August 23, 2008

Choking the Changeling Within

Biden. Biden! BIDEN!? We waited all week to hear the name Biden? Kos was going on about message discipline earlier today, but selecting Biden is surely not it. The entire change mantra just got chucked out the door. Biden has been in Washington for decades just like McCain. What is new, fresh or different about this guy? That sound you hear is the enthusiasm air going out of the Obama campaign's tires.

I can go with picking someone that reassures, but what the American people were looking for was someone with a reassuring skill set to give them comfort with Obama's thin resume. A guy who has been in the Senate for six terms is skilled in the ways of Washington, not in the way of real change. He has foreign relations cred because he has been on the Foreign Relations committee for a long time? Please! No military experience worth bragging about either (National Guard service in the JAG does not even come close to matching McCain's military cred) so he is no help there either.

Biden is boring, old school democrat news, nor does he pass the "he can be president if Obama gets taken out test" either. Democratic primary voters were not interested in this guy and he was eliminated from the primaries in the early going. What makes the Obama team think his supporters want Biden one heartbeart away from the presidency now when no one wanted to give him the top spot? This pick stomps the life right out of the change mantra and delivers no satisfying knockout as a pick on the economy or on foreign policy.

Furthermore, its just not that hard for McCain to counter with a better, more interesting, more capable and more relevantly experienced VP pick. Obama has blown it with this pick in my book by inviting old Washington into the White House and handing McCain an easy contrast on judgement with his VP pick. Its not difficult to get somebody who matches up well with Biden on experience, especially when Biden has spent his whole life in Washington. Also relevant is Biden's shoot from the lip style, which actually got him jumped on during the primaries.

If the first rule of the VP pick is do no harm, Obama broke it. Biden is perfectly fine from a governance standpoint, but for purposes of the campaign I think the guy is an uninspiring lump. Maybe Biden will demonstrate some chops that will change my opinion, but right now, I'm completely underwhelmed. Rush will have a field day.