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Obama picks Sen. Biden for VP. Analysis + Discussion.

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posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 01:05 AM
As reported by CNN and all other news sources, Sen. Obama has chosen Delaware Sen. Biden to be his choice for Vice President of the United States.


Biden was born November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He grew up in suburban New Castle County, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Delaware in Newark in 1965. He then attended Syracuse University College of Law, graduating in 1968, and was admitted to the Delaware Bar in 1969.
In 1969, Biden began practicing law in Wilmington and was soon elected to the New Castle County Council, on which he served from 1970 to 1972, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Biden took office on January 3, 1973, at age 30, becoming the fifth-youngest Senator in history. He won his sixth term in 2002, defeating Republican candidate Raymond J. Clatworthy with 58 percent of the vote to Clatworthy's 41 percent. Biden had previously faced Clatworthy in 1996 and won then by an even wider margin. Since 1991,
Biden has also been an adjunct professor at the Widener University School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on constitutional law.
Biden is a long-time member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which he chaired from 1987 until 1995 and served as ranking minority member from 1981 until 1987 and again from 1995 until 1997. In this capacity, he has become one of the most respected Senate voices on drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties. While chairman, Biden presided over two of the more contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings ever, Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas in 1991.
Biden has been instrumental in crafting significant federal crime laws over the last decade, including the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the Biden Crime Law. He also authored the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 2000, which contains a broad array of groundbreaking measures to combat domestic violence and provides billions of dollars in federal funds to address gender-based crimes; part of this legislation later was struck down as unconstitutional. He also introduced the controversial RAVE Act in April 2003.
As chairman of the International Narcotics Control Caucus, Biden wrote the laws that created the nation's "Drug Czar," who oversees and coordinates national drug control policy. In this role, Biden continues to work to stop the spread of "date rape" drugs, such as Rohypnol, and drugs such as Ecstasy and Ketamine. In 2004 he worked to pass a bill outlawing steroids like androstenedione, the drug used by many baseball players.
Staunchly supportive of education, Biden's legislation has promoted college aid and loan programs and has allowed families to deduct on their annual income-tax returns up to $10,000 per year in higher-education expenses. His enacted Kids 2000 legislation which established a public/private partnership to help provide computer centers, teachers, Internet access, and technical training to young people across the nation, particularly to low-income and at-risk youth.
Biden's expertise in foreign policy, national security, and arms control issues has won him considerable bipartisan respect. In 1997, he became the ranking minority member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and chaired the committee from June 2001 through 2003. His efforts to combat hostilities in the Balkans in the 1990s brought national attention and influenced presidential policy: traveling repeatedly to the region, he made one meeting famous by calling Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic a "war criminal." He consistently argued for lifting the arms embargo, training Bosnian Muslims, investigating war crimes and administering NATO air strikes. Biden's subsequent "lift and strike" resolution was instrumental in convincing President Bill Clinton to use military force in the face of systematic human rights violations.
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Biden was supportive of the Bush administration efforts in Afghanistan but called for more troops there.
Biden ran unsuccessfully for President in 1998 and considered it again in 2003. In 2003 he decided otherwise, saying he did not have enough time to cultivate a sufficient fundraising base. Some thought Biden a possible running mate for presidential candidate John Kerry, but Biden urged Kerry to select Republican Senator John McCain. Biden also had been widely discussed as a possible Secretary of State in a Democratic administration.
Biden's name regularly appears on many short lists of fifteen possible democratic candidates for President in 2008. In December 2004, he said he would pursue the possibility, noting "I'm going to proceed as if I'm going to run." In June 2005, he announced that he would seek the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008 if he believes his message and vision for the country resonate with Americans. At that time, on Face the Nation, Biden said, "If, in fact, I think that I have a clear shot by this November or December, then I'm going to seek the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination."
Henry F. Themal, a columnist for the Delaware News Journal, reported in January 2006 that Biden had told him he would did not plan on making a "formal announcement until late 2007 or even early 2008."
On January 7, 2007 Biden announced on Meet the Press with Tim Russert that he would be filing for an exploratory committee. (video)
Biden's plans to run for the Democratic nomination for president were more clearly solidified with the announcement on January 10, 2007, that Luis Navarro planned to serve as Biden's campaign manager. At the time, his announcement was the most "public sign" of Biden's presidential intentions. [4]
On January 31, 2007, Biden officially announced his candidacy. [5]
Biden claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton's plan in Iraq would cause "nothing but disaster," that he doesn't "recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic," and that he doesn't think John Edwards "knows what the heck he is talking about" in an interview with The New York Observer.
Joe Biden Sourcewatch.

