Analysis: Biden pick shows lack of confidence

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    Aug 23, 2008 9:24 AM GMT
    DENVER (AP) -- The candidate of change went with the status quo.

    In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness -- inexperience in office and on foreign policy -- rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.

    He picked a 35-year veteran of the Senate -- the ultimate insider -- rather than a candidate from outside Washington, such as Govs. Tim Kaine of Virginia or Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas; or from outside his party, such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; or from outside the mostly white male club of vice presidential candidates. Hillary Rodham Clinton didn't even make his short list.

    The picks say something profound about Obama: For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn't beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack. The Biden selection is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative -- a strategic decision that may be necessary but threatens to run counter to his image.

    Democratic strategists, fretting over polls that showed McCain erasing Obama's lead this summer, welcomed the move. They, too, worried that Obama needed a more conventional -- read: tougher -- approach to McCain.

    ''You've got to hand it to the candidate and the campaign. They have a great sense of timing and tone and appropriateness. Six months ago, people said he wasn't tough enough on Hillary Clinton -- he was being too passive -- but he got it right at the right time,'' said Democratic strategist Jim Jordan. ''He'll get it right again.''

    Indeed, Obama has begun to aggressively counter McCain's criticism with negative television ads and sharp retorts from the campaign trail.

    A senior Obama adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity, said his boss has expressed impatience with what he calls a ''reverence'' inside his campaign for his message of change and new politics. In other words, Obama is willing -- even eager -- to risk what got him this far if it gets him to the White House.

    Biden brings a lot to the table. An expert on national security, the Delaware senator voted in 2002 to authorize military intervention in Iraq but has since become a vocal critic of the conflict. He won praise for a plan for peace in Iraq that would divide the country along ethnic lines.

    Chief sponsor of a sweeping anti-crime bill that passed in 1994, Biden could help inoculate Obama from GOP criticism that he's soft on crime -- a charge his campaign fears will drive a wedge between white voters and the first black candidate with a serious shot at the White House.

    So the question is whether Biden's depth counters Obama's inexperience -- or highlights it?

    After all, Biden is anything but a change agent, having been in office longer than half of all Americans have been alive. Longer than McCain.

    And he talks too much.

    On the same day he announced his second bid for the presidency, Biden found himself explaining why he had described Obama as ''clean.''

    And there's the 2007 ABC interview in which Biden said he would stand by an earlier statement that Obama was not ready to serve as president.

    It seems Obama is worried that some voters are starting to agree.

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    EDITOR'S NOTE: Ron Fournier has covered national politics for The Associated Press for nearly 20 years.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 23, 2008 9:36 AM GMT
    It's not like his lack of experience in foreign policy has gone unnoticeable and by picking Biden, he has let a secret out of the bag.

    I think the Biden pick helps negate worries of this inexperience.

    It is going to be interesting. McCain can't attack Biden, a long time Senate colleague, like he could Obama. And Biden is going to be able to counter McCain with Biden's own first-hand experiences with McCain.
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    Aug 23, 2008 9:49 AM GMT
    Well, I was waiting for this.

    Whatever flak saying so will inevitably earn me, I must say that I have no intention of casting my vote for Senator Barack Obama.

    He has demonstrated the worst judgement since Senator George McGovern in choosing a running mate. I do not compare Senator Joseph Biden to Senator Thomas F. Eagleton per se (neither do I believe Senator Eagleton was crazy). My problem is with the judgement of Senator Obama.

    Senator Biden renders an already difficult challenge untenable in my view.

    There is no use denying that I very-strongly supported Senator Clinton's bid for the Presidency. There is nothing I would have preferred to have seen more than a Clinton Obama or, for that matter, Obama Clinton ticket.

    It seems to me that Senator Obama lacked the courage to make that choice, or to have chosen from any of the other options that would have reinforced his message of "Change people can believe in".

    They say that Vice Presidents don't matter. Largely that is true (though I would say that Vice President Gore was a player and that Vice President Cheney has wielded more power from the Naval Observatory than any Vice President in American history (and perhaps more power than many Presidents)).

    I do believe that in a ground-breaking campaign such as this one, the judgement demonstrated in this choice will resonate.

    Furthermore, as in the Eagleton example, Vice-Presidential running mates can be hugely embarrassing and they can lose elections.

    At least the Democratic party tenaciously upholds its reputation for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    I consider Senator John McCain to be an American hero. However, I don't consider him to be a good choice to be an American President.

    My opinion notwithstanding, I suspect Senator McCain will be the 44th President of the United States.

    In my opinion, today is an unfortunate day for America.

    Sincerely,
    Terry
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    Aug 23, 2008 10:04 AM GMT
    Biden seems like a pretty level headed guy to me.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 23, 2008 11:10 AM GMT
    I disagree completely

    Barack Obama is a pragmatist
    He has Always worked Within the system to bring about change
    Who better to help Obama in his task than a veteran Washington insider
    who knows as does Barack to get things done
    They are both like minded individuals - they get along very well

    Did Obama need someone from the outside to verify his maverick status?
    No... not at all
    Barack is a firebrand all by himself
    he doesn't need a man or a woman or underscore that point
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Aug 23, 2008 11:28 AM GMT
    I would say that Obama is a very clever man who realises that for him to win the election he is going to need to attract as many diverse voters as possible.

