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Obama chooses Biden as running mate


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#1    Guardsman Bass

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 06:08 AM

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WASHINGTON — Senator Barack Obama has chosen Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware to be his running-mate, turning to a leading authority on foreign policy and a longtime Washington hand to fill out the Democratic ticket, people told of the decision said.

Mr. Obama’s selection ended a two-month search that was conducted almost entirely in secret. It reflected a critical strategic choice by Mr. Obama: To go with a running-mate who could reassure voters about gaps in his resume, rather than to pick someone who could deliver a state or reinforce Mr. Obama’s message of change.

Mr. Biden is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and is familiar with foreign leaders and diplomats around the world. Although he initially voted to authorize the war in Iraq — Mr. Obama opposed it from the start — Mr. Biden became a persistent critic of President Bush’s policies in Iraq.

The selection was disclosed as Mr. Obama moves into a critical part of his campaign, preparing for the party’s four-day convention in Denver starting on Monday. Mr. Obama’s aides viewed the introduction of his vice presidential choice– including an afternoon rally Saturday at the old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., the same place where Mr. Obama announced his candidacy on a freezing winter morning almost two years ago, and a tour of swing states – as the beginning of a week-long stretch in which Mr. Obama hopes to dominate the stage and position himself for the fall campaign.

Word of Mr. Obama’s decision leaked out hours before his campaign was scheduled to inform supporters via text and e-mail messages, and hours after informing two other top contenders for the vice presidential nomination – Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana and Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia – that they had not been chosen.

As the selection process moved to an end, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who Mr. Obama had defeated in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, had slipped out of contention -- to the degree that Mr. Obama had ever seriously considered her.

Mr. Biden is Roman Catholic, giving him appeal to that important voting bloc, though he favors abortion rights. He was born in a working class family in Scranton, Pa., a swing state where he remains well-known. Mr. Biden is up for re-election to the Senate this year and he would presumably run simultaneously for both seats.

Mr. Biden is known for being both talkative and prone to making the kind of statements that get him in trouble. In 2007, when he was competing for Mr. Obama for the presidential nomination, he declared that Mr. Obama was “not yet ready” for the presidency, a line certain to show up in Republican attack ads.

Although Mr. Biden is not exactly a household name, he is probably the best known of all the Democrats who were in contention for the spot, given his political and personal history (not to mention his regular appearances on the Sunday morning television news shows.) He first ran for the Senate from Delaware when he was just 29 years old.

Mr. Biden has run twice for the presidency himself, once in 1988 and again in 2008, dropping out early in both cases. He was also the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during two of the most contentious Supreme Court nomination battles of the past 50 years: the confirmation proceedings for Robert H. Bork, who was defeated, and Clarence Thomas, who was confirmed after an explosive hearing in which Anita Hill accused Mr. Thomas of sexual harassment. Mr. Biden led the opposition to both nominations, though he came under criticism from some feminists for not immediately disclosing what were at first Ms. Hill’s closed-door accusations against Mr. Thomas.

Mr. Obama’s choice of Mr. Biden suggested some of the weaknesses the Obama campaign is trying to address at a time when at a time when national polls suggest that his race with Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is tightening. Chief among Mr. Biden’s strengths is his familiarity with foreign policy and national security issues, highlighted just this past weekend with the invitation he received from the embattled president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, to visit Georgia in the midst of its tense faceoff with Russia. From the moment he dropped out of the presidential race, he had been mentioned as a potential Secretary of State should either Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton win the election.

He is also something of a fixture in Washington, and would bring to the campaign – and the White House – a familiarity with the way the city and Congress works that Mr. Obama can not match after his relatively short stint in Washington.

At 65 years old, he adds a few years and gray hair to a ticket that otherwise might seem a bit young (Mr. Obama is 47). He is, as Mr. Obama’s advisers were quick to argue, someone who appears by every measure prepared to take over as president, setting a standard that appears intended to at least somewhat hamstring Mr. McCain should he be tempted to go for a more adventurous choice for No. 2. He has a long history of making statements that get him in trouble. He was forced to apologize to Mr. Obama almost the moment he entered the race for president after he was quoted as describing Mr. Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” a remark that drew criticism for being racially insensitive. While campaigning in New Hampshire, Mr. Biden said that ”you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Mr. Biden quit the presidential race this year after a barely making a mark; he came in fifth place in Iowa. He was forced to quit the 1988 presidential race in the face of accusations that he had plagiarized part of a speech from a Neil Kinnock, the British Labor Party leader. Shortly afterward, he was found to have suffered two aneurysms.

