campaign message is that if Americans want to change their government, then they have to change the people they send to Washington.

Picking Biden, who has served in the Senate for the better part of the last four decades, seems to run counter to that core message. Biden was elected to the Senate at age 29 and spent only four years after graduating from Syracuse Law School in 1968 working in the private sector before entering public life.

Biden has long been a regular on the Sunday talk show circuit and is one of the pillars of the Democratic party establishment. His accomplishments -- of which there are many -- all were achieved as a senator operating inside the deepest heart of political Washington.

Biden allies note that despite his long service in Washington he is, at his core, an outsider inside the Beltway. While that may well be true, the optics for Obama aren't great; he can't change the fact that in picking Biden he would be going with someone who has spent nearly his entire adult life not only in politics but as a member of the world's greatest deliberative body.

Joe Loves Joe

One of the most overlooked episodes during the 1987 collapse of Biden's campaign was a snippet of footage captured by C-Span in which the Delaware senator, in response to a question about where he went to law school and what sort of grades he received, delivered this classic line: "I think I have a much higher IQ than you do."

While any human being -- especially a candidate for president who is constantly being poked and prodded -- can be forgiven a momentary flash of temper, Biden's detractors point to that incident as evidence that the senator thinks he is the bee's knees and doesn't care who knows it.

Biden, by his own admission, has the capacity to fall in love with his own voice and wander off on tangents about his life that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

During the 2006 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the Post's Dana Milbank wrote this of Biden's performance:

"Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., in his first 12 minutes of questioning the nominee, managed to get off only one question. Instead, during his 30-minute round of questioning, Biden spoke about his own Irish American roots, his "Grandfather Finnegan," his son's application to Princeton (he attended the University of Pennsylvania instead, Biden said), a speech the senator gave on the Princeton campus, the fact that Biden is "not a Princeton fan," and his views on the eyeglasses of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)."

Ouch.

There is evidence from the Democratic primaries that Biden is not only aware of his tendency to go on (and on) about himself but is also able to curb that natural tendency, however. In one of the best moments in an unending series of Democratic debates, Biden was asked by moderator Brian Williams whether he possessed the "discipline" to be the leader of the free world. Biden's simple response -- "yes" -- brought the house down and put the Delaware senator in The Fix's "winners" column for the night.

Agree? Disagree? What did we miss in making the case against Biden? Feel free to offer your thoughts in the comments section.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 14, 2008; 12:47 PM ET
Categories:  Veepstakes  
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Next: FixCam: The Best (and Worst) Vice Presidential Picks

Comments

When Joe Biden spoke here he always said that his grades were not that good in school, but no one told him he couldn't be president or whatever he wanted to be, but he said his sister's grades were good, and she was told that she could be a teacher, or a nurse. He was self deprecating, not self aggrandizing. He cared that regular people understood complicated issues. I'm sorry if most people these days don't have enough attention span to actually listen to issues being broken down and explained. That's why they went to hear Obama instead of coming to hear Joe I guess.

Yes, the ticket would be upside down, but some of us won't vote for someone as inexperienced as Obama unless someone internationally respected and knowledgeable like Joe Biden is there for him to fall back on. This business between Russia and Georgia has serious ramifications, and we need someone who knows the players and has some perspective on the situation. Joe Biden is that person.

The strikes against Joe are petty compared to his strong points. Nobody is perfect, but Joe is a good man, and I'll take his candid speech to those who are so scripted that they walk on eggshells any day.

Posted by: Donna Hughes | August 15, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I have known Joe Biden since he first ran for the US Senate, knocking off one of Delaware's finest veteran politicians. Is Biden brash? You Bet! Is Biden wordy? Yes indeed! That being said, there is no one on either side of the isle that know more about foreign policy and the diplomacy we need to rebuild the image and power of the United States. It took our forefathers 237 years to build our country, and it's taken the Bush Administration less than eight years to tear it down. We need some political savy in dealing for foreign countries, and Biden brings that to the table in spades. Oh, and by the way, he's a great guy to sit down and drink a soda, coffee or even a beer with. Obama would be well advised to pick him for VP.

Posted by: David in Delaware | August 15, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

BLOOMBERG, anyone? Someone on NPR this morning (a woman, can't remember her name) mentioned Mike Bloomberg as a possibility. Now that would be creative. Any thoughts on that? He's got lots of things that Obama doesn't have (including being a Republican!) but otherwise seems to be a sensible person, from the little I know. Gave a lot of $$ to Hopkins for their school of public health so he's got some awareness of that issue, which pleases me no end (just wish he had given it to MY school of public health!)

Posted by: suzyf91 | August 15, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

...way back when, my first choice for the D ticket was Biden/Obama. Looks like I may still get my ticket, only reversed.

Pro's and Con's for Biden as VP have been laid out and pretty well exhausted. Seems to me the positives far outweigh the negatives...my prediction: Biden announced as VP Monday.

Posted by: purplemartin | August 15, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden looks like the best choice on the short list for his blue collar roots and foreign policy experience. With Hillary lurking in the forest with her she-wolves, we Democrats don't have to worry about candidates for 2016. Even though I think the PUMAs and their ilk are the most self-indulgent domestic terrorists since the Confederacy and in dire need of mood-altering medication, I wish the VP could be Hillary Clinton. Like LBJ was for JFK, she's the pit bull. And it's the only way to get the Clintons on board for real. Their super-sized egos demand nothing less.

Posted by: greyparrot | August 15, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

GOVERNOR PAWLENTY'S DISENFRACHISING THE NINTH DISTRICT VOTERS

Facts and Issues:

Judge Holter, Ninth Judicial District, lost his re-election bid to Judge John Melbye, but after losing his re-election bid, he submitted his retirement request to Governor Pawlenty to be re-seated to serve on the bench again in the Ninth District as a serving retired judge.
For the Governor to re-seat Holter, to serve as a retired judge, allows Holter to circumvent the electorates' will, and, at minimum, violates the spirit or intent of the MN Constitution and the State 490 Statutes, or, as you say, the LAW.

My husband and I contacted the Governor's Director of Communications, Mr. McClung's office, and received a call back later in the day, by a person that identified herself as (Kelly) who told my husband that the Governor's Office doesn't have anything to do with retired judges, which is not true, see MN statute 490. Kelly also stated that the Governor's Office has no response concerning disenfranchising the voters in the Ninth District. When my husband asked Kelly to verify if the Governor really didn't have any response about disenfranchising 300,000 northern Minnesotan voters and if I could quote her response, in a news article, Kelly said only the Governor's communications office could be quoted, which is again not true, My husband talked to an attorney who stated that anyone in the Governor's Office could be quoted, but as you admitted Pawty
does not keep his promises or in other words his word it is easy to see, according to your words, why Pawty would not want to be quoted, certainly since the information being given by the Gov. office was false. Also, I contacted the Sec. of State office and received the signed order by Pawty. Again, anyone can ask for this information. Now as to the Judge here are a couple of sites with information on the Judge.

http://gouldee.blogspot.com/
http://minnlawyer.blogspot.com/2008/06/voted-...
http://www.citypages.com/2008-04-02/feature/j...

Seeing that the Governor has indeed wrongfully accepted Holter's retirement, effectively what the Governor has done is to secretly overturn the voters' of the Ninth District's will, thereby, disenfranchising them which is a serious violation of public faith. Also, depending on how one reads the MN Constitution and the MN 490 statues, it could also place the Governor's action in violation of, as you say, THE LAW and the MN Constitution.

Even if the acceptance of Holter's retirement was not a strict violation of the MN Constitution and the 490 statutes, it was clearly a violation of the intent of both. Although the MN 490 statutes allow a Governor to retire a sitting judge, in good standing, it is clear that the statutes and the Constitution did not envision the re-seating of an electorally defeated judge.

By the way this is not the first judge in trouble that Pawty retired, after the Judge was in trouble.

Posted by: Patricia Gould | August 15, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

What I ment about Pawlenty's pattern of taking part in a pattern of judicial wrong doing:

GOVERNOR PAWLENTY'S DISENFRACHISING THE NINTH DISTRICT VOTERS

Facts and Issues:

Judge Holter, Ninth Judicial District, lost his re-election bid to Judge John Melbye, but after losing his re-election bid, he submitted his retirement request to Governor Pawlenty to be re-seated to serve on the bench again in the Minnesota Ninth District as a serving retired judge.
For the Governor to re-seat Holter, to serve as a retired judge, allows Holter to circumvent the electorates' will, and, at minimum, violates the spirit or intent of the MN Constitution and the State 490 Statutes, or, as Pawlenty says, the LAW.

My husband and I contacted the Governor's Director of Communications, Mr. McClung's office, and received a call back later in the day, by a person that identified herself as (Kelly) who told my husband that the Governor's Office doesn't have anything to do with retired judges, which is not true, see MN statute 490. Kelly also stated that the Governor's Office has no response concerning disenfranchising the voters in the Ninth District. When my husband asked Kelly to verify if the Governor really didn't have any response about disenfranchising 300,000 northern Minnesotan voters and if I could quote her response, in a news article, Kelly said only the Governor's communications office could be quoted, which is again not true, My husband talked to an attorney who stated that anyone in the Governor's Office could be quoted, but as one would expect Pawty
does not keep his promises or in other words his word it is easy to see why Pawty would not want to be quoted, certainly since the information being given by the Gov. office was false. Also, I contacted the Sec. of State office and received the signed order by Pawty(Pawlenty). Again, anyone can ask for this information. Now as to the Judge here are a couple of sites with information on the Judge.

http://gouldee.blogspot.com/
http://minnlawyer.blogspot.com/2008/06/voted-...
http://www.citypages.com/2008-04-02/feature/j...

Seeing that the Governor has indeed wrongfully accepted Holter's retirement, effectively what the Governor has done is to secretly overturn the voters' of the Ninth District's will, thereby, disenfranchising them which is a serious violation of public faith. Also, depending on how one reads the MN Constitution and the MN 490 statues, it could also place the Governor's action in violation of, as Pawlenty says, THE LAW and the MN Constitution.

