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Thread: Official: Barack Obama picks Joe Biden for Vice President

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    Elite Member january's Avatar
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    Default Official: Barack Obama picks Joe Biden for Vice President

    By LIZ SIDOTI and NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writers 19 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON - Barack Obama selected Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware late Friday night to be his vice presidential running mate, according to a Democratic official, balancing his ticket with an older congressional veteran well-versed in foreign policy and defense issues.
    Biden, 65, has twice sought the White House, and is a Catholic with blue-collar roots, a generally liberal voting record and a reputation as a long-winded orator.
    Across more than 30 years in the Senate, he has served at various times not only as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee but also as head of the Judiciary Committee, with its jurisdiction over anti-crime legislation, Supreme Court nominees and Constitutional issues.
    In selecting Biden, Obama passed over several other potential running mates, none more prominent than former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, his tenacious rival in dozens of primaries and caucuses.
    The official who spoke did so on condition of anonymity, preferring not to pre-empt a text-message announcement the Obama campaign promised for Saturday morning.
    Obama's campaign arranged a debut for the newly minted ticket on Saturday outside the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.
    Hundreds of miles to the west, carpenters, electricians, sound stage gurus and others transformed the Pepsi Center in Denver into a made-for-television convention venue.
    Tucked away in one corner were thousands of lightweight rolled cardboard tubes, ready-made handles for signs bearing the names of the Democratic ticket — once the identity of Obama's running mate was known.
    While Obama decided against adding Clinton to his ticket, he has gone to great lengths to gain the confidence of her primary voters, agreeing to allow her name to be placed in nomination at the convention and permitting a roll call vote that threatens to expose lingering divisions within the party.
    Biden slowly emerged as Obama's choice across a long day and night of political suspense as other contenders gradually fell away.
    First Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine let it be known that he had been ruled out. Then came word that Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana had also been passed over.
    Several aides to Clinton said the Obama campaign had never requested financial or other records from her.
    Other finalists in the veep sweepstakes were Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Texas Rep. Chet Edwards.
    Among those on the short list, Biden brought the most experience in defense or foreign policy — areas in which Obama is rated relatively poorly in the polls compared with Republican Sen. John McCain.
    While the war in Iraq has been supplanted as the campaign's top issues by the economy in recent months, the recent Russian invasion of Georgia has returned foreign policy to the forefront.
    In addition to foreign policy experience, Biden, a native of Scranton, Pa., has working-class roots that could benefit Obama, who lost the blue-collar vote to Clinton during their competition for the presidential nomination.
    Biden was elected to the Senate at the age of 29 in 1973.
    He spent the day at his home in Delaware with friends and family. The normally loquacious lawmaker maintained a low profile as associates said they believed — but did not know — he would be tapped. They added they had been asked to stand by in case their help was needed.
    No sooner had word spread of his selection than McCain's campaign unleashed its first attack. Spokesman Ben Porritt said in a statement that Biden had "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."
    As evidence, Republicans cited an ABC interview from August 2007, in which Biden said he would stand by an earlier statement that Obama was not ready to serve as president.
    Biden is seeking a new Senate term in the fall. there was no immediate word whether he intended to change plans as he reaches for national office.
    Biden dropped out of the 2008 race for the Democratic presidential nomination after a poor finish in the Iowa caucuses, but not before he talked dismissively of joining someone else's ticket.
    "I am not running for vice president," he said in a Fox interview. "I would not accept it if anyone offered it to me. The fact of the matter is I'd rather stay as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee than be vice president."
    It was his second try for the White House. The first ended badly in 1988 when he was caught lifting lines from a speech by British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock.
    In the decades since, he become a power in the Senate, presiding over confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominees as well as convening hearings to criticize President Bush's handling of the Iraq War.
    Biden voted to authorize the war, but long ago became one of the Senate's surest critics of the conflict.
    Obama worked to keep his choice secret, although he addressed the issue broadly during the day in an interview.
    "Obviously, the most important question is: Is this person ready to be president?" Obama told "The Early Show" on CBS. Second, he said, was: "Can this person help me govern? Are they going to be an effective partner in creating the kind of economic opportunity here at home and guiding us through some dangerous waters internationally?"
    And, he added: "I want somebody who is going to be able to challenge my thinking and not simply be a yes person when it comes to policymaking.
    ___
    Associated Press writers David Espo in Denver, Angela K. Brown in Waco, Texas, Glen Johnson in Boston, Randall Chase in Greenville, Del., Bob Lewis in Richmond, Va., John Hanna in Topeka, Kan., Scott Lindlaw in San Francisco and Jesse Holland in Washington contributed to this report. Pickler reported from Chicago.