Biden seems a terrific choice for several reasons.

1. He is one of the most experienced senators we have. With a terrific record in foreign policy:

It's no suprise that Biden's in the running. The main reason is that his greatest strength--foreign-policy experience--is widely seen as Obama's greatest weakness. The Democratic Party's leading voice on foreign affairs--he's chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee three times during his 35 years in Washington--Biden is perhaps the only potential veep who could immediately and credibly go toe-to-to with Republican nominee John McCain on Iraq, terrorism, Afghanistan and Pakistan. As E.J. Dionne recently noted, "Biden has been critical of Bush's approach to Iraq and the world for the right reasons, and from the beginning."
Joe Biden Newsweek.

2. He is fearless and outspoken. He will take all the punches for Obama and dish out a few of his own. He is versed and proficient on a multitude of issues, understands the dynamics and games of beltway politics. As such he will be a terrific vice-president if elected along side Barack Obama. He has a biting humor and is incredibly passionate.

One however also has to admit that he like Obama does like the sound of his own voice which sometimes gets him in trouble.

While campaigning for the White House, Biden was roundly criticized when he described Obama as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." The remarks, uttered during an interview in January 2007, were interpreted as patronizing and, as the Chicago Tribune explained, "appeared to carry some pretty negative assumptions about the majority of the race."

The Public Record.

Incidentally, Sen. Biden's son will be serving in Iraq. He will be deployed in October.

Here's some more information about the deployment of Joe Biden's son, Beau, to Iraq: This will be his first deployment to Iraq and the first with the Army National Guard, which he joined in 2003. Moreover, he's going with the 261st Signal brigade, which is part of the brigade headquarters.

They leave for Ft. Bliss, Texas in early October and will undergo training there for a month or. An official says it's safe to say that the brigade will be in Iraq before the end of the year. The length of deployment will be one year. No word yet where they will be in Iraq and which division they will fall under.

This just happened, so I wanted to start the discussion.
I will bring much more information and analysis in the coming days.
In the meantime I also include a few links relevant to the discussion to get us going.

Joe Biden official site.
Barack Obama official site.
NY/Newsday Biden rundown.
Joe Biden Wikipedia.

[edit on 8/23/2008 by schrodingers dog]

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 01:13 AM
My take on the choice is that Senator Biden is the perfect 'wingman' for Barack Obama.

It is a choice, i believe, by Obama to quiet some of the doubters as to the sternness that Obama would take on foreign affairs. I see it as a move to attempt to quiet the people who have doubted Obama's experience - now he has experience running with him that is equivocal to some of the longest standing senators currently in office.

It is definitely a strong move by Barack Obama.

It seems to be a "good cop/ bad cop" sort of Presidential ticket.

Just my take on it

[edit on 8/23/2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 02:02 AM
Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden also share common views on many issues. This is to be expected as they are in the same party. These are issues however, like the Iraq war, at the forefront of the concerns of the American people in the coming elections.

Biden and Obama are in basic agreement on trade and key economic issues. Both argue that labor and environmental protections should be built into any open-market agreements, a position supported by labor unions.

Both have said they want to rescind Bush's tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans. Biden says even the targets of that initiative would applaud the move.

``Imagine what we could do if we had a president who had the nerve and the wisdom to understand that rich folks are just as patriotic as poor folks -- you just have to ask them,'' he said at a presidential candidates' forum last year. ``I spoke to a group of millionaires about taking away their tax cut, and when I explained how I'd use it, they gave me a standing ovation.''

One can also make the argument that picking Biden shows a degree of worry in the Obama campaign at the recent gains on the polls by McCain, mostly by attacking Sen Obama's experience as a leader and his readiness that the job of being president requires.

