A Case Against Joe Biden for Veep

Earlier, Big Tent Democrat made another case for Hillary as Vice President. I'll make another case against Sen. Joe Biden. My specific arguments are contained in these posts:

Check out these Joe Biden quotes below:

  • Biden Statement on Supreme Court Decision on the Execution of Mentally Retarded Individuals," Press Release, June 20, 2002:
    As the author of two major federal crime laws that extend the availability of the death penalty to sixty additional crimes, I support capital punishment as a crime-fighting technique. But we must implement the death penalty in a way that is consistent with our values as Americans. Just as we would not execute a 12-year-old, I have long argued that we should not execute a mentally retarded person whose mental capacity might be far more limited. That's why I led the fight in 1990 to oppose the extension of the federal death penalty to mentally retarded persons."
  • On Border Fences: Democratic Presidential Debate, New Hampshire, hosted by CNN, June 3, 2007
    [Wolf] Blitzer: If you don't think there needs to be a fence, why did you vote for that legislation?

    Biden: Well, that fence was -- the reason I voted for the fence was that was the only alternative that was there. And I voted for the fence related to drugs. A fence will stop 20 kilos of cocaine coming through that fence. It will not stop someone climbing over it or around it. And so -- but this bill has a much more reasonable provision in it. It has much -- a shorter fence. It does have the Border Patrol requirements. And it is designed not just to deal with illegals, it's designed with a serious drug trafficking problem we have."

    In 2006, Biden voted for a fence: "Secure Fence Act of 2006" (H.R.6061), Library of Congress website, Sep. 29, 2006



    A) REINFORCED FENCING.-In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors..."

  • On Gay Marriage: Meet the Press with Tim Russert, June 4, 2006
    "I can't believe the American people can't see through this. We already have a law, the Defense of Marriage Act. We've all voted-not, where I've voted, and others have said, look, marriage is between a man and a woman and states must respect that. Nobody's violated that law, there's been no challenge to that law. Why do we need a constitutional amendment?"

On Biden's record:

For decades Biden has been at the forefront of the war on drugs, supporting new prohibitions against methamphetamine, Ecstasy, steroids used by athletes, and other new drugs as they became popular. Biden wrote the legislation that created the position of a national "Drug Czar", and his Anti-Drug Proliferation Act provides 20-year prison sentences for club owners, concert promoters, and people who throw parties in their home, if "drug use" takes place in such settings.

He wholeheartedly supported the actions of federal agents in the Waco standoff, and visibly sneered at witnesses in Senate hearings who questioned agents' acts. He was a key proponent of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act in 1994, which banned some kinds of semiautomatic rifles, with a sunset provision that allowed these weapons to become legal again ten years later. The law also allocated substantial funds for construction of new prisons, established boot camps for delinquent minors, and brought the death penalty for crimes related to drug dealing, civil-rights related murders, murder of a Federal officer, and acts classified as terrorism.

There's also his ties to MBNA and big corporations:

Over his long career in politics, Biden's biggest financial supporter has been the giant credit card company MBNA, which was also one of George W. Bush's biggest donors in 2000 and 2004. His son, Hunter Biden, was hired as a management trainee at MBNA straight out of law school, and was quickly promoted to executive vice president. The younger Biden has since left MBNA to establish his own lawyer-and-lobbying firm, but still receives a $100,000 per year consulting fee from the bank, which has since been swallowed by Bank of America. In 2006, Hunter Biden was appointed by President Bush to a five-year term on the Amtrak Reform Board.

Biden has been in the Senate since Nixon was President. Sen. Obama says he stands for change and a new kind of politics in Washington. That's not Joe Biden.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Inside Info? (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by IzikLA on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:28:00 PM EST
    So, I have a friend that was a Biden fundraiser during the primary.  He is in close contact with Biden and his team.  He does not work in politics but always said he would go work for him...

    This week he is quitting his job. He hasn't said what his plans are, and so I am left wondering...

    I am no Biden fan.  As with basically any other VP pick on Obama's shortlist I tend to ask the following "If __, why not Clinton?" -- ie., "If Biden (a Washington insider to the nth degree), why not Clinton?"...

    As you say Jeralyn, there are many other reasons as well...

    I really want to know what you would plan on doing if he is the VP pick, considering you have said it's a dealbreaker...

    I think Biden would be the (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:56:57 PM EST
    O Admin's pick for Secretary of State, but not VP. I don't honestly think Obama gets along with people who make him feel inferior. Biden is pretty sure of himself.

    Secretary of State (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:01:09 PM EST
    I wouldn't mind. But for him to have any influence over the Justice Department is just not acceptable.

    As VP, his role is more likely (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by MKS on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:14:58 PM EST
    to be in foreign policy....That would be why he is on the ticket....

    I think it is better to look at Obama's record on crime....Biden would have to follow Obama's lead....



    been there, done that (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:02:03 PM EST
    it's better than McCain's and Biden's but nothing to write home about. Here's just a few:

    Obama and Defendants' Rights: Progressive Or Not?

    Here, comparing him to Hillary (pretty similar, she flip-flopped less)

    Obama's changed positions on crime issues


    That's a relief. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by free the wm3 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:05:59 PM EST
    Because a horrible VP choice will make gigantic inroads in trying to re-capture the bitter callused-handed voters like myself and the 2/3rds of the rest of the party.