    Official: Obama picks Biden for veep - Yahoo! News
    Women ain't gonna let a thing like sense fuck up their argument. - Chris Rock

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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    I like it. Bravo. Its a strong ticket and I am SO glad he didn't go with Bayh or Kaine.

    Interesting, gutsy and savvy choice. Biden is a fighter and a solid guy. I'm excited!

    Obama-Biden '08!

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    Elite Member january's Avatar
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    Me too, Cali! I'm super happy regarding this decision, it was a very smart calculated move. I knew he wouldn't choose Hillary but I still was very happy to see it confirmed! This is one strong ticket!
    Women ain't gonna let a thing like sense fuck up their argument. - Chris Rock

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    It's past time somebody came out swinging-maybe this is it. I want mud-slinging! I want screaming! I want some action! I swear, Grimm could have done better.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Shoot, I didn't see this thread for Obama's VP pick. Is this a good pick, or bad?

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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    I'm excited! Check the website:

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    Good strong pick. Bonus points Biden has all the kinds of experience that the McSame campaign has been screeching that Obama lacks. And Biden doesn't take any crap, he'll knock McCain upside the head for all those stupid attack ads the Republicans have a penchant for running. Great choice!

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    Can someone give this mere 'forner a quick Biden101 presentation?
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    hmmm i'm not overly familiar with biden but i have a generally positive view of him from what i do know. i'm just worried that neither of them are from the South/Bible belt, etc...
    like it or not, they need to appeal to the more moderate conservatives in those areas if they want to stand a chance.
    i'm skerred.
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    The Case Against Joe Biden

    Yesterday we argued for why Barack Obama should pick Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. Today we tackle the opposite argument.

    Loose Lips Sink Ships

    Over the course of his presidential bid, Biden cemented his reputation as -- how to put this nicely? -- less than disciplined on the campaign trail.

    In the summer of 2006, as he was publicly mulling the race, Biden set off a controversy over comments he made about Indian Americans.

    "I've had a great relationship [with Indian Americans]," Biden said. "In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."

    On the day he formally announced his candidacy, a New York Observer story that quoted Biden as calling Obama "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" came out, and the resultant uproar effectively undercut any momentum Biden was hoping to build.



    Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, talks to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) during the hearing.

    While Biden was on his best verbal behavior for much of the rest of the campaign, there is no question that his tendency to shoot from the lip worries some in Obama world. As one Democratic consultant put it: "You know there will be three days in the campaign where someone in Chicago will get a call and respond -- 'What did you say he said?.'"

    For a campaign that prides itself on its message discipline, choosing Biden would be introducing a wildcard into the mix. The Obama campaign exudes quiet confidence that if they do the basic political work between now and Nov. 4 the Illinois senator will be president. Do they really want to risk it with Biden?

    Plagiarizer In Chief

    Way back in 1987, Biden was riding high in the presidential race -- widely regarded as a serious contenders for the Democratic party's nod.

    Then Neil Kinnock happened. Biden borrowed passages of a speech given by Kinnock, a leader in Britain's Labour Party, without attribution -- a mistake that led to a detailed examination of Biden's public statements that turned up several more examples of potential plagiarism and resume inflation. The feeding frenzy eventually chased the Delaware senator from the race.

    The incident has become the stuff of political lore -- type "Joe Biden and Neil Kinnock" into Google and more than 37,000 hits are returned -- even though those close to Biden insist that the actual facts surrounding the incidents are largely overblown.