Analysis: Biden pick shows lack of confidence
By RON FOURNIER – 53 minutes ago
DENVER (AP) — 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 pick 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.

Democratic strategists, fretting over polls that showed McCain erasing Obama's lead this summer, welcomed the move. They, too, worried that Obama needed a more conventional — read: tougher — approach to McCain.

One of the other issues Sen. Biden has, is that of being a catholic who has always strongly supported Row vs. Wade. This was an issue for Kerry in the last elections because he contiued like Sen. Biden to take communion.

Fidelis President Brian Burch commented, "Barack Obama has re-opened a wound among American Catholics by picking a pro-abortion Catholic politician. The American bishops have made clear that Catholic political leaders must defend the dignity of every human person, including the unborn. Sadly, Joe Biden's tenure in the United States Senate has been marked by steadfast support for legal abortion."
M arketwatch

[edit on 8/23/2008 by schrodingers dog]

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 08:10 AM
Excellent posts, schrodingers dog! Great information.

I am thrilled with Obama's choice for VP! I think the fact that Biden is indeed outspoken and will not be a "yes man" is of utmost importance. While I trust Obama's judgment for the most part, it certainly won't hurt to have a seasoned, experienced "Washington insider" to give him the straight scoop when he needs to hear it.

I can see this ticket as being a real co-presidency, in that they will work together to preside, rather than the VP being just a place-holder or running the show from the sidelines. And I certainly trust that Obama is confident enough to make the final decision on issues even if he and Biden disagree.

I couldn't be more happy with this choice.

Like Obama, I don't agree with Biden on all of his stances, particularly his fevered focus on drugs and gun control, as I take a more Libertarian stance on most issues. But for the most part, I am fine with his opinions and voting record.

I am hopeful that with these two working together, the Health Care system might see some real changes. As well, we might just get out of Iraq. He voted for the war in the beginning, because he assumed Bush was competent, but now regrets his vote.

Joe Biden On The Issues

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 02:31 PM
A very good choice in my opinion.

I think he is probably the most complete VP candidate that Obama can have. He's more experienced than Bayh, and I think he will get along with Barack better than Clinton. He's also sure to help carry a state or so.

Biden seems to have everything that Obama lacks.

Biden has the foreign policy experience, and overall experience. He's been in Washington for 30+ years, and knows his way around the block.

Biden also stands very strong in what he believes in, and I know he will stand up for Obama as well.

I can't wait to see who McCain picks now, and am also very excited to see the debates coming up because I know Biden will make it exciting.

Star & Flag for the OP.

[edit on 23/8/08 by wisefoolishness]

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 05:43 PM
I hate to be the only person saying "I don't get it" but it seems to me that Obama is making a mistake. This decision says a lot about how Obama thinks the race is shaping up. Unfortunately the attitudes it seems to reflect don't sound entirely congruent with reality.

The impression that this choice gives is twofold.
1. Obama feels that there is substantial ground for him to gain on War on Terror issues and on Russia.

2. Obama feels that he needs somebody who can go on the attack and "out straight-talk" McCain in order to prevent a continuation of the perception that was created at Saddleback, where Obama's sometimes nuanced replies seemed to put his principles to death by a thousand qualifications, while McCain's answers were quite direct and certain. This was alluded to in the AP Story That member Schrodingers Dog posted from.

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 pick is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative

What Mr. Fournier of the AP seems to missed when calling Biden "the next logical step" however is that Biden has been too positive towards McCain in the past to get away with the level of condescension which is necessary in a "You're no Jack Kennedy" or "There you go again, Mr. President" style soundbyte. Again, as brought to us first by Schrodingers Dog:

Some thought Biden a possible running mate for presidential candidate John Kerry, but Biden urged Kerry to select Republican Senator John McCain.

Not only will Biden's criticism of McCain be rebutted with that however. The fact that he has spoken more strongly against his own running mate will be a problem. Both quotes have already gone into a McCain ad.
Ad on Youtube

Back to the issue of Obama wanting to shore himself up on Foreign Policy. Can Biden help him do that?

While Gallup Polls have found that Iraq and terrorism are still key issues, polls indicate that they are not as important to most voters as domestic issues, in which Obama was found to have an advantage.