    What is going to get him more voters? Have a running mate who represents what America's last two Presidents have been - old White men.

    America is ready for a change, but it ain't going to happen over-night and I'm sure Obama know's that, and is trying to bring this change without alienating a lot of people.

    Loz
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    Aug 23, 2008 12:23 PM GMT
    Actually I think Biden was a good choice. He's not perfect, but it's easy to find flaws when you take inventory and micro-analyze someone. Overall, he's really impressive.

    And I can't imagine Obama choosing someone who wasn't a Washington insider anyway. Really, if you're going to be in the White House, the people surrounding you need to know the territory. I can assure you that Biden is not the last "insider" who will be part of an Obama administration.

    Governor Kaine would've been a horrible choice. Nothing against him, but nobody knows anything about him and his resume is shorter than Obama's.

    I like Hillary Clinton, but I think she too would've been a bad choice. Fair or not, she simply alienates too many people. When someone's polling negatives become too high -- like hers -- that candidate is unelectable.

    Nor does Obama want to spend even a portion of his time hosing down Hillary's increasingly creepy spouse, who's egocentric enough (and these days, medicated enough) to think her ascendancy would be his third term.

    .

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 23, 2008 12:41 PM GMT
    Well let me say I think it was a "reasoned" choice based on an analysis of the situation at present. I tend to think it was a good choice, someone who
    balances out Obama and Biden can reassure those who may feel the Obama selection was too "radical", "too new", or he doesn't have enough experience (which was one reason he didn't get my support initially).

    You can criticize the selection, but in the end only Hillary would have energized the process more. There can be debates on whether she would have been an effective running mate (I certainly think so). Biden can
    "snarl" at the McCain campaign and the Republicans in a way Hillary probably couldn't and this is going to be a nasty campaign, I'd rather have someone ready to take em on, then end up with another Dukakis or Kerry
    result.
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    Aug 23, 2008 1:05 PM GMT
    One of the reasons Obama didn't selected Clinton, in my opinion, is because by doing so he would be admitting that he "couldn't do it without her." It would be too much of a "trying to please everybody" tactic.
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    Aug 23, 2008 2:19 PM GMT
    Obama needs foreign policy expertise. Biden can go toe-to-toe with McCain and all his campaigning about how many years and how many leaders he knows and has known. Also, Biden knows all of McCain dirty little Senate "secrets." And Biden will be able to speak in the first person when discussing McCain.

    Kaine of Virginia didnt bring any foreign policy expertise....or anything much either. Kaine wouldnt bring Virginia like Mark Warner could. But Mark Warner is running for the Senate seat being vacated by retirement by John Warner, former husband of Elizabeth Taylor.

    Mark Warner was governor of Virginia before Kaine. MW did such a great job that his tv campaign ads even have REPUBLICANS legislators supporting him for the Senate. So MW is just as likely to carry and turn Virginia blue this year.
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    Aug 23, 2008 2:25 PM GMT
    Hillary may have a lot of Democratic supporters, but she also has a lot of instant negatives in the country. A lot of people just hate her. So by putting her on the ticket, Obama would have instantly dropped all those votes.

    It just became apparent to me that Obama will never be referred to in the press by his initials, like some politicians, such as FDR, JFK, and LBJ. BHO just doesnt have a flow to it and shortening it won't do at all. ... icon_eek.gif ... icon_lol.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 23, 2008 2:38 PM GMT
    Perhaps the tapping of Biden can help bring the apparent huge number of Hillary voters that may check out at this moment.. some say as many as 50% of her voters have yet to sign on with Obama.

    If most of those voters (who would have signed on if she had been tapped as the VP) don't sign on with the new ticket, there will certainly be a problem.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Aug 25, 2008 9:54 PM GMT
    ursamajor saidDENVER (AP) -- The candidate of change went with the status quo.

    A senior Obama adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity, said his boss has expressed impatience with what he calls a ''reverence'' inside his campaign for his message of change and new politics. In other words, Obama is willing -- even eager -- to risk what got him this far if it gets him to the White House.....
    as i have always said: this "man" has NO morals, NO deeply held convictions, NO deeply cherished beliefs. he will say ANYTHING, do ANYTHING to get elected as President.