    Maybe. But, while any political junkie worth his (or her) name knows all about the Kinnock incident, it's a mistake to assume the average voter knows about it. In the words of one Republican strategist: "Old news inside the Beltway, new news outside."

    That reality means that in every story about Biden done in the aftermath of his selection, Kinnock's name and the allegations of plagiarism would come up. It would complicate the desired flawless roll-out of the new ticket and could even raise questions about Obama's commitment to a new kind of politics.

    Washington Insider

    The central tenet of Obama's campaign message is that if Americans want to change their government, then they have to change the people they send to Washington.

    Picking Biden, who has served in the Senate for the better part of the last four decades, seems to run counter to that core message. Biden was elected to the Senate at age 29 and spent only four years after graduating from Syracuse Law School in 1968 working in the private sector before entering public life.

    Biden has long been a regular on the Sunday talk show circuit and is one of the pillars of the Democratic party establishment. His accomplishments -- of which there are many -- all were achieved as a senator operating inside the deepest heart of political Washington.

    Biden allies note that despite his long service in Washington he is, at his core, an outsider inside the Beltway. While that may well be true, the optics for Obama aren't great; he can't change the fact that in picking Biden he would be going with someone who has spent nearly his entire adult life not only in politics but as a member of the world's greatest deliberative body.

    Joe Loves Joe

    One of the most overlooked episodes during the 1987 collapse of Biden's campaign was a snippet of footage captured by C-Span in which the Delaware senator, in response to a question about where he went to law school and what sort of grades he received, delivered this classic line: "I think I have a much higher IQ than you do."

    While any human being -- especially a candidate for president who is constantly being poked and prodded -- can be forgiven a momentary flash of temper, Biden's detractors point to that incident as evidence that the senator thinks he is the bee's knees and doesn't care who knows it.

    Biden, by his own admission, has the capacity to fall in love with his own voice and wander off on tangents about his life that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    During the 2006 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the Post's Dana Milbank wrote this of Biden's performance:

    "Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., in his first 12 minutes of questioning the nominee, managed to get off only one question. Instead, during his 30-minute round of questioning, Biden spoke about his own Irish American roots, his "Grandfather Finnegan," his son's application to Princeton (he attended the University of Pennsylvania instead, Biden said), a speech the senator gave on the Princeton campus, the fact that Biden is "not a Princeton fan," and his views on the eyeglasses of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)."

    Ouch.

    There is evidence from the Democratic primaries that Biden is not only aware of his tendency to go on (and on) about himself but is also able to curb that natural tendency, however. In one of the best moments in an unending series of Democratic debates, Biden was asked by moderator Brian Williams whether he possessed the "discipline" to be the leader of the free world. Biden's simple response -- "yes" -- brought the house down and put the Delaware senator in The Fix's "winners" column for the night.

    Agree? Disagree? What did we miss in making the case against Biden? Feel free to offer your thoughts in the comments section.

    The Case Against Joe Biden - The Fix

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    I think Biden is a solid choice - he's not known for pussyfooting around. I think he'll be more aggressive with McCain than Obama, but I hope he can do it without sticking his foot in his mouth in the process.
    “What are you looking at, sugar-tits?” - Mel Gibson

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    I am loving this pick! More fun than Teresa Kerry for sure!

    A government big enough to give you everything you want,
    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    I'm all for Biden as VP. At first, I wasn't sure but the more I found out about Biden I realized he was the best choice. He shores Obama up in ALL of his weak areas. He brings Washington/foreign policy experience, he's got strong support among white blue-collar voters, and he has no problem going on the attack.

    And the best part is, Hillary can't try to make the case that she has more experience that Biden, since he's got more experience than Obama and Hillary combined.

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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Biden's detractors point to that incident as evidence that the senator thinks he is the bee's knees and doesn't care who knows it.
    This had me I think it's kind of weak to call a politician arrogant...it's their JOB to project confidence! As long as they have the intelligence and follow-through to back up that arrogance, that's what I care about.

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