He is also, at least arguably, a Washington insider, having worked there for so long, though he still commutes home to Wilmington every night by train.

The choice by Mr. Obama in some ways mirrors the choice by Mr. Bush of Dick Cheney as his running mate in 2000; at 65, it appears unlikely that Mr. Biden would be in a position to run for president, should Mr. Obama win and serve two terms. Shorn of any remaining ambition to run for president on his own, he could find himself in a less complex political relationship with Mr. Obama than most vice president have with their presidents.

Mr. Biden was born in Scranton, , grew up in the suburbs of Wilmington, Del., and went to Syracuse Law School. He also was, as a young man, in the center of a gripping family drama: barely a month after he was elected to the Senate, his wife and their three children were in a car accident with a drunken driver resulted in the death of his wife and daughter. His two sons survived and Mr. Biden remarried five years later.


Edited by Guardsman Bass, 23 August 2008 - 06:09 AM.

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#2    EmpressStarXVII

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 06:59 AM

This really came as a surprise to me, but I am happy with his pick. Though, this just seals the for sure loss for the democrats this year....again. He's too liberal for the majority I think. Hopefully I'm wrong.

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#3    InHuman

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 07:05 AM

The guy with the foot in his mouth?

Aww.

I was hoping for colbert, or rober downey Jr.'s black character from Tropic Thunder.

Meh its better then Mccain's running mate.... (his clone)...

Edit: Looking over some of his stuff, the only thing I'm worried about is that he supported (in some way) the patriot act?

Edited by InHuman, 23 August 2008 - 07:11 AM.

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#4    BlindMessiah

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 07:55 AM

InHuman on Aug 23 2008, 08:05 AM, said:

The guy with the foot in his mouth?

Aww.

I was hoping for colbert


Oddly enough Colbert, a comedian running for president as a jest to promote his show, got the same number of votes as Biden... says something about the VP pick. This pick of course officially tosses Clinton on the curb and thus swears John McCain in as president. I simply hope he doesn't pick some religious nut for his VP. I can't imagine anything worse than Romney being on the ticket.



#5    IrishAidan07

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 08:34 AM

Pretty silly pick in my opinion. Joe Biden, the plagiarist. John McCain and his swift boaters will be throwing up ads of Biden stealing someone else's words, which will then make the American public wonder if what Biden says in the debates are really his own words. Plus, Biden comes off as a phony to me. I think he should have picked a candidate from a state the Republicans typically dominate, such as Evan Bayh of Indiana.

Edited by IrishAidan, 23 August 2008 - 08:36 AM.

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#6    Vampwitchenstein

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 08:48 AM

Me No Likey.  no.gif
I don't see this turning out good at all for those of us who want someone other than an 'R' up in tha (White) House.

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#7    BlindMessiah

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 08:59 AM

Blondigeist on Aug 23 2008, 08:48 AM, said:

Me No Likey.  no.gif
I don't see this turning out good at all for those of us who want someone other than an 'R' up in tha (White) House.


I really don't understand why he didn't pick Hillary especially concerning his recent decline of support amongst white women.


#8    Mr Honeybadger

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 09:23 AM

BlindMessiah on Aug 23 2008, 04:59 AM, said:

I really don't understand why he didn't pick Hillary especially concerning his recent decline of support amongst white women.


I agree. There are many Clinton supporters who simply will not vote for Obama now. But I think they don't like each other very well. Sort of like McCain and Romney. Same party but not on the same team. Deep down I think Hillary hopes Obama loses so she can jump right back into it in 2012.

Biden is a decent pick I suppose. He has some baggage but perhaps Obama, being of very little experience, chose to pick a vp with lots of experience to even things out. But the McCain camp will surely run wild with Biden's plagarism scandal of the past.



#9    EmpressStarXVII

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 09:32 AM

Analysis: Biden pick shows lack of confidence



By RON FOURNIER, Associated Press Writer 27 minutes ago

DENVER - 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.

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#10    IrishAidan07

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 09:52 AM

I'm not so sure the Clinton's could handle being second in command. Personally, I'd like to repeal the 22nd amendment and bring Bill back. He may have been a crook in some ways, but the economy was good (and please don't give me the technology boom Republican argument - it's easily debunk-able) and things were, generally, good.