    THIS independent registered, democratic leaning voter CANNOT/WILLNOT vote for obama in november. icon_sad.gif
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Aug 25, 2008 9:59 PM GMT
    The AP has been notoriously anti-Obama in its coverage for months. It doesn't take much digging to reveal that. Furthermore, the rest of the media isn't much better. Here's a paragraph from Frank Rich's New York Times op-ed from Saturday's (8/23) edition:

    "What Obama also should have learned by now is that the press is not his friend. Of course, he gets more ink and airtime than McCain; he’s sexier news. But as George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs documented in its study of six weeks of TV news reports this summer, Obama’s coverage was 28 percent positive, 72 percent negative. (For McCain, the split was 43/57.) Even McCain’s most blatant confusions, memory lapses and outright lies still barely cause a ripple, whether he’s railing against a piece of pork he in fact voted for, as he did at the Saddleback Church pseudodebate last weekend, or falsifying crucial details of his marital history in his memoirs, as The Los Angeles Times uncovered in court records last month."

  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Aug 25, 2008 10:21 PM GMT
    After hearing and reading many arguements on who Obama would and should (have) picked, I tend to side with those that state that Clinton would have made Obama look like he was desparate.

    For those that thought he would have picked Hillary, I can't see how, given the facts you would have actually thought that was going to happen. I've only been seriously following the campaigns since about April and have seen and learned so much since then. I think AP's analysis is wrong and have been very skeptical of their analysis for a very long time. Also, Hillary is not going anywhere! She will be in a place of power and great influence, but VP was not it.

    Grant it, the AP is entitled to their opinion and have based their judgement on certain aspects, but I think they're wrong here.

    That said, Obama does need to realize that people are not going to remember recent history and needs to remind us of what McCain has flip-flopped on due to his ambition to be POTUS. He's really got an easy task, he just needs to realize that no matter how smart we are, sometimes people aren't always intelligent.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Aug 25, 2008 10:33 PM GMT
    Auryn said...That said, Obama does need to realize that people are not going to remember recent history and needs to remind us of what McCain has flip-flopped on due to his ambition to be POTUS. He's really got an easy task, he just needs to realize that no matter how smart we are, sometimes people aren't always intelligent.
    transpose the player's names and the statement is still correct, lololol.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19128

    Aug 25, 2008 11:11 PM GMT
    Atlazeia saidOne of the reasons Obama didn't selected Clinton, in my opinion, is because by doing so he would be admitting that he "couldn't do it without her." It would be too much of a "trying to please everybody" tactic.


    True, he would have had to admit that he couldn't do it without her, but at least he likely would have achieved the ultimate goal which is to get elected. I suspect that this will prove a crucial mistake by Obama. Clinton was his best shot at getting elected. The Clintons may show a united front at the convention, but you can bet that they will be working overtime behind the scenes to insure that Hillary will have a clean run in 2012 -- something she likely will not be able to do if Obama wins in '08.

    Damn, it's going to be a long 10 weeks before Election Day.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Aug 25, 2008 11:17 PM GMT
    rnch said
    Auryn said...That said, Obama does need to realize that people are not going to remember recent history and needs to remind us of what McCain has flip-flopped on due to his ambition to be POTUS. He's really got an easy task, he just needs to realize that no matter how smart we are, sometimes people aren't always intelligent.
    transpose the player's names and the statement is still correct, lololol.


    tee hee!

    No need for that since the mainstream media are doing a bang up job on showing Obama's weaknesses. I swear, it's like McCain is President Palpatine as he's getting his ass handed to him by Mace. "'I'm weak.' I'm a POW (37 years ago who left my wife because she was messed up while she waited for me, and it doesn't matter if all my failings can be excused on something that I got over with the help of my trophy wife's money) dammit. Pity me."

    If he continues to use that excuse, then he needs to be checked into a V.A. hospital, examined, and treated for Post-war Stress Syndrome and NOT be in line for POTUS.

    "I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I'd had the ambition for a long time." --John McCain in his 2000 book "Worth the Fighting For."
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    Aug 25, 2008 11:27 PM GMT
    As a McCain man, I love Biden as a VP choice; Zzzzz Zzzzz; so boring.
    For all the progressive talk and flirting with female VP choices, the Dems end up picking the insider, career politician; the Democratic Dick Chaney!
    Now that Obama's lead in the polls as slipped away over the past few weeks, watch McCain leave him in the dust.
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    Aug 25, 2008 11:37 PM GMT
    USMmmm saidAs a McCain man, I love Biden as a VP choice; Zzzzz Zzzzz; so boring.
    For all the progressive talk and flirting with female VP choices, the Dems end up picking the insider, career politician; the Democratic Dick Chaney!
    Now that Obama's lead in the polls as slipped away over the past few weeks, watch McCain leave him in the dust.

    Everyone knows that if Obama had picked a similar outsider, the driving (drivel) lines from the Repugs would be "See--none of them would be ready on day 1 'cause they don't know how things work!" or "We can't risk an administration to do all on-the-job training". There's always available Spin for any outcome.
    And this will be a close race to the finish. The only dust will be McCain's in a few years, likely.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 25, 2008 11:54 PM GMT
    With each passing day, I am more and more confident that our next President will be John McCain. It will be interesting to see how the DNC plays out, but I would bet money that picking Biden as VP will be the beginning of the end for Obama and, you know what, I'm okay with that.