    A question. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Jeannie on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:38:33 AM EST
    Do you think it could possibly be Dean? Is that a silly suggestion?

    It just looked really logical this morning (none / 0) (#15)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:15:59 PM EST
    when Condi was being interviewed after having just returned from Georgia and France. If Biden went on the O-camp's request, he is doing what an SOS would do.

    but the vp can become president (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:03:01 PM EST
    should the president be unable to serve for any reason. Too close to comfort with Biden. He also is the tie breaking vote in the Senate.

    Primary Hangovers? (none / 0) (#98)
    by Athena on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:49:58 AM EST
    What about comments that Biden made about Obama during the primaries?  I recall one episode where Biden pointedly commented on Obama's lack of experience.

    But Obama has no good options if he lacks the guts to pick Hillary.  I think Biden is a logical choice for Obama as he increasingly panics over his foreign policy deficiencies.  The Biden trip to Georgia fits this well.


    I don't think it will be him either (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:41:36 PM EST
    That's why I haven't gone all out with a new research project on him. I hope I don't have to. I also hope I'm not put in the position of not supporting the Democratic ticket.

    I can tell you (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by katiebird on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:43:51 PM EST
    That it's not a happy place. But you can find peace.

    Sigh (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by cawaltz on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:49:25 PM EST
    I wish they'd just announce already so I can choose which side of the fence I am on.

    I always (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Bluesage on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:52:33 PM EST
    Picture Biden standing in front of a mirror talking to himself when he's alone.  And isn't he owned by the credit card industry.  Delaware, hello?

    The Senator from MasterCard (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:26:40 AM EST
    I think that Biden's connection to the credit card industry makes him politically problematic, if not disasterous.

    Credit cards are one of those "micro" issues that people identify with when they think about the "macro" issue of the economy, because they have a direct connection to peoples lives.  People don't like credit-card companies, and Biden is so closely tied to them that the relationship can be exploited by McCain and the GOP.


    Perhaps choosing Biden is Obama's way of (none / 0) (#113)
    by jawbone on Fri Aug 22, 2008 at 11:14:57 PM EST
    reasrruring the banking sector that they have nothing to fear from an Obama administration.

    Why is he waiting so long? (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by masslib on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:08:56 PM EST
    The fact that he's waiting so long, despite names like Biden, Bayh, and Kaine being out there for so long, make me think he may actually choose Hagel.  

    I don't think Biden is a good pick.  The crime issues are just part of it.  But I also think he's to wedded to his own ideas, so Obama would end up having to defend Biden's ridiculous partition plan.

    Actually another (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by txpolitico67 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:41:43 AM EST
    commenter posted that annoucing the VP is standard 7-20 days before the convention.  Obama still has his window.  I think that the whole issue relates back to the fact that the primary was "so long".  Like HRC said, RFK was electioneering into June.  Bill Clinton didn't have the nom until July 92.

    Although his VP pick doesn't really matter to me, I think that a little historical perpsective is in order.  Don't buy into the whole media-baiting thing.

    SOP for pols running for prez.


    Kerry announced john edwards on july 6 (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:53:50 AM EST
    for a July 25 convention.

    19 days out (none / 0) (#92)
    by txpolitico67 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:02:58 AM EST
    Like i said in my post.  The window has varied from 7 days to 20 days.

    It would be nice though to "get on with it."  I believe that there is something majorly afoot with all this grandstanding.

    Something's rotten in Denmark.


    I feel the Obama Machine (none / 0) (#62)
    by tlkextra on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:42:23 AM EST
    is frankly holding out until they are sure who will best serve their needs.  Since it seems things can change daily and polls keep dropping, they are waiting until the last minute. But, I also feel if he is getting a round of particularly bad press, they will announce as a distraction (they've been good at distracting away from bad press).  My gut says it will be Bayh because after analyzing the polls (no recent ones for Indiana), I think Indiana can be the tipping State. I do wish they had announced earlier though, since as I've seen noted elsewhere, it would have allowed the Clinton supporters a little time, prior to the Convention, to get over their disappointment that she wasn't chosen.

    The Obama Machine (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by Grace on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 04:52:31 AM EST
    ought to get their butts in gear.  They are losing a good many of us voters.  

    The Obama Dream Team is not connecting with a good majority of the registered Democratic voters.  Hmmm.  I wonder why that would be?  (Ha!)  

    I would like to suggest that Obama give straight answers to straight questions.  He is either pro-choice or pro-life.  He can't be both.  He has to be one or the other.  He has to pick a side!  


    I think Obama (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by tlkextra on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:07:33 AM EST
    needs to learn how to actually answer a question. After he rambles for too long, I stop listening. Get to the point please. Although this trait may help him in some sick way. If people start to tune him out, they may not realize he never answered the question.

    I stop listening too. (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Grace on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:34:45 AM EST
    I think this is a good deal of the reason he is losing voters:  He doesn't answer questions with clear responses a lot of people can relate to.  



    as we learned in the debates (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 08:11:59 AM EST
    If Hillary didn't answer the question FIRST, Obama didn't really know what his answer was.  So, I figure all the hemming and hawing around is Obama trying to figure out how to answer a question without really saying anything.  If that's his goal, well......