Even if the acceptance of Holter's retirement was not a strict violation of the MN Constitution and the 490 statutes, it was clearly a violation of the intent of both. Although the MN 490 statutes allow a Governor to retire a sitting judge, in good standing, it is clear that the statutes and the Constitution did not envision the re-seating of an electorally defeated judge, in trouble.

By the way this is not the first judge in trouble that Pawty retired, after the Judge was in trouble.

Posted by: Patricia Gould | August 15, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm from Minnesota and think that Pawlenty (our governor in case people don't know) might help lower Obama's profile if Obama chooses Pawlenty as his running mate. Pawlenty only hurts McCain's chances to become President. Neither Obama nor Pawlenty are pro-life and would fit together well. Obama, however, may not want to add to his ticket Pawlenty's pervasive pattern of behavior of corruption with state judges. Speaking of our governor, (although I do not trust the polls this year this poll does shed some truth on how Minnesotans feel about Pawlenty) A Rasmussen poll "found that a third of those polled in Minnesota say they're less likely to vote for McCain if Gov. Pawlenty is on the ticket.

Picking Minnesota's Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty as his running mate might cost McCain more votes in the state than he will gain. Thirty-four percent (34%) of Minnesota voters say they are less likely to vote for the GOP candidate if Pawlenty is the vice presidential nominee, while 28% say it makes them more likely to vote for McCain. Thirty-five percent (35%) say it will have no impact on how they vote.

Nearly a third of unaffiliated voters (32%), however, say putting Pawlenty on the GOP ticket makes them less likely to vote for it, while 22% say it makes them more likely to vote for McCain.

Only 11% say McCain is Very Likely to pick Pawlenty."
Let's not forget that when Pawlenty was taking the voice from the Hennepin County voters that he was also taking the voice from the babies in the womb and ignoring his own party and a number of Democrats to add a pro-life amendment to the Minnesota Constitution. The Democrats would have worked with the Republicans to add a pro-life amendment to Minnesota's Constitution. All the bill needed was Pawlenty's support. Pawlenty, instead of providing support, was having a heck of a lot of fun "it was a lot of fun" taking the voters' rights from them on behalf of his billionaire friend for this mentioned ballpark
He drove changing the law to override the voice of the taxpayers, for the purpose of providing a 700 Million dollar taxpayer loan to his Billionaire buddy, and said that taking the voice of the people was "a lot of fun".
Minnesota Citizens for Tax Justice states that residential property taxes have increased $1.4 billion since Pawlenty took office. That is $866 per household.

Posted by: Patricia Gould | August 15, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Google "Obama" and "narcissistic personality disorder" and get 13700 hits, the first hundred of which are all Republican talking points or blogs. My guess is that the remaining 13600 are no more newsworthy, but I already wasted too much time on this.

Is it more effective to make up a multisyllabic insult than to call someone vain, or dumb? And is it not more effective to actually argue about issues and policies, than to call names? Just asking...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are salivating over the prospect of Joe Biden.

One word: plagiarism.

Three more words: Forget Joe Biden.
Posted by: SteveCO

Steve, You've got to be kidding. In the 15+ town hall meetings a saw Biden speak at in Iowa not one person asked him about the alleged plagiarism incident. I heard people ask about the Thomas hearings, bankruptcy bill,and ever imaginable topic. Why did no one ask about the incident at the Iowa State Fair in the summer of 87, because people in Iowa, about as far away (socially, etc, obviously much of the country is west of Iowa) from the belt way as you get, knew the facts about the incident.

It was a dirty campaign trick. In every speech prior to the Iowa State Fair Biden attributed the words correctly, he got ahead of himself ONCE, and didn't make the attribution. The Dukakis campaign peddled the tape (of Joe and Kinnock to the Des Moines Register and other Iowa media outlets, the Iowa media wouldn't touch the story, not because they didn't want to be first, but because the staff had been to enough Biden events prior to the Fair where Biden clearly made the attribution, they saw this as what it was, mickey mouse politics, and they weren't going to aid Dukakis' efforts. Unfortunately some reporters on the East Coast didn't know they were being used, or the facts (a one time failure to attribute, followed by numerous prior proper attributions).

Give the voters some credit, even if the media is lazy and chooses to frame the issue that Biden has a past plagiarism problem, instead of Biden was the subject of a Dukakis campaign smear, Biden can handle that easy, "21 years ago in a speech I hadn't properly prepared for, because I had been busy preparing for Judge Bork's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, I accidentally forgot to attribute a story to Neil Kinnock, I had given the speech a dozen times prior, where I properly attributed Kinnock." End of story. Seriously if this is even part of the negatives, then you had to search pretty hard.

Posted by: Iowa Hawks | August 15, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I read these posts and there is so much hate and discontent being exuded against both Obama and Biden. I managed a credit union during the S&L Debacle in the 1980's. I know about the Keating Five and Mr. McCains attempts at insulating himself with his hands in the cookie jar. I also am aware of Silverado S&L (used to match monies out in the form of purchased CD's with a guarantee from the FSLIC that the Credit Unions CD & accrued interest would be Guaranteed) You will never guess who was a director at Silverado!!!! One of the Bush Boys!!! Is it a small world?????

Posted by: Skip | August 15, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The plagiarism thing and the gaffe thing is weak at best.

Bottom line...the issues and the situation we face...

Russia, Georgia, having a VP that can help get all these big change things through the congress (the last 6 months has been amazing on that front for only one member of congress and only one of the people on the short list)

so all the superficial blather doesn't matter when we need the most effective person in the role of VP

and everyone who has seen the last 6 months ...and knows the crisis that we face overseas...

also know who that is... and it ain't Bayh, it ain't Kaine...it ain't Sebelius...or even Clinton...

there is one question a guy like Obama asks...

the most effective person in the role of VP would be...? everyone knows the answer.

Biden

Posted by: dl | August 15, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Obama has no more important issue than his consistent opposition to the Iraq war. As Biden voted for that war, putting him on the ticket would undercut Obama on that issue. Same goes for Bayh.

Posted by: Jay Gold | August 15, 2008 4:12 AM | Report abuse

The narcissistic personality disordered guy who constructs a false narrative of Self in his ("historical fiction") autobiography (with "composite characters") and the plagiarizer with self-obsessed monologues should form a compatible pair.

They can write self-aggrandizing romantic novels fictionalizing the historic and brilliant presidential campaign after they lose.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 15, 2008 3:48 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter.

If McCain picks a pro-choice VP Obama can't win.

Obama's choice of VP only determines by how much and in what states he will lose.

Obama's choice of VP only implies possibilities for which direction late night comedy will veer in for a while.

Obama's choice of VP will only slightly reshape the ways in which he's an inadequate presidential candidate.

Since Obama has nacissistic personality disorder, he needs someone who is the best strongest VP, but who isn't appealing or strong enough to be perceived as a Cheney because that would affect The One's historic narrative.

Posted by: AsperGirl | August 15, 2008 3:42 AM | Report abuse

What will Biden's 3 Iraqs be called?

Bushistan, Cheneystan and Rumsville

Biden needs a ride to Paraguay....

I understand it is a good place to hide out.


Posted by: Rubiconski | August 15, 2008 3:30 AM | Report abuse

Biden is seen as a good pick among the inside the Beltway crowd because he has spent 30 years trying saying whatever the inside the Beltway crowd wants to hear. He was for the Iraq War until it was politically expedient to be against it. Has he ever shown political courage on anything? Not that I can recall. Also, he voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. Sorry, pro-war Democrats who are willing to throw gay people under the bus shouldn't be on the Democratic ticket. Period. In the 1970s, when the GOP's Southern strategy was ascendant, the Democrats did not respond by nominating vice-presidential candidates who had opposed civil rights for African-Americans.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

I wonder who John McShame will pick as his lackey-n-mate?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

So Biden's in love with himself and a plagiarizer; sounds like he and The One have a lot in common.
----------------------------------------------
thinkwithyourbrain,

Do you really want to go there? lets not get into John McJobKiller's scandalous past like KEATING FIVE.

Posted by: Ted | August 15, 2008 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous - I think your CAPS LOCK KEY IS STUCK.

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | August 15, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

The green Obama with the white Biden just reminds me of the green Bush with the white Cheney!

Posted by: qhung | August 14, 2008 10:52 PM | Report abuse

So Biden's in love with himself and a plagiarizer; sounds like he and The One have a lot in common.

Posted by: thinkwithyourbrain | August 14, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Biden is the smartest of all those who ran for the Democratic nomination. His plan for Iraq was on target and that's the way it's going to turn out. How many times the other candidates started their responses with 'Joe is right' is an indication of their respect for his views.
His verboseness is well known, but in each statement he makes there is a lot of wisdom drawn from his experience and his understanding of our allies and foes.
In my view he is the perfect complement to Obama; an objective, seasoned adviser with no ax to grind and no further ambitions.

Posted by: clarkw | August 14, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The idiot narcissist Biden who has spent the last 30 years with his nose solidly planted up DuPont's arse, has nothing to offer. He is a sneaky, underhanded drug warrior who rammed through a midnight bill some years back to penalize rave venues in the name of the war on drugs. I will never vote for this vain, hair-implanted, tooth-capped drug warrior, the d!ckhead that he is. I would rather sit out the election.

Posted by: zorbathegeek | August 14, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

NObama should pick one of the umpteen media prostitutes that work for him freely while being on the dole from their employers. Take your pick, Dowd, Rich, Robinson, Colby, Matthews, Olberman, Dionne..the list goes on.

He should pay back those who helped him steal the nomination. None better than the scum in the above list.

Posted by: duh | August 14, 2008 9:42 PM | Report abuse

"The problem for Obama is the charge of inexperience. Does he have sufficient gravitas to handle the weight of the office he is running for."

I think McCain is making the point moot, with his brainless meddling and possible provocation of Georgia to enter disputed regions, then get their butts kissed by the Russians.