Edited by IrishAidan, 23 August 2008 - 09:53 AM.

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#11    BlindMessiah

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 10:14 AM

ohio traveler on Aug 23 2008, 09:23 AM, said:

Deep down I think Hillary hopes Obama loses so she can jump right back into it in 2012.


I concur. Democrats will deny this, Republicans will claim this, but as one without a horse in the race, I do think she will work against Obama behind the scenes. She hasn't dedicated her entire life to becoming president, a dream she's had since college, so some dark horse can pop out of no where and take her claim as president.


#12    BlindMessiah

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 10:16 AM

IrishAidan on Aug 23 2008, 09:52 AM, said:

I'm not so sure the Clinton's could handle being second in command. Personally, I'd like to repeal the 22nd amendment and bring Bill back. He may have been a crook in some ways, but the economy was good (and please don't give me the technology boom Republican argument - it's easily debunk-able) and things were, generally, good.


Don't forget how important that amendment has become for our society. We are able to prevent emperors like FDR from ruling our country as a conquering dictator.


#13    Lt_Ripley

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 10:30 AM

I don't know ... going over a few liberal and center democrat papers/sites letter responses seem 90% upwards are favorable.  Seems the ones that are having a hard time are t
the ones who are staunchly behind Clinton still.

here is a letter I think that has the favorable backing as to why -

Obama Shows That "A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations" by Choosing Biden
Choosing Joe Biden is nothing like choosing Dan Quayle or, for you old timers, Spiro Agnew.

Obama has pulled a heavyweight out of the box of potential running mates. And he chose the right one.

The two tactical advantages Obama gains with Biden at his side are:

1. Barack's Foreign Policy flank is no longer exposed. Biden eats McCain's (and Barack's) lunch when it comes to matters of Foreign and National Security Policy. The guy (Biden) was freakin consulted, but not necessarily listened to, by none other than George W. himself! Biden's expertise cannot be brushed aside by McCain and his Rovian advisers; in fact, I'd go as far as saying that some positive quotes regarding Biden's depth and breath of knowledge in these realms might be out there from people like both Bushes, Cheney, and perhaps Sen. McCain himself. If they are, it's up to Obama's minions to find those quotes.

2. Though extremely intelligent, Biden is not shy about verbally "shooting from the hip." It's quite obvious, and I say this not in any way as a criticism, Barack likes to think before he yaps. It's a good twosome. Joe Biden ain't gonna take any s___t from McRove...and he's going to give more than he takes, if necessary. And by doing so, he allows Obama to continue being Obama, pure and fresh as a pristine forest. Joe Biden is not Clinton/Bush slime; but his lack of the Obama refinement/genteelness, combined with his formidable knowledge, makes him the perfect complement to his boss.

A strategic advantage associated with the Biden choice is:

When he assumes office, President Obama will have at his beck and call a virtual treasure trove of knowledge in his Vice President.

And, finally, I like you, don't know Obama or Biden personally. We know what we read and see and hear in the media; that's all most of us can do. Joe Biden strikes me as the kind of man I sure would like by my side if I were about to embark on the superhuman task of being President of the United States.

The Biden choice is Obama's first presidential-caliber decison test. By buying into Biden, Barack has shown the world he's going to be adept at making the right call.

-- FredrickBernanke
[Read FredrickBernanke's other letters]Permalink Saturday, August 23, 2008 12:41 AM

http://letters.salon.com/politics/war_room.../view/?show=all



#14    BlindMessiah

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 10:33 AM

Ripley, you say the only people displeased with his pick is Clinton supports... he needs them to win this election.


#15    Lt_Ripley

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 10:44 AM

BlindMessiah on Aug 23 2008, 06:33 AM, said:

Ripley, you say the only people displeased with his pick is Clinton supports... he needs them to win this election.


It would be nice to have all of the but ........

it isn't all Clinton supporters. I am/was one. still am but like most will pull the lever for Obama. But there is a small amount of die hards yet still pulling. you have some that may be racist but plenty of republicans this year are voting independant or democrat so I think it about levels off. Plenty of republicans don't want a george the III.

I do think many are burnt out from the Clinton / Obama fight. Just need some breathing space. Aren't as gung ho , but will be when it counts.  It's summer break !

Edited by Lt_Ripley, 23 August 2008 - 10:45 AM.





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