    Direct responses (none / 0) (#74)
    by Grace on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:38:36 AM EST
    won't allow him to nuance his answers.  He needs to run around each question a thousand times to put the correct nuance on the answer.

    This doesn't make me happy but I think this is why he does it.  


    I also think (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by tlkextra on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:59:25 AM EST
    he comes across as somewhat thinking out loud and constantly editing himself as he tries to arrive at what is most politically correct for him.

    Obama always hedges (none / 0) (#83)
    by BernieO on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 07:40:47 AM EST
    for political expediency. Just look at all those present votes. That is why I really have no clue what he will try to do if elected.
    Not that I am sure of McCain either. Does he really think that Phil Gramm is an economic genius? Apparently there is serious talk of Gramm as Sec'y of Treasury. If McCain is considering this he is nuts. Gramm was the author of a lot of the deregulation that caused financial meltdowns. I think he has a lot of questionable things in his background, so I doubt that he would be confirmed, but for McCain to even consider this champion of greed makes me shudder.
    Of course this could just be posturing to appease McCain's base. I did not think McCain was a crackput free market fundamentalist (he did initially oppose Bush's tax cuts) but I would like to know. Anyone have any info?

    Word fog, it's what's for listeners when Obama (none / 0) (#114)
    by jawbone on Fri Aug 22, 2008 at 11:16:39 PM EST

    I'm not buying into anything. As of today, (none / 0) (#78)
    by masslib on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 06:42:55 AM EST
    that window just closed.  But I think he waited to long, given circumstances.

    This VP (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Bluesage on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:33:50 PM EST
    Picking game has become very tiresome and is beginning to look like just another in a long list of Obama weaknesses.  He can't seem to pin down any positions or a VP pick.  Good going DNC.  

    Barack "Indecision" Obama... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Grace on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:12:32 AM EST
    I dunno...  I don't think it would be a very good World Federation of Wrestling name...  ;-)

    Don't worry, (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by g8grl on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:36:45 PM EST
    Obama will pick Hillary.  Not that I'd be happy with that after Obama has been trashing the Clintons and the Clinton legacy (really, I think he's been trashing the Democratic legacy but Clinton was the last Democratic Pres so it mostly falls on him).  I believe that Obama has been on a timeclock to prove that he can win without Hillary.  Since it now looks dodgey and getting dodgeier, he'll be forced to pick her.  He's been dragging his feet about it and hoping for an uptick in the polls so he doesn't have to, but since he still hasn't pulled away as he should, he'll bite the bullet and pick her...and she'll save his a** again.

    At this point, it will look weak (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by catfish on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:39:34 PM EST
    if he had come out right at the beginning and picked Hillary it would have looked strong. But he's backing into it, and he will look weak.

    Not sure if she can pull him over the finish line.

    He could be a REALLY different, new kind of politician and NOMINATE Hillary, and agree to be her veep. He would be a hero if he did this.


    he's not the epitome (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by kimsaw on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 07:23:11 AM EST
    of strength anyway, so what does it matter. He's politically weaker without the strength she brings to the ticket. She may not be able to push him over the finish line, but the same question exists for Kaine, Bayh and Biden, but I'd put my money on her before the other lacklusters listed.

    And as far as him stepping down and being her veep, we can all Hope a great Change is coming, but he's no hero, just a politician who wants you to believe he already the "One" we need.


    I have to wonder if she would accept it (none / 0) (#46)
    by Grace on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:53:53 AM EST
    at this point?  

    She's a keener reader of the public than Obama is.  And if she isn't, well, some of her advisors are (Williams?)


    She would. (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:53:32 AM EST
    Especially if she could negotiate her position ;)

    I think it would be a poor move on his part to pick her now. It still may save him, but it really raises questions about his decision making abilities (as if we needed any more of that!), imo. He lost any momentum he had after the primaries and the all this time she could have been out there on the trail.


    I agree.... (5.00 / 5) (#77)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 06:01:54 AM EST
    ...and I think its glaringly obvious that Obama never wanted Clinton on the ticket to begin with.  His initial impulse was to nominate someone who would reinforce his message of "change" and pick someone who would do that --- now he's forced to deal with the fact that people aren't enamoured of "change" without "stability" and "a sense of direction", and he now has to rethink his decision.

    But IMHO, the Clinton VP boat sank a while ago.  I suspect that Clinton told Obama that she would be available as the VP pick until a certain date (aug.1?), and he had until then to ask her.  That didn't happen.

    I can't imagine that Bill Clinton would have given that "no one is ever ready for the Presidency" interview if Hillary was going to be the VP candidate.  And Hillary would have been resting up last week, not out on the campaign trail while Obama went on a vacation, if she was the pick.

    Finally, lets face it, it took over two months for the Oborg to "allow" Clinton's name to be placed into nomination.  Anyone who thinks that the Obama people are capable of negiotiating the VP nomination with the Clintons when it took so long to do something as obvious as making sure that her voters were acknowledged at the Convention is simply insane.  


    I don't think she will accept (none / 0) (#50)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:40:56 AM EST
    Why would she?  The VP is not a good path to the Presidency.  It's better for her to be a Senator, keep herself before the public, and run later.

