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Guardsman Bass

Obama chooses Biden as running mate

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Posted (edited)

New York Times

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

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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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Posted (edited)

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

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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.

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Posted (edited)

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

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Me No Likey. :no:

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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Me No Likey. :no:

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.

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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.

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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.

click click

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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

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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 !

Well I don't want Bush the III, Obama or Clinton but I still feel that an Obama/Clinton ticket would have won. And now Bush the III will take office. McCain is struggling to keep his party united, if Obama had picked Clinton he would have one up on McCain. Now he doesn't. His situation is now in fact worse. McCain is struggling because of idealogical differences. All McCain has to do is patronize those people. Obama faces the same situation only, in my oppinion, he will have to deal with Clinton working against him.

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Well I don't want Bush the III, Obama or Clinton but I still feel that an Obama/Clinton ticket would have won. And now Bush the III will take office. McCain is struggling to keep his party united, if Obama had picked Clinton he would have one up on McCain. Now he doesn't. His situation is now in fact worse. McCain is struggling because of idealogical differences. All McCain has to do is patronize those people. Obama faces the same situation only, in my oppinion, he will have to deal with Clinton working against him.

I don't know. the christians aren't exactly in line with republicans now - and I think more dems are behind the dem ticket than against even with Hillary. She's thrown her weight behind him and will do so in Denver loudly.

the pros and cons of Biden from Time

...........Biden has been on the national stage so long that he was able to mount two credible runs for the presidency himself an amazing 20 years apart, in 1988 and 2008. He has served as chairman of both the Judiciary Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee, traveling the globe to meet world leaders and to be directly involved in almost every major international and domestic debate of the last two generations. He has excelled as both a speaker and a debater. His Irish-Catholic heritage makes him a demographic dream in appealing to swing voters. He is both a Washington insider and a hero to working-class Americans and labor union leaders, in part because of his rhetoric, but also because of his own middle class upbringing. He has mastered the art of the network Sunday show television appearance as well as the classic vice-presidential skill of savagely attacking his political opponents with both a smile and the use of casual, kitchen-table idioms.

Balanced against all of those unmatched qualifications is one quality that has afflicted Biden for as long as anyone can remember: a persistent tendency to say silly, offensive, and off-putting things. Over the next few days (and, likely, weeks) some of Biden's ungreatest hits of gab will be recycled by the media and Republicans aiming to take the luster off Obama's choice of running mate. The central mystery for those who have watched Biden over the years is this: how could someone so smart, experienced, and articulate be his own worst enemy by saying just the wrong thing at just the wrong moment?

Beyond the verbal gaffes during both of his presidential campaigns, Biden stunned his supporters, and delighted his opponents, during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of John Robert and Sam Alito, President Bush's conservative nominees for the high court. In preparing for the public sessions, Biden's advisers warned him repeatedly not to let his verbose ways dominate the proceedings. Be crisp and clear and concise, they told him over and over during practice sessions. And yet when the lights and cameras were on, Biden was at his very worst — long-winded, self-involved, and off message.

Surely, as the Obama campaign unveils Biden to the world, they are little concerned about his ability to surmount the primary hurdle that any potential vice president must get over, that Biden is ready to be president from day one by virture of experience, temperament, and judgment. But the campaign will just as certainly be coaching him on his initial speeches and media appearances. Once again, Joe Biden will be told to keep it short and limit the use of the pronoun "I."

Those who know Biden well, who have watched him and worked with him over the years in the Senate and on the campaign trail, know two things with absolute certainty. One, it will be exceedingly difficult for Biden to carry out those instructions. And, two, if he is able to do as he is told regarding his renegade mouth, he will be a smash hit as Obama's running mate.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8...1835480,00.html

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I don't know. the christians aren't exactly in line with republicans now - and I think more dems are behind the dem ticket than against even with Hillary. She's thrown her weight behind him and will do so in Denver loudly.

She needs three days to that?

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She needs three days to that?

she's done it before and will again . there are stragglers . yet the amount of republicans and christians that have crossed over make up for that amount easily.

McCain has already pounced on Obama's choice of Biden. Yet most republicans pouncing on Obama and his experience of foreign policy fail to remember that Obama has more experience in/ at it than Bush had running in 2000. so McCains argument is moot.

August 23rd, 2008

McCain camp calls Biden Obama’s ‘harshest critic’ on experience

Posted: 05:38 AM ET

(CNN) — Sen. John McCain’s campaign quickly reacted to word that Sen. Joe Biden would be Sen. Barack Obama’s running mate with a dig at Obama’s foreign policy credentials.

“There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama’s lack of experience than Joe Biden,” McCain campaign spokesman Ben Porritt said in a written statement.

“Biden has denounced Barack Obama’s poor foreign policy judgment and has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realizing — that Barack Obama is not ready to be president.”

http://cnnwire.blogs.cnn.com/2008/08/23/mc...-on-experience/

Edited by Lt_Ripley

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Biden is alright. I like Jim Webb , Clinton , Kathleen Sebelius . or even Chuck Hagel too. I think he picked fine.

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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.

Precisely, and an Obama win will be all but over for Hillary for any Presidential shot.

How badly does the Clinton supporters wants her to be President really? Bad enough to not vote for Obama in the coming election to set up Hillary for 2012?

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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.

We were in an economic reccesion or decline because of the DOTCOM burst on the last year of Bill, and the burst happened predictably for a lot of those DOTCOMS were in the red or were surviving thru venture capitalist funding. Do you understand what that means?

How can you debunk that???

Was it Bills' fault? No, it's just the cycle on an economy.

Can Bill bring back the same economic expansion? No!

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It's good from the experience angle, which is Obama's weakest point. I thought he might go for Hillary or the guy from Virginia. I'm not sure Biden will pull more voters into the fold.

Biden's one of the obviously qualified people.

The Republicans can dig up some dirt on him but the Republicans can dig up dirt on anyone. Biden's good on women's issues, though some women are still so miffed about Hillary losing that they probably won't vote at all.

Edited by Siara

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Biden's a working class, Irish Catholic, uber-experienced foreign policy guru, with grade A attack dog skills. Not a bad choice at all.

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Biden's a working class, Irish Catholic, uber-experienced foreign policy guru, with grade A attack dog skills. Not a bad choice at all.

Don't forget, too, that he comes from a Senate seat that is basically a formality at this point; the real election is the Democratic Primary. Democrats are trying to hang on to as many Senate seats as possible as well as winning 4-6 more, so at the very least, they'll get a freshman rookie in the seat if Obama wins this November (I'm assuming that Biden will simultaneously run for the Senate seat as well as Obama's candidacy, and then appoint a successor or let the Delaware governor do it).

As for his tendency to go on "gaffe", do you not think that Obama's campaign will be monitoring and watching this? Obama has been very careful about managing rallies and public appearances in most venues, and I imagine that before he picked Biden, he had a discussion about this.

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