A blustering McCain, kicking at the Soviets like a petulant child, invoking fears of another Cold War, is doing plenty to make folks realize experience can be a detriment, and blind support of a criminal president too dangerous, far more so than a fresher face with compassion for regular Americans and understanding of the stupidity of our involvement in Iraq and the need for the U.S. to, some day, be the beacon of freedom and fairness we used to be until Dubya the War Criminal.

Foreign policy experience? Are the Republicans KIDDING ME? They've been the worst international stewards since this country had its Constitution ratified, that document Bush and Cheney are quickly shredding with the support of the do-nothing, spineless Congressional Republicans giving Bush veto power.

Posted by: SteveCO | August 14, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are salivating over the prospect of Joe Biden.

One word: plagiarism.

Three more words: Forget Joe Biden.

Posted by: SteveCO | August 14, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

The problem for Obama is the charge of inexperience. Does he have sufficient gravitas to handle the weight of the office he is running for.

To that extent, he looks a lightweight against Biden. Obama/Biden reminds me of Dukasis/Bentson. The VP nominee looks more Presidential than the Presidential nominee, which undercuts Obama's message.

Therefore, I think Obama needs to go with someone who is as youthful as he is. That rules Biden out. The visuals are important. Bayh meets the visual test, Biden doesn't.

Posted by: JayPe | August 14, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

What about Colin Powell?

Posted by: bklynny | August 14, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama is not going to pick Bayh, not going to pick Biden. The Fix is just wasting space with this hackery.

Posted by: ErrinF | August 14, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I have seen Joe Biden asked about the 'plagarism' incident and he handles it perfectly well -- and truthfully. He had made the statement (not a quote so much as an echo of something Kinnock had said in an ad) and each time he would make reference to Kinnock -- until once or twice he neglected to do so (or thought he had). An aide to Michael Dukakis, who was running against him, took a tape from the speech in IA when he did not reference Kinnock, made copies, and sent them to everyone in the media. Folks didn't have their handy cell phones or YouTube in those days, so it took a while to gather up proof of the MANY times Biden had made the same statement, giving full credit to Kinnock. But by then the damage was done and, as Biden now acknowledges, he made things worse by getting angry and defensive rather than saying "I made a stupid mistake." -------- Even without the factual support for the fact that Biden routinely gave proper credit, someone who has written a book about plagarism and looks only at the words themselves concluded that Biden was railroaded "The Appearance of Impropriety"
http://www.the-idler.com/IDLER-02/1-23.html
--- It's certainly not something Biden himself cringes about .... a number of years later when he actually met Kinnock, Biden gave him a bound volume of his Senate speeches and told him, with the press listening, that he (Kinnock) was welcome to use anything in there "with or without attribution" So, if this is the biggest problem ..... I'd sure rather have it in my background than the Keating Five. Let them ask ....

Posted by: Whitney | August 14, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

and most of all in regard to Bayh

how about the guy that was on the phone for months saying Obama was second rate to another candidate... to every donor or supporter that would listen.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

anonymous

boring
doesn't seem to care enough to fight
seemed like his loyalty depended on who was most likely to win
His interrupted comments on stage about Obama's testicul... (cue look from Hillary to shut up)

His fight for us to go to war with iraq.

His then fighting the nomination for Condaleeza Rice based on HER being an architect of the war...as he was selling it to the American people.

the list goes on...

and lets just see how he would do having to be the attack dog that this election would require every day for the next 3 months and see how gaffeless he is...

that testicular moment with hillary shows he probably wouldn't last as long as everyone thinks.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

The best choice for Obama is either Senator Hagel from Nebraska or Senator Casey from Pennsylvania.

Posted by: svbreeder | August 14, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I've never understood why so many people love Joe Biden. If there were a dictionary entry for every negative stereotype of a politician, his picture would be right there. I find him pompous, self-important, self-aggrandizing, with chronic foot-in-mouth disease to boot (pun very much intended). In short, absolutely insufferable. His sole accomplishment seems to be fooling the good people of Del. into keeping him in the Senate. While he may be an experienced windbag, I don't see his alleged credentials as being oh-so-stellar for Obama - especially given his well-publicized baggage. Not what Obama needs.

And, BTW, what is up with all the Bayh haters out there? With Tim Kaine and Mark Warner both apparently out of the running I think Bayh is a great choice for Obama's veep. I lived in Indiana when Bayh was governor and the state was in far better shape than it is today. OK, the economy was better then, but Bayh's leadership was a big factor too. And Bayh (by necessity) governed from the center and was able to work with both sides of the aisle to get things done. At least, unlike Sen. Biden, Evan Bayh actually has real experience (and success) in running an executive branch of government, which is what I think Obama really needs in a veep, not a blowhard senator from a small state that will vote for Obama anyway. And, while I don't think Indiana will ever go for a black man for president (sorry family but large swaths of the state are still very racist), having Bayh on the ticket might make the race in Indiana close enough that the GOP will have to spend a lot more money in a state they are taking for granted.

Posted by: MikeyA | August 14, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Biden and hussein share one key characteristic: 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. He not only plagiarized Americans, but British politicians as well. He's a true international plagiarizer.

hussein, of course, is so mentally deficient from extensive drug use he even has to plagiarize his hollow platitudes. His many plagiarized speeches have also been documented.

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

Posted by: ALEX H. | August 14, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

To dl; Please enlighten all of us about the negatives on Evan Bayh.I worked for the State of Indiana, under former Repub governors our wages were frozen, Gov.Bayh gave raises during his two terms as governor.Indiana was operating in the black during both of his terms.So please give us your scoop. OBAMA/BAYH 08
Connie from Indiana

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

and Angry One

the Evan bayh negative's have come to light ...and the list is long.

all those things you listed about Biden

everyone knows already.

and most still as annoyed as he is are kind of excited at the idea of a "Joebama" ticket.

Bayh is out of the picture at this point every news outlet on my notifications at my home computer are all getting OVERWHELMINGLY negative...it's as if no one looked at anything he had done. He freaking authored the war legislation stuff and now say he doesn't remember getting on the committee that gave him the microphones to push for the war.

Bayh is pretty much done. Too much that the general pub did not know about his involvement with the lead up to the war.

and you can pupu that issue all you want but ...to most of America that is still the biggest strategic blunder in our history...that a number of polls got up on soap boxes and yelled "charge!...liberate Iraq for our safety!" to find out we were duped. that's bad.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I gave up on Biden last time I heard him chairing a hearing (the same one quoted by the columnist above). He is chatty and self-adoring. He is on my side but he can't control his mouth, especially in front of cameras.

Posted by: pAUL r cOOPER | August 14, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

me thinks kwame kilpatrick would be a great choice as the Media and the GOP will be so all over him they will be blind to the fact that NO-bama is the most unqualified candidate in 50 years!

Posted by: Francisco Cardenas | August 14, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Clark (or almost any military guy for that matter) makes foreign policy a field about the military ...exactly where McCain wants it.

and where McCain wins.

The problem is Foriegn Policy includes military...it is not just military...and picking a VP to go head to head because they are military gives a big hand to McCain (and Ridge although if if Clark was the nominee Mccain would pick Romney and they would hammer him on his lack of economics)

everyone should go read the article/op ed that Biden wrote with Lugar in April about Russia and Georgia called "Stand up for Georgia" and then his follow up this week in the Financial Times.

if we want our best chance at peace...Obama needs to pick the best guy for the job to help him.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Actually, if you check google for "Joe Biden and Neil Kinnock", you get nine hits, not "more than 37,000". What's *that* about?

Posted by: jaded | August 14, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Biden is OVER qualified for VP

Obama is UNDER qualified for ANYTHING


What a joke


Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

WELL - LET'S SEE

THAT WOULD MAKE A A PAIR OF PLAGIARIZERS


OBAMA STOLE DEVAL PATRICK'S SPEECH AND LIED FOR DAYS ABOUT IT UNTIL HE WAS CAUGHT RED HANDED

OBAMA "CHANGES" HIS "STORIES" ALL THE TIME


WATCH OUT AMERICA

RUDE AWAKENING


JUST LIKE HE LIED ABOUT NAFTA UNTIL HE WAS CAUGHT RED HANDED


THE MAN LIES

WITH A SMILEY FACE


TWO XEROXING CHEATING PLAGIARIZERS IN THE WHITE HOUSE ???


SURE - WHY NOT


Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah but Bayh is basically a no choice, the guy is as bland as chicken salad on white bread. He may help in Indiana, but he will not help at all in Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Florida. Bayh reminds me of John Edwards a pretty face and that is it.

I would go with the Gov. of Pa. Rendell, he is pretty hardnosed and could campaign strong for the blue collar vote.

Or of course he could choose Hillary, that would probably guarantee him winning in november, If Obama picks someone else and loses, the loss will be based on his choosing the wrong VP more than anything else.

Posted by: DCDave | August 14, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama is not qualified or presidential no matter WHO you put next to him.

He's a done nothing dolittle hand it to me puppet.

JUST LIKE GW - only a democrat boys club puppet


WE'VE DUMBED DOWN THE PRESIDENCY THIS FAR ??


NOPE


SMALL TOWN BITTER WHITE FOLK HAVE HIGHER STANDARDS THAN MR. OBAMA AND HIS EMPTY DONE NOTHING RESUME, DIRTY REZKO MONEY, HALF HOUR DEAF DUMB AND BLIND LIES,

NOW HE WON'T TAKE PUBLIC FINANCING - LIED
NOW HE WILL DRILL OFFSHORE - LIED
NOW HE WILL SUPPORT THE WAR - LIED
NOW HE WILL LET THE REV SLEEP IN THE WHITE HOUSE
NOW HE WILL LET THE FED WIRETAP AMERICANS WITHOUT WARRANTS - BIG LIE


YUP

SMALL TOWN BITTER WHITE FOLK HAVE HIGHER STANDARDS THAN MR. OBAMA. WE THE PEOPLE ELECT PRESIDENTS IN THIS COUNTRY - THEY AREN'T ELECTED BY THE PRESS OR HANDED THIS JOB BY THE DEMOCRAT BOYS CLUB THUGS AND TROLLS


SMALL TOWN BITTER WITH FOLK HAVE HIGHER STANDARDS THAN MR. OBAMA

AND THEY ARE CLINGING TO THEM


BETTER "BELIEVE" THAT


Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

If you are going to pick a big white guy who is not afraid to bomb people around the world in the name of American national security interest, at the drop of a hat, pick former general Clark:

The guy White so race won't be an issue. The guy knows what to do when Al Qaida send ICBM across the Atlantic. He's reasonably bright and articulate, unlike Yale legacy Georgie.