    I disagree (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by IzikLA on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:36:37 AM EST
    With these assessments.  First of all, IF she was the pick she would know it by now and it would have been worked out well ahead of time.  I think we are well past the turning him down phase.  IF she is the pick then, yes, this is the biggest fake-out of all time, and in fact that is one of the reasons I think it could still be possible.  If the Obama campaign has generally done anything right it is to time the media and their announcements.

    Also, I think both Bill and Hillary have made it clear that she would accept VP.  She has said she would do whatever is asked of her and of this I believe her.  Also, the Clinton's truly desire to leave their mark on history and the first female VP is a big deal, whether some of us here say it or not.  

    In addition, I do believe she is the one and only person that does pull him over the line in November.  

    So, does she risk it and re-run in 2012 or does she take VP (another historical landmark) AND slide easily into the presidency in 2016?  I think the latter first and, if Obama feels he can risk it, the former... It's really up to him at this point, as it should be.


    What if they lose? (none / 0) (#108)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:27:15 PM EST
    What if America isn't ready for a Black with a woman running mate?  Then Hillary is toast.  Democrats don't like losers and don't support them if they try to run again.  Will Hillary take that chance with Obama?  I don't think so.  She and Bill are too smart and can read the tea leaves on this campaign.

    Thanks for the info on (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by txpolitico67 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:18:37 AM EST
    Biden's stances on gay marriage Jeralyn.  Wow. I really do feel all warm and fuzzy that not only does Obama like right-wingers against gays, his slightly possible VP or SOS thinks the same way.

    I pay just as much in taxes if not more.  I play by the rules.  I wish a damn Democrat running for high office would just either say, "if two people want to get married, let them, it's no one's business but theirs"  OR just say no comment.

    I got the idea that the gay bashing was the red flag used in 2000 and in 2004 to get the freepers out.  Man it completely disgusts me that the Dems are so uncourageous on this issue.  It doesn't have to BE a FRONT loading issue, but just, have some courage to stand up for what's right.

    Clinton42 got bullied into that Don't Ask Don't Tell crap.  I know a lot of gays were angry about that.  But at the very least Clinton 42 wasn't afraid to say if gays want to serve in the military they should be allowed to.

    No more second-class citizenship.  I have never been some radical gay rights person but man I am being pushed around by both Dems and R's.


    agree 100% (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 08:19:56 AM EST
    It's about time a dem stood up and said there is a difference between CIVIL marriage and religious marriage.  One has nothign to do with the other.

    I don't understand the attitude of leave marriage to the church.  First, RELIGIOUS marriage is already left to the church.  Second, tere are churches that support marriage equality anyway.  So, go ahead then, leave it to the church.

    Of course, if you oppose marriage equality based on NON religious reasons, then I want you to be asked all kinds of follow-up questions to defend your position.

    If your reason is because of "the chldren" then please explain why there isn't a cut-off age for marriage?  Please explain why heteros who are unaable or unwilling to reproduce need to get married?  Please explain why hetero marriages aren't disolved after the children become adults?
    Please explain why single people (both gay and straight) can adopt.

    There is no reason outside of religious beliefs that can be defended.

    And, relifious beliefs can't be logically defended either as long as a church wedding is not required for a legal CIVIL marriage.  Or as long as a church is willing to perform a religious marriage for a sames sex couple.


    Bayh (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by cmugirl on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 07:35:45 AM EST
    I was thinking Bayh, and have posted here several times, but the more I think of it, can you imagine the headlines the day after if Obama-Bayh loses?


    Or, if it's Biden and the election goes way into the next day for counting (like 2000), the headlines can be:

    "Just Biden time"

    Ok, yeah, it's early (even though I've been at work for almost 2 hours).

    Biden (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 07:41:47 AM EST
    as VP would be interesting in that I could watch the Obama supporting blogs either rescind every other criticism they previously had about Biden or watch heads explode.

    At least Jeralyn is putting forth some reasonable arguments against.

    Onama has created (none / 0) (#110)
    by tlkextra on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:30:10 PM EST
    himself a conundrum.  It's a catch-22. For many voters, he needs a VP to balance what they feel is his inexperience.  But he's been so busy saying he is not "old politics", that picking someone who may help bring in new voters, may lose him some of the hard-core followers who idealistically believed that was a reasonable attack. So it all balances out, which why I think his best bet is to pick someone for their regional vote potential.

    I think he is waiting until the last (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 08:32:00 AM EST
    minute so he can see just what the polls look like and what the issues are so that he knows which one he NEEDS.

    As you recall the "pundits", for what they are worth, all said he would anly pick Clinton if the polls showed that he needed to do that to win.  But, that if he was way ahead without her, he wouldn't need her.

    It's too late now to pick an unknown unless you want to spend the first month of a two month campaign introducing the VP to the rest of the country.

    This is turning into "rock, meet hard place"  "Obama, meet Clinton"

    And, that will pose a serious problem (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:38:14 AM EST
    I don't believe that Obama can win this by showing the country he picked his running mate based on what HE NEEDS to win. He better find something, and the VP pick is a good place to start, to prove to them American people he is making choices that are responding to what the country NEEDS.

    Obama has a serious credibility, competency problem and he refuses to address it with good decisions.

    It's too late for him to prove to the voters that he sees and agrees with 18M+ people who believe Hillary Clinton in a top leadership role would be good for the country.


    that's right (none / 0) (#99)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:51:34 AM EST
    he should be picking his VP based on who could actually step in and be president if necessary.