So this is a move of fighting for McCain leaning independents or even dissatisifed members of the Republican base, rather than shoring up Obama's strength with his own base. This could be taken also as an indication that Obama really does intend to take the fight to red states like North Carolina and make John McCain play defense.

This could be a mistake since Gallup has also found that Obama is weak in base-support compared to John McCain.

Although Democrats outnumber Republicans in the electorate, McCain receives the support of a greater share of his party base than does Obama.

Whereas 84% of Republicans polled from Aug. 11-17 say they will vote for McCain in November, only 79% of Democrats say they will vote for Obama. A similar gap in party loyalty has been seen each week since Obama clinched the Democratic nomination in early June. Over this period, Obama's Democratic support has ranged from 78% to 82% while McCain's Republican support has ranged from 83% to 85%

So the decision to take Biden as a VP appears to be a decision to pursue an unworthy objective. Furthermore, there is no certainty that Biden can even accomplish that objective. Impact of Biden
Thirteen percent of voters say that Biden makes them more likely to vote for Obama, but 10 percent say he makes them less likely to, offering only a 3 percent net.

If Obama insists on contending for "Security Moms" rather than embracing Bill Clinton's victory Mantra of "it's the economy, stupid", then he might have been better served by taking Wesley Clark.

Wesley Clark has substantial advantages over Biden. First, he comes from the Clinton camp, which might improve Obama's standing with his own base after his party's borderline fratricidal primary fight. Second, not only is he an actual career military man rather than just another "expert politician", but he outranks McCain and has anti-Russia credentials. He has also already attacked John McCain's military credentials as being irrelevant to the office of Commander in Chief. Last but not least, he's a southerner, which would provide backup to Obama's apparent strategy of invading traditional red states.

[edit on 23-8-2008 by The Vagabond]

[edit on 23-8-2008 by The Vagabond]

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 07:25 PM
The Vagabond, did you hear the speeches by Obama and Biden today? Biden had no problem coming out against McCain. He respects him, but doesn't want another 4 Bush years, and made it clear that that's what we'll have with McCain.

I think Obama DOES feel that there is substantial ground for him to gain on foreign relations. I think he sees Biden as able to help him at the polls and in his presidency in the area of experience. I really think it's a strength to be aware of one's own limitations and lack of experience and to choose someone who can help him with it.

I think your other point is right, too. Obama is cerebral, thoughtful and intellectual. And while Biden is certainly intelligent, he is blunt and forthright, which makes a nice balance to Obama's "nuanced" style.

But I don't see either of these as a problem.

As regards the negative talk towards running mates, if McCain picks Mitt Romney, we're going to see a whole new level of arguments and "attacks" between the two of them during the primaries. They went at it a few times. McCain should be careful with his current ad because if he picks Romney, the other shoe is going to fall.

McCain/Romney Trade Barbs over Iraq
McCain/Romney Attack Records on Economy and Iraq

And that's bound to happen. If you're running against someone it's only prudent to attack what you think their weak spots are. Obama and Clinton threw a few barbs themselves, but have now come together.

As far as the eventual impact, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
I have never in my life been this excited about a presidential election. I hope I'm not disappointed. Biden was my first choice and I can't wait to see where this leads.

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 07:32 PM
reply to post by The Vagabond

I just wanted to bring up a couple of more issues to consider about Sen. Biden's selection by Sen. Obama for VP of the US.

First I would try to address the idea of Wesley Clark as an alternative choice to Sen. Biden. Clark whilst strong on military experience offers little else. He is a very poor politician who during his 2004 presidential bid, and in this election year, often caused and continues to cause himself many problems with the media and the opposition.

Some, such as Clark's biography writer Antonia Felix,[114] have speculated that Clark's inexperience at giving "soundbite" answers hurt him in the media during his primary campaign.[115] The day after he launched his campaign, for example, he was asked if he would have voted for the Iraq War Resolution, which granted President Bush the power to wage the Iraq War, a large issue in the 2004 campaign. Clark said, "At the time, I probably would have voted for it, but I think that's too simple a question," then "I don't know if I would have or not. I've said it both ways because when you get into this, what happens is you have to put yourself in a position — on balance, I probably would have voted for it." Finally, Clark's press secretary clarified his position as "you said you would have voted for the resolution as leverage for a UN-based solution."