In short, Clark can take over if something should happen to Obama. Who's gonna challenge or question a 4-star general who had commanded tens of thousands, doing discipline maneuvers in battlefields, and who now has that "red button" next to him?

America loves beer and John Wayne type leaders. Bush ain't it; nor Rummy; nor Dick. General Clark is the real deal. Just don't put in some like some Asian American 4-star general, like Shenseki, who, though was right, went fishing quietly when that old white man Rummy ordered him go fishing,,,,

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

It's a pretty flimsy case against Biden, which essentially can be boiled down to "he's colorful". Well, even here in the supposed detractions, we find strengths. Obama could use a little "regular guy" thrown into his mix. Biden is a win-win.

As for the plaigarism, I find this comment interesting:

"That reality means that in every story about Biden done in the aftermath of his selection, Kinnock's name and the allegations of plagiarism would come up."

Oh, Chris? You mean the way every story done on McCain these days includes the fact that he had the exact same kind of affair as Edwards when married to his first wife, who was ailing in the hospital, eventually leaving her for Cindy? What you say, we haven't seen a shred of that in the MSM's coverage? EXACTLY...

Posted by: Mark | August 14, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Tom Vilsack should be the pick.
Right on the Iraq war. Right on energy, education, health care. Born in PA. Small town mayor, state senator, two time governor. Chair of DLS, and Dem. Governors. Works with bi-partisan committees. Assisted farmers in class action suit. Close to the Clintons. Not taking a Democrat out of the Senate. Fully vetted in the last election. Interviewed for almost 10 hours. 30 boxes of material.

Posted by: Old Pol | August 14, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Chris, pretty fair detailing of the positives and negatives. Joe can control himself and the one time he didn't credit Kinnock, he got caught on video. Should have credited him to be sure, but it did happen.

I'm seeing all the positives and negatives on all the possibles and coming to the conclusion the Pope Benedict XVI couldn't pass muster. Someone's got to get the job on both sides, let's see.

Posted by: Saints Only Need Apply | August 14, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Biden would be a worse pick than Bayh by far.

If Obama picks Biden, he'll get a nice little bounce in the polls, which will evaporate after the first debate.

The anti-Biden TV commercial will show him "not feeling good" about the election in Iraq the day before it happened. Images of purple-ink-stained fingers on smiling Iraqis juxtaposed with Biden's unwarrented pessimism? That'll flush his supposed foreign policy chops down the drain right quick.

On national security, another TV ad against Obama would show Biden hyperventilating on national TV about how our highway tunnels aren't being fortified the way Biden (and the contractors benefitting from silly security boondoggles) wants, and that seven years of tunnel neglect later, there still wasn't a terrorist tunnel attack.

Biden's appeal condensed to a few words is "Look at how much experience I have after 30+ years in the Senate!" while Obama's is "Half a term in the Senate is experience enough." Those messages conflict, and McCain's veep will let them know about it.

Biden's petty and political questioning of Clarence Thomas in the early 90s would make for a good campaign video ad against him, too.

Biden at 66 and McCain at 71 nearly balance out the is-he-too-old questions that Obama will need to come up, assuming McCain selects someone reasonably youthful. (Sarah Palin? Tim Pawlenty?)

Geographically, Biden's a weak choice. Delaware's a gimmie no matter what, and though Biden can help in PA, that state's an unlikely tipping point.

The Obama/Biden ticket also screams "zero executive experience in 113 years on the planet." McCain's guilty of same in his own right but his credible veep options (Romney, Palin, Pawlenty) have all been at least modestly successful governors.

Evan Bayh is a much stronger choice for Obama. He's a good age, has good Senate and executive experience, and has probably given up on becoming President by means other than succeeding someone. He might even deliver a key state.

Bayh's only liability would have to explain his support for the Iraq war, which logic would let him do, since now we know the intelligence community's assessments generally supported the WMD claims.

Mark Warner was most likely the pick, had he not declined, and he would've been a great one. Evan Bayh is probably the next best thing to Warner.

Posted by: The Angry One | August 14, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I thought yesterday's blog laid out an effective case for Biden. Obama needs a running mate strong on national security and who can effectively respond to the Republican cheap shots that are coming. This is where Kerry fell short.

If not Biden, who? Maybe Wes Clark? Jack Reed is out; the RI gov. is a Republican and would appoint a Rep. replacement. I also thought I'd heard he removed himself from consideration. I honestly can't think of anyone else with strong security/foreign policy credentials who would be as effective on the campaign trail.

Posted by: Mme_Libn | August 14, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Realizing that any VP choice Obama makes is going to be criticized for inane reasons-- “Well…20 years ago he said the sky was blue on a cloudy day, so how can HE be trusted.”—I believe Biden offers the best options. He has a depth of foreign policy knowledge and experience that few other known players can match which would be an asset that Obama alluded to in a recent interview outlining his thinking in choosing a running mate. Which leads to what I think is necessary at this point for Obama---to partner with someone who IS a known political figure. There is just not enough time to introduce a younger governor or senator, who may help carry their state, and besides Obama’s campaign network is (has become) more effective in voter registration and turnout. And no one else in national politics is as glib and as quick at countering the McCain garbage truck and being able to do it with a genuine smile. I believe it would be an effective ticket.

Posted by: RS in Washington | August 14, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Biden has a lot of strengths. I wonder, though, if he could resist asserting himself at Obama's expense, or if his high self-regard might lead him to show off a bit and thus show up Obama. Yes, he mitigates Obama's weaknesses in foreign policy, but that contrast might be a bit much for Obama to take. Besides, Obama is on record saying he believes he has a better grasp of the international scene than any of the other candidates, so I'm not sure he himself perceives a deficit there. In the end, I doubt he'll go with a running mate who could show him up in any area. If he were willing to do that, he would have seriously considered Hillary Clinton, who, with her showing in the primaries, brings with her an enormous constituency. Biden does not. So while Biden might be a good choice, I think Obama will go with Evan Bayh who is, in the end, a safer bet.

Posted by: ezr1 | August 14, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Rhode Islander Senator Jack Reed is the best possible running mate for Obama.

He is a West Point graduate with deep knowledge on Iraq, is from working class Catholic roots, and
would perform far better in TV debates than anyone else. Need we mention unlike Bayh and Biden he voted against the War.

Jack Reed is the obvious best choice.

Posted by: Scott Williams | August 14, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Why should every story about Biden include the plagiarism charge when stories about McCain don't mention the "Keating Five"? Perhaps if those stories did appear the press just might think the imbalance would justify a reminder to the "out of the beltway" people that McCain really did something bad, something much worse than borrowing language for a speech. McCain called his actions the "worst mistake of my life". Could anybody compare that to Biden's borrowing language from a good speech?

Posted by: Adam | August 14, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

and just for the record Chris did not say Biden was an awful pick...he didn't even say he was a bad pick...

in fact if you read both yesterday's and todays postings from "the man from Arhenteena"

you would say his arguments sway in the direction that Biden is perhaps the pick that will be picked at this point.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

and SteveT

your post about biden's grades and the letters he wrote inLAW SCHOOL after making a mistake that many make...

makes Biden look better...thank you for your post.

It makes the issues against biden look like what they are...stupid.

seriously I hope everyone reads your post.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The 2 senator thing is stupid...
only strange inside the beltway people think about the difference in a gov and a senator or congress person...

Think about your average person...they want judgement and knowledge...and leadership. A governor or other does not come into much logic for the "vice" president"...knowledge does.

this is the "Vice" presidency so you need a leader who can also follow....and who can deal with getting a lot done in congress.


and like I said the "gaffe thing" is a joke... Biden has been on MTP this week, face the antion etc...every week for 6 years practically...and if he was not there he was writing an op ed challenging the Bush admin...or being interviewed somewhere else or fighting on a committee...

If ANY of the other potentials fought and were seen or heard as much as Biden...for 35 years...there would be a MUCH longer list of gaffes.

and there would be if you suddenly ask a non-attack dog politician ...to become an attack dog politician everyday for 3months...

like I said who is going to control the news cycle longer... the experienced, knowledgeable guy you know really well, who has been known to gaffe and it passes...

or the new fresh not as well known person you picked trying to avoid the guy with experience and more knowledge because he gaffed.

I think McCain's past 2 months answers that question.


this debate is dumb... look at the past 6months and both sides giving Biden Kudos for how much he has done in the past 6 months when no one else is...Biden can be an unbelievable liason to the congress to get all the crap passed and is a library of knowledge on Russia and Pakistan (better than anyone in office).

like i said when you step back seems like a stupid debate.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

By E. J. DIONNE JR., SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES
Published: September 18, 1987

.....Mr. Biden, who graduated from the law school in 1968, was 76th in a class of 85.

"....The file also included Mr. Biden's transcript from his days as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware. In his first three semesters, his grades were C's or D's, with three exceptions: two A's in physical education courses, a B in a course on ''Great English Writers'' and an F in R.O.T.C. The grades improved somewhat later but were never exceptional...."
--------------------------
So much for his high IQ.
--------------------------


The plagiarized article, ''Tortious Acts as a Basis for Jurisdiction in Products Liability Cases,'' was published in the Fordham Law Review of May 1965. Mr. Biden drew large chunks of heavy legal prose directly from it, including such sentences as: ''The trend of judicial opinion in various jurisdictions has been that the breach of an implied warranty of fitness is actionable without privity, because it is a tortious wrong upon which suit may be brought by a non-contracting party.'' Just One Footnote

In his paper, Mr. Biden included a single footnote to the Fordham Law Review article.