    There should be NO OTHER criteria.


    I'm not so sure it's too late (none / 0) (#111)
    by sj on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:33:46 PM EST
    It's weird.  It would have been best if he had done it in June.  

    Having missed that window, he's kind of better off naming her now really close to the convention, than he would have been a week or two ago.  Now (to those of us who don't obsess about this sort of thing) is kind of natural time to announce.  In fact, many people (those of us who don't obsess...) are just assuming that it actually will be Hillary.  They'll lift their attention from their daily lives and see it as the start of the convention hoopla.  

    I also think it's more likely now that he'll select her (albeit kicking and screaming) than it was two weeks ago when he thought his personal mojo was enough to carry him through.  Mojo has taken a beating and he might even be starting to realize it.


    The (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by tek on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:13:33 AM EST
    whole VP question has just become a joke.  The fact that Obama won't even consider the candidate who pulled the most votes ever in an election just highlights his petty, arrogant, inexperienced attitude.  This guy is not presidential material.  That's the biggest problem the Dems will have this time around.

    Can't happen (none / 0) (#2)
    by mmc9431 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:30:51 PM EST
    If there is any honesty in the campaigning by Obama, he can't pick Biden. He represents everything that Obama railed against during the primaries. He is as much of a Washington insider as you can get.

    I also don't think they would be able to control Bidens mouth! A few of his foot in mouth episodes during the campaign could be all McCain needs to get to the WH.

    Hmmm... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:42:59 PM EST
    No more of a Washington insider than Daschle, Kerry and Kennedy, who will - after all - be calling the shots.

    You think those are the (none / 0) (#8)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:51:35 PM EST

    I'm having a hard time believing that group is into this faith stuff in government.


    I think they started out as the puppeteers (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by athyrio on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:58:34 PM EST
    but probably Obama is getting to be a tad harder to control and they have their hands full and are not able to control him as well as they thought...Maybe a little trouble in paradise??

    Yes. (none / 0) (#109)
    by oldpro on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:33:51 PM EST
    Those are the puppeteers.

    The 'faith stuff' is just windowdressing (as we say in retail)... a staged setting to make the featured item look desireable to shoppers - voters, in this case.


    Not just Georgia (5.00 / 5) (#64)
    by cawaltz on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:48:31 AM EST
    Our buddy in Pakistan is stepping down. It appears Musharaff was getting ready to be impeached. Pakistan may get interesting boys and girls. Oh goody, I can't wait to break in our new "hope" and "change" candidate.

    Having a deja vu now... (none / 0) (#5)
    by txpolitico67 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:43:01 PM EST
    Back in the spring of 2007, Reid, Biden and Obama came to Dallas for a political rally.  It wasn't even that crowded (it was at Lee Park).  I can't even remember the specific occasion either.  

    I do remember a lot of people asking Obama to run for president there.  He then put his shoulder on Biden and said, "how 'bout it buddy, shall we make a run for it?"

    Of course they were having fun among us Democratic fans but now it starting to click a little.  

    Steven Clemons now says it won't be (none / 0) (#12)
    by rjarnold on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:03:17 PM EST
    Bayh so I guess Biden's chances are higher.

    But sources close to Obama report to me that after the "surge of concern" on the net about Evan Bayh, he has not been selected as Obama's VP running mate.

    It's wierd how most of the people who are 'concerned' about Bayh would be perfectly happy with Biden.

    The big question is (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:25:56 PM EST
    who would Ted Kennedy tell him to choose?

    Caroline is heading that committee for Ted since she has absolutely no political experience of her own to use for credibility.

    Kerry or Dean?

    If the O camp is sitting around thinking this is good publicity for them, I think they are so out of touch from reality they deserve to lose.

    The big truth is that the O choice for VP is only important because O is missing so many pieces.

    Heh - makes me think of Shel Silverstein's brilliant book, "The Missing Piece Meets the Big O"


    Sitting around (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:43:49 PM EST
    It just struck me that the whole Texting the VP announcement shtick was because they already knew they wouldn't be announcing this past week and were trying to keep up the interest.

    I don't think they think it's good publicity, it's that he/they are holding out to the last minute as well as hoping against hope something, anything will happen so they don't have to pick Clinton.

    Is there ANY other explanation that makes the least bit of sense?


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:28:37 AM EST
    Almost exactly a week ago I posted this comment.

    I think they are taking full advantage of the opportunity to float trial balloons.


    N, really? You think so.... (none / 0) (#88)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 08:27:15 AM EST
    Just why do you think we have these reports constantly from "sources close to the Obama campaign" who apparently don't have names, reports of who has and hasn't been "supposedly" vetted which come from some mysteriously unnamed people, and short lists.

    I think the Obama camp has been sufficiently good at keeping secrets that they WANT TO KEEP.  So I assume anything that gets reported as being from "source close to...." is nothing but a trial balloon.

    Remember whe the NYT reported what a "source" told them about the Faith Based initiative expansion?  Then the campaign claimed the times was lying?  How can you lie by reporting what a source tells you?  Obama just wanted to deny it when it didn't go over well.


    According to (none / 0) (#95)
    by DFLer on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:26:34 AM EST
    this article in the Strib, reprinted from the NYT, it's all about getting a list of cell phone numbers:

    The efforts spotlight Obama's push to harvest millions of cell phone numbers of potential voters through text messaging. And it could have a significant effect in November, when the campaign plans to use the technology to get out the vote.

    I sincerely doubt (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:04:15 PM EST
    the internet is affecting Obama's decision. This is about polling and focus group testing in the swing states and that's it.

    My question then (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by IzikLA on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:19:49 PM EST
    Is are there even bothering to poll Hillary against others?  I'd be surprised if the results weren't sobering...

    I really doubt it (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by wasabi on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 07:23:05 AM EST
    Since when is Obama's team responsive to a  "surge of concern" on the net?  His team doesn't seem to give a flying leap about any other concerns the net may have.  Why start now?

    Bayh and Biden (none / 0) (#22)
    by christinep on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:02:05 PM EST
    It would be instructive to see a side-by-side or summary of Bayh and Biden voting record (over the past 2 to 3 years.) I'm guessing that Biden would not be any more liberal/progressive than Bayh. A comparison of important vote categories would be helpful as well.

    One issue that I like Biden (none / 0) (#13)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:12:58 PM EST
    on is military affairs.  He seems to have a good understanding of our military.  

    He's a soft power advocate (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:39:46 PM EST
    and what he brings to the table is a comprehensive understanding of how a population can get radicalized by poor foriegn policy.  

    Clark does too and Clark is actually more articulate about it, but we do need all the soft power advocates we can get, I think.

    Insofar as a war on terror exists it can only be won, insofar as it can be won, through soft power advocacy.

    Everything else is just cutting off hydra head and politically exploiting fear.


    I hope Obama (none / 0) (#27)
    by standingup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:18:00 PM EST
    makes the announcement Monday or Tuesday.  This is not intended to be a criticism of Jeralyn's post but overall I am just very tired of all the speculation over the choice of running mates.

    This is the biggest risk he's taken (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by catfish on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:37:28 PM EST
    in politics. He has taken very few risks, and I don't include running for office as a major risk.

    No matter who he picks, some group will be pissed. He has never faced this before.


    The question is (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:43:07 PM EST
    Is he putting off a difficult decision and will that be a foreshadow of how his administration will handle difficult decisions going forward.

    Or is he trying to time it for maximum effect.

    Or is he just really really really really thinking it through over and over and over and over again?

    At the peak of my dislike for Obama I would have said, for sure, it was the first option above.


    So, in light of this (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:54:02 PM EST
    was his 10 day vacation poorly timed? Is he really undecided still?

    About the vacation... (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by IzikLA on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:27:00 AM EST
    I think he needed it to mull over and feel confident in his VP decision and to try to build any excitement pre-convention...

    I hope the vacation has made him step outside the campaign boundaries and realize that by not picking Clinton he might be putting himself and the country at an unnecessary risk...

    One can hope.


    You would think that (none / 0) (#49)
    by txpolitico67 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:38:26 AM EST
    Michael Dukakis would advise him to take a vacation November 5th.

    Dukakis would be a great authority on why one should NOT take a vacation after u win ur primary and before the general.

    A good question to ask also is who is Obama's Willie Horton?


    This is part of what scares me about (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Grace on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:25:12 AM EST
    an Obama presidency:

    Is he putting off a difficult decision and will that be a foreshadow of how his administration will handle difficult decisions going forward

    I don't see him as a decisive person.  I don't know how anyone else can either since that is not his "schtick."  He's all about nebulous things like hope, change, transformation, post-racial, new politics, etc.  A bunch of code words that stand for whatever you want them to stand for.  

    Maybe "new politics" means he won't name his VP until the day before the General Election?  ;-)  


    It's just another vivid example of (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:52:20 AM EST
    how Obama makes decisions based on what's good for Obama; the people and the country come in a very distant second, third, fourth....

    If he does announce Hillary, he has made it clear that it is under duress and that she needs to know she is not welcome to think of herself as his leadership partner. She's just votes to get him where he's going (I continue to believe his ambition is to be a former President making the kind of money WJC is making).

    She brings a passion for serving people to the ticket that he simply doesn't have, and he really, really doesn't want to put himself in a position where he has to up his game.


    He hasn't decided yet (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:36:59 AM EST
    I really believe that.  He's waiting to see how low he goes in the polls, to know if he MUST choose Hillary.  He's so arrogant that it hasn't occurred to him that Hillary is likely to say "thanks, but no thanks".  

    I think you're right, (none / 0) (#79)
    by kimsaw on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 07:08:42 AM EST
    but Hillary will say yes. She'd do it for the Country , for Women and for the party (that kind of loyalty they don't deserve).

    After watching most of the Warren Debate, Obama continues to under perform. I really thought he would play better than McCain in front of an  audience even if it was an evangelical crowd. After all he's the one that draws the crowds and he sponsored that gospel tour.  I figured McCain would be too gruff, too combative and his vision too narrow. Well McCain's vision may have been narrow, but his presentation and likability got an A+. As my husband said, "I may not agree with the man on every issue but he's offering what he thinks and I can respect that." Obama's foggy presentation may very well be his undoing.