In a letter defending himself, dated Nov. 30, 1965, Mr. Biden pleaded with the faculty not to dismiss him from the school.

''My intent was not to deceive anyone,'' Mr. Biden wrote. ''For if it were, I would not have been so blatant.''

At another point, the young Mr. Biden said that ''if I had intended to cheat, would I have been so stupid?''

''I value my word above all else,'' the impassioned letter said. ''This is a fact which is known to all those who are or have been acquainted with my character.'' Misunderstanding, He Says

Mr. Biden said today, as he did 22 years ago, that he had misunderstood the rules of citation and footnoting.

''I was wrong, but I was not malevolent in any way,'' Mr. Biden said. ''I did not intentionally move to mislead anybody. And I didn't. To this day I didn't.''

The faculty ruled that Mr. Biden would get an F in the course but would have the grade stricken when he retook it the next year. Mr. Biden eventually received a grade of 80 in the course, which, he joked today, prevented him from falling even further in his class rank.
---------------------------------------
We should expect better from our leaders. I couldn't agree more with Chris Cillizza that Biden would be an awful pick for Obama.

Jim Webb.....PLEASE reconsider.

Posted by: SteveT | August 14, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I am a moderate and have been following Joe Biden's career for many years. He would be a real asset to the ticket. He has experience in other areas beyond foreign policy such as the Senate Judiciary Committee. I know that I have been very uneasy about voting for Obama because of his lack of experience, but adding Biden to the ticket will guarantee my vote. I truly believe it will make a big difference to other older more moderate Democratic voters like me.

Posted by: JB | August 14, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

He's not just too old, he's got major foot in mouth.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Through the past 5-6 years, with the bumble-headed entry into Iraq and an administration so dishonest and incompetent, Joe Biden has consistently been the voice of reason. He completely understands the issues and challenges of the middle east and how to articulate the opportunities. He is a perfect compliment to Obama and the ideal partner to have standing in the wings should accession be required. I think he can be an effective team player while filling Obama's need for a strong voice, both in private and on the stump. There is no other choice, except possibly Jim Webb for similar reasons.

Posted by: Robert Fleck | August 14, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Did Biden Vote for Iraq War??

Posted by: Curious | August 14, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Grueshenka

I love that...lol..."JOEbama!"

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

It seems that Biden is roughly equivalent to McCain as a candidate, so having him on the ticket might free Obama to move to a higher plane.

Posted by: Peter | August 14, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he'll shoot himself in the foot, but I think his candor is refreshing and necessary in this era of politically correct pussyfooting around - and Dems like me are tired of Dems who won't stand up for themselves and come out swinging. Biden, like Jim Webb, likes a good fight - and we're better off for it. The last 8 years under Bush have been a debacle - a loud, confident VP who volunteers to stick his chin out and confidently proclaim what's better about Obama and the Dem platform is just what many in this country are looking for. Go Biden!

Posted by: edsbowlingshoe | August 14, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Optimyst and Blarg, you both know I favored JB for the D nomination, and came to like him better than any of the candidates in either party. I just heard that the Firefighters have endorsed BHO and JB is going to speak to them in Las Vegas as BHO's surrogate. The commentator then said that during the D primaries, ONLY JB and CD brought the red meat AND the cold six pack to the union crowds, especially to male dominated unions like the Firefighters.

This is not something I particularly like about JB - I represent management - but it goes to the heart of the discussion you two are having about JB and the blue collar voters.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | August 14, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

While I really like the way Biden votes, he is his own worst enemy when he opens his mouth. I vividly recall his outrageous windbag performance during the 2006 Alito hearings. (Thanks Chris for remembering this.) It was as if he was trying to give Alito a free pass by not asking him any questions.
He squandered all of his time talking about, seemingly, anything that popped into his mind EXCEPT Alito's qualifications. Had it been Robin Williams doing this, it might have been a priceless monologue. But from Biden, it was an embarrassing demonstration of one reason why Washington doesn't work: it's full of long-winded politicians who just want to hear themselves talk.
Obama should pass on Biden in the VP contest if he's serious about changing Washington.

Posted by: Itzawlgud | August 14, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

You missed an obvious point: Biden is also pretty old. It would be nice if Obama could select someone who could be a potential successor. Not the top priority, I know, but still worth mentioning in any discussion of a VP pick. That said, I like Biden, and think the plagiarism thing is the only serious concern.

Posted by: CDC | August 14, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Lee Hamilton would make a good VP.

Posted by: Scott | August 14, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

>>This my friends is what we will see in October when they release her "whitey-gate" tapes on YouTube.<<

Sure.
I got video of John and Cindy McCain in bondage gear snorting coke of the plump rear end of a latina prostitute (she might even be an illegal)
I'll be putting that on You Tube right after I see the Michelle "Get Whitey" tape you're talking about.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

About what I expected. I'd never heard the plagiarism charge, but the rest is pretty well known. For a 36-yr career in the public sector, I would consider that a STELLAR record to only have those down-sides. I don't see any of that as a deal-breaker considering all of the positive contributions he would bring to the ticket.

Everyone is free to their opinion, but I think you can find no one better to join the ticket. He's great at slicing up GOP talking points, brilliant as a foreign policy consultant and he doesn't talk in buzzwords and nuanced politico-speak. True that makes him put his foot in his mouth on occasion, but with Obama as president someone has to provide the late-night comedy material. Plus an added bonus: Joebama! I know the VPs name should be last, but it's hard to come up with something catchy that way.

Posted by: Grueschenka | August 14, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

>>Delaware is known more for credit-card corporations and banks than blue-collar industry.<<
Delaware is mostly factory/office workers, retired military and chicken farmers.
They do (with the exception of the retired military)as a rule, vote Democratic. He's a political insider, which in the current environment works against him, but he is able to "connect" with working class people in DE (otherwise, we'd have a chicken farmer for a senator).
If DE elects a democratic Governor (which seems likely), he'd be replaced by another democrat, thus preserving his seat for the Democrats.

Posted by: dijetlo | August 14, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Josh--

Bayh is a senator too, so you might want to hold off on arguing against a two- senator ticket. I don't think, however, there's any problem with picking a fellow senator in the first place.

Don't forget the Johnson/Humphrey ticket('64)--although by then Johnson had been both VP and president too. The same could be argued for Truman/Barkley ('48), though Truman had more recently served as VP and president as well.

Lots of other Veeps came from the senate, including Nixon, Mondale, Quayle, and Gore. I don't think it hurts Biden's case that he is a senator.

Posted by: jenny | August 14, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit biased in this b/c I thought, since before the start of this Presidential contest that if there was one person who could turn this country around, and fix many of the problems this administration will leave unsolved, it would be Joe Biden.

I never understood the media's love with Barack Obama, who I like very much, but just don't think has the qualifications necessary to be President. Yet, he is the democratic party's nominee, and given that I do want change from a republican administration, I would feel far more comfortable voting for an Obama ticket, if that ticket included someone like Joe Biden.

Posted by: A Blue Dog Dem | August 14, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

WHEN IS THE RACE GOING TO REALY START???

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

V.P. isn't really that bad a gig.

Posted by: Vishnu | August 14, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

You got to be kidding. Or completely out of your mind.

For the neophyte Obama to ask Joe Biden to be his Veep is the height of impertinence, impudence, and imbecility.

A Biden, a Gore, would always give advice if rewuested. For you to suggest that they would stoop to be a Veep, to be answerable to a lowly White House gopher is to display your utter and complete lack of touch with reality.

Posted by: Krishna | August 14, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

As a moderate Republican who expects Obama to win regardless of who the VP nods go to, I would feel much better about the next four years with Joe Biden as the Vice President. I thought he had the best foreign policy credentials and best approach to dealing with Iraq of all the candidates, Rep or Dem. (As an aside, though, it's funny how the landscape can change over just a few months' time--dealing with Russia may well turn out to be the supreme foreign policy challenge of the next administration). Obama really needs someone like him to help him govern effectively, and I think his presence on the ticket would give a great deal of comfort to many people concerned about the experience factor. Like several others here, I agree that Biden's positives far outweigh the negatives, and I think (and hope) he will be the pick.

Posted by: JT | August 14, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The "Republican strategist" quoted is just wrong: the Kinnock thing is not news anywhere. Biden just spent a year running for president and it was barely mentioned. Besides, Biden has changed: he is being "the best Biden" he can be and his recent presidential run proved that he is more disciplined than ever.

The main line of attack on Obama is that he is too young and an empty suit. Biden blows that out of the water. He complements Obama by adding foreign policy gravitas and, yes, Washington experience. The top of the ticket is where you get change; having a seasoned statesman in the #2 spot shows that Obama knows WHAT IT TAKES (get it?) to be a serious president. That's why Kaine's stock is dropping: Obama/Kaine is a risk, too young, too inexperienced. But Obama/Biden is a slam dunk. In short, picking Biden frees up Obama to continue his change message but with far less worry about the experience thing.

Posted by: Mitch | August 14, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Biden would be a great choice. Obama needs a VP nominee who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty and knuckles bruised - because he's using them to whomp the opponents upside the head. (Unlike Lieberman in 2000, when he seemed more concerned with maintaining his cherished "centrist" image than help Gore win.
Joe! Joe! Joe!

Posted by: roje | August 14, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Optimyst: Biden may have grown up in Scranton, but that doesn't give him Pennsylvania. The voters who actually deal with Biden live in Delaware. Growing up in a state isn't nearly as important as living/governing/running for office in a state.

Why is Biden effective with working-class voters? Delaware is known more for credit-card corporations and banks than blue-collar industry. He may have a working-class background, but so does Obama, and so do many other politicians. And being Catholic didn't help Kerry much in 2004. It might even have hurt him; remember the priests who tried to excommunicate him for being pro-choice?