    If Obama's judgment is so regaled by Daschle and the like, why can't they "get it" that the best way to cement a victory for the Dems is to make Clinton his VP. As a voter I don't care about their personalities. I care about what's in the best interest of my country. If Obama can't work with Clinton, a member of his own party, than how can he work with the opposition? Is he more comfortable with the opposition and how does that bode well for the future of the Democratic Party?  

    Clinton proved her worth, her Dem credentials, her stamina under attack and  she's a policy wonk. Obama and Clinton could compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses, its too bad that Obama's stellar judgment can't figure that out.


    Good Performances (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:27:38 PM EST
     put those nagging age-related concerns about McCain to bed. Maybe he is not so out of it after all, the thinking may go, and, bang, Senator Obama is is trouble.  

    Well, he's waited too long for maximum (none / 0) (#37)
    by masslib on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:47:15 PM EST
    effect.  There are not so many rockstars in the Party.  After all the build up, anyone will be a disappointment especially for the Hillary supporters.  He's reached a point of diminishing returns.  Unless he's running with Elvis.

    Close to convention (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by waldenpond on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:37:31 AM EST
    I had to look up the history.... Clinton announced his VP on Thurs July 9 1992, convention on the 16th.  Gore announced Tues Aug 8 2000, convention on the 17th.  Kerry announced Tues July 6, 2004 convention on the 26th.   7, 9 and Kerry seemed unusual with 20 days.  If Obama announces tomorrow, that's 7.  The media has killed the energy of the announcement.  They have debated each possible running mate in depth already.

    But, there are still differences (none / 0) (#47)
    by JavaCityPal on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:23:40 AM EST
    How long past the "end" of the primary were those announcements?

    The difference this time is that the candidate cannot/does not stand alone. Whether he improves his polling numbers is dependent on who he chooses to prop him up.


    Actually (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by Faust on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:23:22 AM EST
    If he picked Hillary I still think he would get a pretty big effect. One reason to pick her is that she is the only pick that would not be anti-climactic...in my opinion.

    I agree with this (5.00 / 6) (#59)
    by IzikLA on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:22:23 AM EST
    An announcement now would be truly extraordinary.  Hillary is the only pick that is easily explained all the way around (he can say '18 million voters' and 'unity' and wrap that argument up).  Everyone else requires a less that perfect explanation.

    The thing is, I believe he is aware that he is kind of between a rock and a hard place.  What other VP options are exciting?  It would have to be someone's name we have yet to hear quite honestly.  Most if not all other announcements will be an extremely disappointing, not all that riveting news story.

    If he announced Hillary he would get an immediate bounce, he would unite the party in one fell swoop, he would have the added bonus of appearing strong, confident and presidential, and he would give the impression after several months post-primary that he, himself, has given this decision much thought and has come to the conclusion that Hillary is the Best person for the job.


    I don't know if Hillary can help him now (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:43:10 AM EST
    I have the McCain portion of the forum on now. I had only read about it, but d@mn, McCain is being very clear and concise. Hillary or any other VP choice will not be debating him or be the president. Obama needs to get serious on the issues in a clear concise manner. He needs to be able to answer questions, keep it short/clear and let his positions be known in a manner that has no doubt. I may not agree with McCain, but his "straight talk" does show his experience. He has no problem giving an opinion or answering questions. I think I'm glad I haven't seen the Obama part at the moment, if recent history is any guide. I had thought McCain had lost some of his edge, but he's doing pretty well. Very comfortable. Oy.

    To get the full impact (none / 0) (#65)
    by tlkextra on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:54:56 AM EST
    you should have watched it in the actual order. I talked back to the TV while Obama was on, saying "that wasn't a great answer", "okay, good so far, now stop talking" and "Somebody needs to tell Obama to give a direct answer and then go into his reasons if he is so compelled" - otherwise people nod off and go away not knowing his stance.  Then lo and behold, McCain comes out and does exactly what I thought Obama needed to finally learn how to do (he had the same problem in the Primaries)

    Sanchez has Warren on right now (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 04:32:17 AM EST
    apparently, along with the rules, he gave them generals of what he would cover. Oy again. I'm thinking it's a good thing I didn't see both. But if they cycle and show it again, I will watch.

    I've said it more than once, McCain camp paid attention to the primaries. And McCain is experienced and knows how to answer questions. And isn't afraid to. That was the transformation I saw with Hillary. She had her stance, but she got much better at putting it out there and still keeping the GE in mind. {sigh} can we have her back now? She would have been able to counter McCain with straight answers whether she went first or not. This IS where experience counts. And it's just the beginning.


    Even if they hadn't been given (none / 0) (#71)
    by tlkextra on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:21:48 AM EST
    a "heads up", Obama should have expected and been better prepared for the abortion question (among others). To answer it was above his "pay grade", in response to determining when a child should have rights, missed it for me. The question was phrased as "in your view". He was asked his personal opinion - nothing more.

    It seems like a bad idea to bring out the VP (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by tigercourse on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:42:16 PM EST
    when a large percentage of Americans are focused on the Olympics.

    But the Olympics run (none / 0) (#45)
    by standingup on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:38:50 AM EST
    for two weeks right up to the convention?  There are only 9 weeks between the end of the convention and the election.  He won't have much time to work on smoothing things out if his pick does not go over well.  Everything at this time points to a close race with little time to spare for recovering from any problems.  

    interest in olympics (none / 0) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:55:36 AM EST
    is expected to wane the second week, according to tv ratings site I read earlier, sorry, no link.

    I was jsut thinking that (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:04:38 AM EST
    Gymnastics will be over, also swimming. T&F is up now, but where does the USA stand in their chances etc? There will be baseball and basketball finals still, right? Focus is also shifting to Back-2-School, baseball's getting down to the wire and football is starting.

    Seems to me, local politics should be starting up soon also. I don't think I've heard a peep about anything local.


    I live in MA (none / 0) (#86)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 08:13:45 AM EST
    Not a yard sign on any of the routes I travel. I went up to NH last week to get a lawn mower part, and there were McCain signs everywhere. The locals had their signs up, too. More energized or more organized?

    Not for me! ;-) (none / 0) (#93)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:10:19 AM EST
    Track and field is my fave.

    But yeah, the screaming masses without the Phelps hype, will forget that the Olympics is even there.


    How is Biden (or the federal JD) responsible (none / 0) (#56)
    by ding7777 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:20:41 AM EST
    for the condition of Deleware's State prison problem?

    Realistically, what can a Federal official do concerning a State authority?

    when state prisons can't act competenlty (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:38:29 AM EST
    Someone files to have it put in receivershiop under th eauthorityh of a federal judge. The problems get solved then. While Biden was busy pushing his defense of marriage act, which should have stayed in the dstate courts, he was neglecting these inmates dying of AIDS in his own state. He didnt' care about them.

    Don't judge politicians by what they do for the not guilty, that's an easy one. What do they to do alleviate the draconian and dikensian conditions they subject the guilty to. Life in prison doesn't mean you can ignore an inmate with a broken spine who can't walk and tell thim he's lying. He isn't lying and by the time he gets to the hospital, the cancer has spread so far he'd dead within days.

    That is not how we honor our obligation to take care of those we are punishing.


    During a debate - (none / 0) (#75)
    by Josey on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:46:12 AM EST
    iirc - a moderator mentioned Biden's racial or ethnic slurs made many moons ago. Obama spoke up and assured the public Biden was not a racist, etc.
    (But of course, Obama needed the Clintons to be "racists.")
    And then there's the problem with Biden's plagiarism (in '88?).
    Neither are biggies at this point though.

    Biden made no racial slur (none / 0) (#90)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 08:48:43 AM EST
    He made the mistake of describing Obama as "articulate" and a couple of other positive things, which were taken in some quarters as condescending.

    Biden (none / 0) (#91)
    by cmugirl on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 08:58:12 AM EST
    said Obama was "clean and articulate"

    Biden made racial or ethnic slur (none / 0) (#97)
    by Josey on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:40:46 AM EST
    in the 80s or 90s.
    I thought that was the moderator's point - not his 'articulate' comment about Obama. No?
    btw - I never got why 'articulate' was considered racist.
    But then, I never understood why Hillary's LBJ/MLK remark was racist.
    Or her citing AP polling data about the white working class.
    During this primary, it seems the media was willing to cast many innocent remarks as "racist."

    I think.. (none / 0) (#103)
    by cmugirl on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:57:28 AM EST
    it was the "clean" part that was more offensive.  That, and the masses took "articulate" to meant that he was surprised that an AA could be articulate.

    masses that were duped by the media (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Josey on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:24:48 PM EST
    that thrives on conflict! - manufactured or real.

    Death Penalty (none / 0) (#101)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 10:44:47 AM EST
    "That's why I led the fight in 1990 to oppose the extension of the federal death penalty to mentally retarded persons."

    I suppose the point of that passage was that Biden added some 60 crimes to the list of those carrying  the death penalty.  BUT as the mother of a retarded adult (even if she is demonstrably not capable of   carrying out a crime), I have to focus on the sentence I quote.  To execute the truly retarded--or make them into bombs--seems to be the very definition of unhuman.  I will withhold my opinion of Biden a bit longer.

    Jeralyn: Steve Clemons (none / 0) (#102)
    by Andy08 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:49:22 AM EST
    seems to be indicating it might actullay be Biden.
    Here is his article in the Washington Note

    Have you read it? What do you think?

    Biden (none / 0) (#104)
    by JThomas on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:20:19 PM EST
    would be good vs a Mitt Romney in the VP debates.
    Sure, Biden has vulnerabilities with his long voting record but I believe he has transcended those issues and become almost a national brand candidate. He has been front and center on big issues like Iraq and foreign policy for so long I could see him being deemed trustworthy as a VP candidate.

    Now, not to say he is perfect but no one is.
    Hillary would be good also but has some issues also...but I certainly would not be bothered by her selection either. Kaine would be good if he can bring Va. into the blue. Bayh would be acceptable if he guaranteed Indiana into the blue.
    Jack Reed is probably the single least objectionable VP candidate but he is not in a swing state so not sure if they can afford him.
    Wes Clark would be good but is totally untested in electoral politics..never has really run for any office.


    CNN is now touting the same type of story (none / 0) (#107)
    by americanincanada on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:36:34 PM EST
    When I first heard (none / 0) (#112)
    by tlkextra on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:36:02 PM EST
    of Biden's trip, I wondered about the timing being another "staged" effort by BO (they are great at orchestration).  To be able to ultimately say, "My VP was just in Georgia....."  After all, McCain vacationed there, he needs to top that.