I think someone like Kaine would be much more helpful to the Obama campaign. Maybe even Bayh. That's not say that they'd be better VPs, but if they can deliver their home states they're valuable. Of course, that assumes that anyone votes based on the VP, which might not be true.

Posted by: Blarg | August 14, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

biden would be a good advocate even if there would be a dust-up or two. but i still think it would be a mistake to choose a senator. leave the experienced democratic legislators where they are! pick a governor or a former senator.

Posted by: against the DLC | August 14, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

to Diane72 , you and your ilk are fools
and it makes you look so bad to keep posting this idiotic sh** on every post .
You and your fellow lunatics are helping Obama . Thanks

Posted by: larry g | August 14, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Um, is 72 your I.Q.?

Posted by: Old Pol | August 14, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why the Dems would take a Democratic Senator out of Congress to be a running mate. Neither Bayh or Biden should be chosen.

I still like Vilsack.

Posted by: Old Pol | August 14, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Picture it, Trinity Church 2006. Michelle Shiniqua Obama is speaking from the pulpit. Her prominent nostrils are flared, brow furrowed, and a scowl across her face. She is ranting against "whitey" and how they keep "raising the bar". All the while punching the air with a fist-bump. This my friends is what we will see in October when they release her "whitey-gate" tapes on YouTube.

Posted by: Dianne72 | August 14, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

McCain is plagiarizing Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney every time he opens his mouth on foreign policy. Tim Pawlenty copies Bronson Pinchot with his hairstyle. Joe Lieberman has had plastic surgery to look like Chancellor Palpatine. Mitt Romney stole the helmet Mike Dukakis wore in that tank, and passes it off as his own hair.

Another GOP double standard at work.

Posted by: bondjedi | August 14, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Richardson is, sadly, just not that bright. Have you watched him in debates and interviews. He regularly gets ginned up, all energetic and then proceeds to say absolutely nothing. When asked his favorite SCJ he said Byron White, because he knew White had been nominated by a Dem. But then it turned out that White was quite the reactionary judge. Biden's amazing, he may talk a lot and be opinionated, but trust me when it comes to what he says it's usually factual and quite smart. He's the perfect attack dog and Veep.

Posted by: Jonathan | August 14, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter if Obama selects Biden. People 60+ aren't going to vote for him anyway because of his race. Adding an old white guy to the ticket won't help with 60+ white people, it just won't, there's too many problems with race.

Biden is NOT the best choice.

Posted by: Josh | August 14, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Joe Biden it is. I cannot understand why he is not first on everyone's VP list.

All you have to do is read my Blogs and videos about Joe.

Biden's main appeal will be with the age 60+ group as well as with Independents. He is a National candidate and Obama wants to compete in 50 states. However, he will guarantee victory in PA (where lived and is popular) and will help in Ohio with working-class voters, but most important is that he can help Obama win Florida and its 27 delegates. And he is liked by ALL Bill Clinton supporters, including my 84 year old mother. He will Unite the Democrats.

Obama's own statements of what he is looking for in a VP fit Biden like a Glove. Just check the MTP story. I wrote a Blog on it but you have my persmission to steal it from me.
Biden is closer to what Obama wants than Bayh on every account.

The Obama supporters prefer Joe Overwhelmingly. There is a petition against Evan Bayh and so far there is no opposition.

Biden has been perfect these past 17 months (he even "took out" Rudy Guiliani and will do the same for McSame and Romney). He has done everything that Team Obama asked him to do since the end of May when Obama spoke with Joe privately about VP.

Biden's history will be just that. Obama just needs to laugh at past verbosity by Joe and the media will forget it.

Once the media sees the polls rising with Biden's VP selection, the MEDIA will Shut UP.

Obama/Biden 08
He is ahead in every poll of Obama people including EQ and he won the MSNBC poll by defeating Hillary.

Posted by: jerry25 | August 14, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I've got to agree with the argument against him.

The case against may not be impressive to a lot of people on the fix but they're still important.

Biden's tendency to let his mouth go could do a lot of damage to Obama, it's too much of a time bomb. He's just not safe, Obama needs someone boring, who he doesn't need to worry about running their mouth at the wrong time, I think Bayh fits this better.

Second, if Obama is making comments about how McCain's 26 yrs in Washington is part of the problem, and that we need new people in Washington, how will it look when he takes one of the most seniored members of the senate as his VP after he just labeled his brand as the problem?

Third, only once in the past 100 years has a 2 senator ticket won the presidency. Kennedy/Johnson. While biden may be experienced like Johnson, he does not bring any electoral hauls like Johnson did. Kennedy picked Johnson to win Texas, Biden can't offer him the same thing, and he won't help Obama in OH, PA, MI where the #1 issue is jobs. Obama may need some FP credentials but it's equally important if not more to acquire more economic heft, or some help with executive experience which neither Obama or McCain have.

I think the best choice is Bayh, regardless of the war vote.

Posted by: Josh | August 14, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

as VP Biden would be the perfect liaison to the senate to bring both sides together to help get these huge changes passed.

Look at his last 6 months. You can't find a newsworthy Bill that wasn't authored by him.

this is a ridiculous debate when you look at all the facts.

Obama inspires and is really smart at the modern logistics... and can be "Mr. Smith"

Biden has the map of the congress, the reputation and relationships to get stuff passed, and the best foreign policy brain (especially about Russia and Pakistan) out there.

It's just a ridiculous debate...this team with Clinton and Gore helping would kick a$$.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Blarg writes: "He's an old white man. He's not strongly associated with any ethnic or religious subgroup. Basically, he doesn't bring any demographic or geographic area over to Obama's side. And his campaign last year was unimpressive."

Biden is a catholic, which should be helpful. He also grew up in Scranton PA and has blue collar roots. He can be very effective with the under $50,000 demographic Obama had such difficulty with in the primaries. He should be a big plus in PA, OH and MI.

Finally, there was no oxygen left for second tier candidates with Obama and Clinton in the race. The historic nature of the first black vs. the first woman left the other candidates no chance to catch fire. I don't think you can draw any conclusions about his effectiveness as a campaigner from that. In fact, if the McCain campaign were judged by the same criteria, I think you'd have to concede that Biden wins by comparison.

Posted by: Optimyst | August 14, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Get the view from across the pond on the '08 elections

www.politicana.co.uk

Posted by: acrossthepond | August 14, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I think we need Joe Biden in the US senate.

We have seen him last 8 years on TV always bragging about what he hold the President George Bush.

It reminds me of my college friend from Syracuse University who always bragged about what he had for lunch.

Sorry, he is not the right one. Furthermore, he voted for this Iraq war.

These folks in the US senate, are they responsible for anything?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

SnObama: go the hell away!

It's sniveling twerps like you that give intellegent and thoughtful blogs a bad rap.

Looks like some people like peddling their snide, myopic views more than Joe loves Joe.

That said, I love Joe. He doesn't turn off any segment of voters. He'll bring in whites, Regan Dems, Catholics and even affect Eastern Pa. and Northern Va.

He has the chops and the know-how. Agreed, all negatives are petty at best. If Obama's guys can handle the liabilites, the assets of bringing Biden into the general election fold are enormous.

Don't forget, this is not only about governing, it's about winning. Biden helps with both.

Obama/Biden '08

Posted by: Coach Thumper | August 14, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

C Smith

I agree Bill Richardson is a good guy but you could never have him as VP because he is the one other candidate that would leave a bad taste in the mouth of half the party unfortunately.

sad but true...Richardson has the strong reaction from Clinton herself. I think that is why he threw her a fundraiser to retire her debt...

I think he is going to be one of the sec of state people (if Clinton doesn't take it to shore up foreign poicy for another run in 2016 and or kerry doesn't get at it)...and if not that he'll maybe be national Security or on the cabinet somewhere if he wants it.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

and just to keep the truth out there

Biden repeatedly cited Kinnock on the campaign trail in 88...how ridiculous is the true story...ONE TIME he did not say the words "as Kinnock said" and the opponent jumped all over it after he had repeatedly acknowledged him on the stump...typical gotcha...but back when we were not so savvy as to the slimy "gotcha"

and as far as ted kensington wants to spin that he "almost got kicked out of law school" because of plagiarism...those charges were trumped up and Syracuse and the bar said so.

this election needs to be run on truth ...and maybe if we are lucky we resolve some of the transgressions that were told about people like Joe Biden before.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Richardson has the same problem John Edwards recently demonstrated, only over a much longer period of time. It isn't much of a secret.

Vilsack should be the selection. He is tight with the Clintons and they are much more of a problem than McCain is.

Posted by: Old Pol | August 14, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

With this "settlement", would any of you care to bet that the Clinton's don't attempt to snatch the nomination at the convention? Of course they will! All of this is rather like the "ceasefire agreement" between Russia and Georgia, where two little points were added that apparently can be interrepted to mean that the Russians can send any number of troops and tanks anywhere into Georgia and take over and occupy that country. Obama (and the Democratic Party) will rue the day they gave an inch to the Clinton's.

Posted by: Observer | August 14, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama will look at his own sometimes loose lips -- bittergate comes to mind -- and conclude that Biden provides unique strengths at this time. Biden is avuncular without being boring and will be an effective campaigner against the cheap shots being taken at Obama.

And I agree with bsimon about bringing up events of 20 years ago. If McCain wants to defend his adultery and simultaneous marriages and another recounting of the Keating 5, I'm sure Biden can oblige.

Posted by: Optimyst | August 14, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

First, Chris, please refrain from citing Dana Milbank as a source since he's proven himself unreliable.

Second, where IS the chatter about Bill Richardson? He's the ideal candidate -- foreign policy experience, a little more seasoned than Obama, a draw for the Hispanic vote, comes from a swing state where he's clearly popular and he's an outside the Beltway guy.

Richardson is far and away the best choice. Put Biden in as Secy of State IF you're willing to lose him in the Senate.

Posted by: Jayne, Midlothian, VA | August 14, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

All pretty superficial. When considered in the totality of his career, they are miniscule. I've lost enough elections to know, though, that these silly pebbles can become the rocks great ships are broken upon. Still, I'm for Joe. He can take the pounding, and he will kick ass at the debate.

Posted by: Soonerthought.blogspot.com | August 14, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree in many ways with Chris. I think Biden bring a lot to the table and helps Obama fill in the area of foreign policy that people feel he is missing. Many people people agree that Biden is a foreign policy master and at the very least much more nuanced than McCain has shown during his recent saber rattling. I also think Biden would add a lot to the ticket and reassure people that Obama will have someone who has been a part of Washington for some time and knows how it works. Though, it's always a damned if you do, damned if you don't as some people will paint it as politics as usual. Yawn.

On a semi-related point that maybe Chris could discuss, why is Gov. Bill Richardson not getting mentioned in the Veepstakes? He's a good speaker, does well on television defending or pumping up Obama, people like Governor's executive experience, he's popular, could help with the Hispanic and American West vote, and losing a solid Senate seat in Biden (though the Democratic Governor would appoint another Democrat to the position - though obviously not as strong a member) would hurt Obama as his aggressive agenda needs a strong Democratic Senate to push legislation through. Appoint Biden as a member of the Cabinet and pen Richardson as your VP. Chris, please answer this for me as no one on television is talking about him...

Posted by: C Smith | August 14, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Good review of the negatives, but you left out his repeated lies about his grades, his class standing and his almost being thrown out of law school for cheating.

Posted by: ted kensington | August 14, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

PinkPatriot

just to add (you would think my name was Beau Biden at this point but it's not I just want to see the safest and most promising team for the US taking over)

but just to add...

Biden is outside the beltway because he is the poorest or one of the 2 poorest senators...because he made that promise to never own stock and/or ownership or investment in any company or organization.

and he has kept that promise since the first race he ran.

That is a big and rare promise to be held up for decades...while your counterparts are making money hand over fist.

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

I have decided on John Kerry for my VP pick. His waffling makes my flip-flops look measured. I hope everyone will concentrate on him and ignore me. That has proven to make my numbers go up. Too much of me had driven my numbers down. If people find out anything else real about me, I am sunk.

Posted by: snObama | August 14, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Dear Friends:
I suppose the Latino kitchen chick on TV is an insurgent or spy!
Fast trackin she does not really bake. The receipes are sent to her or searched out and ingrediants put in containers. At least we enjoyed Julia for she used true chef techniques, not the fake.

Oh and the catholic church in Kansas the Latinos are fast cookin you there.
Taken the donations and then steal the money honey from the people we, and many all over the world. Are you forced to speak another language in your catholic churches or other wise? American history they know not for they want our land and government. Funds and our tax dollars for illegals. The number of cases and law suites again filed against the churches and places of warship will rise relative to the number of illegals on the rise!

Sound off! Get them out. They lie on the questionaires for demographic and sensus. Just as they do to IRS and employment. Hurricane season is just beginning. Unemployment on the rise. The taking faster until we the people become the poorest of the world. Our land our government our nation. Send them back.

Hate crimes in China! Hot! Burn! take back their gold! Hate crimes are a crime! They numbers are multiplying from which nations amoung the world. Their hate crimes as they pulled their eyes , an offensive act equal to the finger up to China and the arm swong up sharply in a flipant motion in Germany or Russia. An offence. China you thrashed the youth of America are you equally law application wise to other nations?

Bombs off! Obama's education is verifiable in India. Is he a muslim. Trace it!!!!!! The American people deserve to know the truth before the election. His parents work, visas, trace it! medical records in India or Indonesia oh are they traceable? Deceipt!

Next the Mexicans will want the land and kitchens of our North American Indians. Hate crimes also include the people of Del Web and all retirees, the color of your hair , silver? This is skin, the combined average age?
Oh Bombs away to the Supreme Court this is hate crimes.

Taquilla or beer MADD want it in the capital? Beer commercials by Obama and visions of him drinking! sock it to him. Alchoholism! How many have been stopped arrested or killed. Promotion and marketing Obama did it. Check out all his pictures shown on TV and Internet news.

Woman in the kitchen? Oh Hillary quit! poor lady is of a minority race! Naa
Noo that did not send a message that the caucasian woman cannot compete against other national woman for in other nations woman leaders. Quiter!!!!! The cake wouldn't get baked or would fall.

Our tax dollars now to another oil nation. Why they did not vote nor we on this? They have oil. Pinned against a wall, Oh Rice cakes, how could she demand. For these are other nations. We are not the keepers.
Russia russing where, insulted will defend, and a demand and more defense, and Georgia oh woo is me!!! Did you know how many we the people, citizens of the USA are living on the street or going without food.
Oh but your nation deserve more than ours. Oh and we give it away to the invading illegals here so who cares. They are taking over! Get them out.

Abortionist at the table in the capital I think not! Slice bread! Air fluff!
Hot off the press!

The foreclosures are not over as the hurricane season is young and so to the seasonal empoyers and employees. Oh not the fault of the Current adminsitration it came from the Clinton administration. I know I turned them in and no one Kennedy listened or other congressional committee. Billy Boy knew and Obama oh take a permanent vacation. On the Beach!

The Latinos will be cookin as they are the minority caucasian and the daddy's little shortenbread, Indian bread in the pan.
chicken! Freedom of speach.

Spinach is it safe? Who wins. The eurodollar tied to the research right after the WWII experiments of Germany, the wall, and to Argentina they went and Venezuela and Brazil. Disease to Africa and they tried to kick them out but too late. WWII TB, Polio and SALK BUT THEY DID GET THE CURE BUT NOT FOREVER. TODAY THE EURO DOLLAR IN COMPARISON TO WHERE THE WORLD UP ECONOMY IS GOING. WHERE IS THE GOLD? THE USA TAKE OVER IS JUST LIKE AN AMERICAN NATIVE AMERICAN SOLDIER IN THE MILITARY KICK HIM OUT. PREDUDICE? OR TOO MUCH KNOWLEDGE OF THE BANKING SAVINGS AND LOAN AND CURRENT ECONOMICS THAT COME FROM THE DEMO LITION OF ONE TO THIS ADMINISTRATION. OH LORD ALL GOD LITTLE CHILDREN. NEXT THE INVASION AND HATE CRIMES AND DRUGS INTO THE NORTH AMERICAN NATION AND TAKE OVER BY MEXICO. s AND c aMERICAS. TAKE THE CAKE OUT OF THE OVEN, JULIE FRENCH ECLAIRS. GET THEM OUT. OR THE DESERT WILL BURN.

Posted by: sharon walker | August 14, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Biden in favor of the Bush administration's elimination of the right of habeus corpus (the right of someone detained by the State to confront his accusers in a court of law)?

Posted by: Sybil Libertease | August 14, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I've always liked Biden, even when he's meandering in a Congressional hearing. He's smart, dedicated, knowledgeable and believable. I think his big mouth is an asset, not a liability. I like it when he speaks his mind. We need more reality politicians and less guile. He's perfect for Obama. In fact, there's a $100 in it for Barack if he picks Joe. Most importantly, Joe totally wins the hair battle with Bayh (though he could use a trim more often). Whenever I see Bayh on TV, all I can think of is, "whoever cuts that guy's hair ought to be shot." I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: Mike Farrace | August 14, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

There is no perfect candidate. Biden's positives seem to outweigh his negatives. "The Case FOR Biden" yesterday was very powerful. Today's case against him seems like mostly minor stuff -- just quibbling.

Posted by: harlemboy | August 14, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Biden's biggest alleged weakness - we'll call it the gaffe thing - is actually a secret strength. All of his comments offend liberal elites and minorities, particularly African Americans. The "clean and articulate" comments would be repeated ad naseum, giving Obama the opportunity to reprise his appearance during an Iowa debate last December in which he let Biden off the hook, saying the guy wasn't a racist and getting worked up over statements like the one he made distracted from more important issues. This excusing of a white person's transgressions would play very very well in white America. And if (okay, when) Biden does make another gaffe, it will again likely be something that insults a group that is already in Obama's pocket. I can't see him saying something that would offend average middle or working class whites.

Regarding the plagiarism issue, because it would be new news outside the beltway, team Obama could get out in front of it, making sure everyone knows Biden's version of the story first, in which he used a passage he'd used before many times with attribution but just didn't happen to one time.

Finally, yes, the insider thing is a problem but there is a simple, key way to point out his outsider in the beltway cred: he's never lived in Washington. Ever. The positioning is simple. On the day Obama announces, he says "Joe Biden has been a senator for 36 years. This country is his life's work. But he has never wanted to the corrupting influence of Washington, so for this reason he went home every night to Delaware, never living in the Capital city. That is probably why he has one of the lowest net worths in the Senate".

I'm not necessarily saying Biden should be veep, but in terms of downsides, his are relatively easy to get around, certainly more so than Evan Bayh's.

Posted by: PinkoPatriot | August 14, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I am so much for change, change, change, that I am considering hiring a guy that has been in congress my whole life and has had no real world experience, just like me. that is change you can believe in. please forget all that stuff I said about McCain being there for 30 years. in fact, pretty much forget everything I say about five minutes after I say it. THAT is the change I promise.

Posted by: snObama | August 14, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

The positives you enumerated yesterday were ten times more impressive than the few potential negatives of today's entry.

Bottom line: Joe Biden is likable, and can explain himself out of any gaffe. More importantly, he will best McCain and his VP choice on any issue, in any debate.

Lastly, Joe Biden would make a valuable and knowledgeable VP, helping Barack Obama govern more effectively.

Posted by: Brian In NY | August 14, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

JB for Veep, and then, right after the Convention, name Lugar as prospective SecState and Hagel as prospective SecDef in a "post-partisan" Admin - could any nominee pull that off? Could BHO?

McC would have a steep hill to climb, I think, if BHO could.

The three names: Biden, Lugar, and Hagel; actually belong together as FP voices in the Senate, and BHO does apparently respect them all.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | August 14, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The Georgians should just surrender. That is what I would do. Just like the Jews, the Belgians, the Czechs, the Poles, the Kuwaitis, the Vietnamese, the Koreans and anyone else who was ever attacked. I think the Russians are just misunderstood. Since when do Libs pick sides?

Posted by: snObama | August 14, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Age 66 is a tough age to remodel and rehabilitate oneself from life long patterns of behavior and thinking. But as with the case of Bayh and the others Obama has had to consider, this isn't about choosing a great option - it's about mitigating lesser option.

Posted by: Justin | August 14, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I don't think netroots activits will go crazy for him either. During his tenure in Washington, he has developed a close relationship with the credit card companies in Delaware. His votes on bankruptcy don't match-up with Obama's. This might be a tangential issue to most voters, but to some progressive, Biden is a "corporate" Democratic, willing to sell-out his base to campaign contributors.

Posted by: Varnson | August 14, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Living here in "fly over" country (Ohio), I have spoken with several (mostly, older and white) undecided voters who are very concerned about Obama's VP pick. These are exactly the folks that a Biden pick would appeal to. They want to see someone with a steady hand and foreign policy cred on the ticket. I'd like to see him as the pick myself to watch him rip McCain and his Veep a new one in the VP debate.

Posted by: Mike T | August 14, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I intend to continue the long Democrat tradition of cheating, in the mould of FDR, Kennedy, Clinton, Hart and Edwards. In my case, much like Edwards and Kennedy, the press will refuse to report it. If you had to look at that enormous jughead every morning, you would too.

Posted by: snObama | August 14, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"...a detailed examination of Biden's public statements that turned up several more examples of potential plagiarism and resume inflation. The feeding frenzy eventually chased the Delaware senator from the race."

And when will McCain's plagiarism of Wikipedia chase McCain from the race? Odd that CC doesn't mention this very recent, well-documented incident to give Biden's 'crime' a bit of context.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | August 14, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Kinnock incident will be brought up (you already did) but how many the Senators plagiarized their way through college? And heaven knows how many representatives have degrees from "on line universitives." One really mean commercial about McCain's college days, the Keating 5,his divorce (makes Edwards look good), his wife's drugs, the beer comapany sale (AMERICA'S BEER) to Germany, how he was for abortion before he was against it, oil deals, and THEN tag on the Keating 5....Everybody has dirty laundry.

Posted by: txajohnson | August 14, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

He talks too much, but he would soothe a base worried about pro-war Bayh and pro-life Kaine.

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

Posted by: matt | August 14, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The one thing this analysis misses is the problem of Obama picking someone with too much experience. Biden is someone who knows his policy, and if he, John McCain, and Joe Lieberman get to talking that is the story. You have three Senate fixtures with literally 100 years more experience discussing the virtues of American foreign policy. How does Obama fit into this picture? People don't vote with the VP and it will only highlight his inexperience. He needs to pick someone who reinforces the "change" mantra or it will only highlight his weaknesses.

Posted by: Dan W. | August 14, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Biden is someone people recognize as intelligent and experienced, and we all know where he stands. Bayh seems more like a bland, new face. What does he stand for? What are his drives? Given that Obama is a new face already, having a tried and true guy like Biden brings a lot to the ticket. I think I'd rather have Dodd, but Biden over Bayh anyday.

Posted by: Oliver | August 14, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

One of the knocks on Biden is that he is arrogant? Anyone who has ever run for President is arrogant -- you have to be to think that you are the best qualified person to lead the (arguably) most powerful nation on Earth. OK, maybe not Harding, but his wife was arrogant and got him elected. And Washington didn't run for the Presidency.

Also, I think Biden has been auditioning for the VP slot by laying low recently and showing BHO how good his message discipline can be. And he still owns the best line of the campaign -- Guiliani's sentences all contain "a noun, a verb, and 9/11."

Posted by: mnteng | August 14, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

and I have to say 1 speech he forgot to site 3 times (yet sited all the others in written form) in 35 years of service...for a guy who has been on our tv sets and writing op-eds every other week for international and national news...

seems a little stupid.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Biden is a worse choice than Bayh. How's that for faint praise? If he didn't commit a horrendous gaffe, he would probably make a fine VP.

Not to go off topic here, but why has Richardson completely fallen off the radar? He brings a lot of the same bona fides and would almost certainly help in the interior Western states. Richardson anyone?

Posted by: deep in a red state | August 14, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

and bsimon's right on the "old news cycle"

Colmes' unexpectedly ballsy attack back at a smug Hannity's, "Why can't we attack Edwards is it only Republicans who are taken down for extra marrital affairs" not withstanding.

Colmes trashed the stunned repubs pundits with Mccain's "marital promise issues" (hoooh wee was that a great moment in Fox and Hannity history if you have not seen it I recommend you go watch the youtube video from it's broadcast on the 12th).

so yeah Biden's old stuff will bring up the questions that have not been explained with Keating and Mccain's sadly wheelchair-bound at the time wife that he left for ("Ms paris Hilton of the 1970's set)...

and the details of Biden's so-called plagiary aren't what they seem... he used the speech siting it almost everytime in written form many times before the couple of times he forgot to site it.

and the repubs attacked. If it is brought up then hopefully reporters will bring upALL of the details not the ones that make it sound sensational.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The narrative being used by the Republicans against Obama - that he is a celebrity - was also hinted at by Biden during the primary campaign. The Republicans are also trying to paint Obama as arrogant and they would try to do the same with Biden. If he is the pick Team Obama should be ready to confront this obvious line of attack.

Posted by: JS | August 14, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

If Barack is seeking to select a Running Mate with military credentials, Jack Reed would be an excellent choice. A graduate of West Point, former Army Ranger, Professor at West Point, and expert on Veteran issues, his credentials are sterling. He also exudes a thoughtful, low-key demeanor that is well suited to Barack's temperment. His white, Catholic working class background is also a big plus. Furthermore, unlike the little runt McCain who likes to posture being a tough guy, Jack Reed really IS a tough guy and could handle anything coming from the RNC scum machine. Obama/Reed also makes a very nice bumper sticker.

Posted by: Robert Luciano | August 14, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Another knock against Biden is that he doesn't add much to the campaign. He comes from a small, reliably Democratic state. He's an old white man. He's not strongly associated with any ethnic or religious subgroup. Basically, he doesn't bring any demographic or geographic area over to Obama's side. And his campaign last year was unimpressive.

Biden might make a good VP, but he doesn't really help Obama get elected. He might be the best choice, but I'm not convinced.

Posted by: Blarg | August 14, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Like I said yesterday Chris

this is a foolish "argument"

If you were to pick a candidate who has not had a 100th the air and newspaper time that Biden has had (has anyone done the math of how many times Biden has appeared in or in an article story debate defense under the national spotlight compared to ANY other pol for the past 7 years being the leading voice against the administration...would love to see the math behind that compared to "gaffes"...and see how people stack up on the gaffe machine curve)
...or the lengthy time and daily interviews that Biden has had... in front of the national media... answering hard questions and fighting out on a limb for something?

so when the VP candidate gaffes...and they will gaffe...especially if you are asking a non attack dog to suddenly become and attack dog every day for three months straight (and don't be foolish that is what the next three months are going to be)

whose gaffe holds a longer news cycle?.."the guy who has more experience and the country knows his heart good or bad...but who gaffes"

or the person with less experience who was chosen over the guy who gaffes because the guy gaffed?

I think it is an easy answer.(you need look no further than at Mccain and his numerous gaffes this past 2 months for an example)

The gaffe is a foolish and antithetical argument to what the truth of Biden's reputation will do.

Posted by: dl | August 14, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The Fix says that "while any political junkie worth his (or her) name knows all about the Kinnock incident, it's a mistake to assume the average voter knows about it."

Yet when people ask why, for instance, McCain's marital infidelity or involvement in the Keating 5 isn't brought up the answer is that its 'old news'. Surely there's not a double standard about what constitutes news?

To put it differently, could the McCain campaign (or its affiliates) effectivley attack Biden on 20 year old 'news' without exposing their own candidate's past to similar scrutiny? Is it worth the risk?

Posted by: bsimon | August 14, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Having read both yesterday's argument for and today's against, the ledger to me still seems to add up in Biden's favor. As for his off-the-cuff remarks and meandering speaking style, the tightly-controlled and disciplined campaign being run by Obama may help to ameliorate that potential weakness. Certainly (as evidenced by his "Yes" at the debate), Biden is aware of this and would make every effort to avoid it. The plagiarism charge is easily defeated, being that it happened 20 years ago, and that the same speech had been given multiple times, always with proper credit on the other occasions. Enough said about that matter. Biden is a breath of fresh air, experienced, thoughtful, often charismatic, and enhances Obama's ticket.

Posted by: DS | August 14, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I think the Joe is Joe arguments could be applied to almost any person whose dayjob is a member of Congress

Posted by: nicolasny | August 14, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The best way for a successful VP candidate to behave is with an aura of self-effacement that conveys tremendous self-confidence and a quiet ego. It wasn't an easy job for Al Gore and if Bill Clinton had not been such an out-sized personality, it might not have worked. He or She needs to be able to loyally cede the spotlight and amplify the message without upstaging the candidate while subtly filling in the chinks of the candidate's armor with very discreet strengths. Somehow, this just does not sound like Joe Biden--god bless him, he really is right on so much of the time but he may have been a senator too long to be a very effective number two man.

Posted by: dch | August 14, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

good points ... glad you finally mention that somebody can be both a career pol and change agent at the same time.

Posted by: nicolasny | August 14, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Joe is Joe, Leave him alone. I think Obama is likely to pick him. That Plagiarism allegation is not going to stick because McCain just did the same thing.

McCain plagiarized his Georgia's speech. I think Obama will pick him rather than Bayh

Posted by: Bee, Manchester, NH | August 14, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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