After this series of responses, although Clark opposed the war, The New York Times ran a story with the headline "Clark Says He Would Have Voted for War".[116] Clark was repeatedly portrayed as unsure on this critical issue by his opponents throughout the primary season, being forced to continue to clarify his position such as at the second primary debate when he said, "I think it's really embarrassing that a group of candidates up here are working on changing the leadership in this country and can't get their own story straight... I would have never voted for war. The war was an unnecessary war, it was an elective war, and it's been a huge strategic mistake for this country."[117]

Another media incident started during the New Hampshire primary September 27, 2003, when Clark was asked by space shuttle astronaut Jay C. Buckey what his vision for the space program was after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Clark responded he was a great believer in the exploration of space but wanted a vision well beyond that of a new shuttle or space plane. "I would like to see mankind get off this planet. I'd like to know what's out there beyond the solar system." Clark thought such a vision could probably require a lifetime of research and development in various fields of science and technology. Then at the end of his remarks, Clark dropped a bombshell when he said "I still believe in E = mc². But I can't believe that in all of human history we'll never ever be able to go beyond the speed of light to reach where we want to go. I happen to believe that mankind can do it. I've argued with physicists about it. I've argued with best friends about it. I just have to believe it. It's my only faith-based initiative."[118]

This led to a series of headlines deriding the response, such as "Beam Us Up, General Clark" in The New York Times, "Clark is Light-Years Ahead of the Competition" in The Washington Post, "General Relativity (Retired)" on the U.S. News & World Report website, and "Clark Campaigns at Light Speed" in Wired magazine.

On June 29, 2008, Clark made comments on Face the Nation that were critical of Republican John McCain, calling into question the notion that McCain's military service alone had given him experience relevant to being president. "I certainly honor [McCain's] service as a prisoner of war," Clark said, "but he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the navy that he commanded--it wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been in there and ordered the bombs to fall."[142] When moderator Bob Schieffer noted that Obama had no military experience to prepare him for the presidency nor had he "ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down,” Clark responded that, ultimately, Obama had not based his presidential bid on his military experience, as McCain has done throughout his campaign. Clark's retort, however, is what drew rebuke. In referring to McCain's military experience, he stated: "Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”[143] Both the McCain and Obama campaigns subsequently released statements rejecting Clark's comment.

Insofar as Clark's affiliation with the Clinton camp, my thoughts are as follows. It seems that for whatever reason, the Obama camp does not consider the Clinton affect as a major problem. Apparently she was neither on his short list of VP candidates nor was she consulted for her opinion. Yet this seems to be a bigger issue with her hardcore supportes than with Clinton herself.

Barack Obama's former rival Hillary Clinton on Saturday threw her support behind his vice presidential pick Joseph Biden, even though some of her most ardent supporters remain unhappy with the choice.

In a statement released just hours after Obama's campaign announced his running mate, Clinton said Obama "has continued in the best traditions for the vice presidency by selecting an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant.
"Senator Biden will be a purposeful and dynamic vice president who will help Senator Obama both win the presidency and govern this great country."

Obama, 47, confirmed that he had picked Biden, a 65-year-old six-term senator from Delaware, in an early-hours email and text message sent out to millions of supporters.
The choice may be more difficult to swallow for Hillary Clinton's most dedicated supporters, especially after news leaked to the press that she had not even been vetted for the job.

"There's no doubt that some people are going to view this as she is not being accorded respect," James Carville, a Democratic strategist with close Clinton ties, told CNN on Friday.

A Democratic official told The Politico newspaper on Friday that Clinton was never vetted by Obama's camp.
"She was not asked for a single piece of paper. She and Senator Obama have never had a single conversation about it. How would he know if she'd take it?"

It seems to me that that there was only two ways for Obama to deal with Hillary Clinton. One, to pick her as VP and undertake a different multitude of issues and questions. The other, to distance himself completely and hope that Clinton supporters, at the end of the day, and despite their protestations, will not vote republican and McCain. Obama has obviously chosen the latter. And with the convention coming up, the last thing Obama needed was either Clinton flexing their muscles and drawing media attention away from him.

As far as Biden's views on McCain. My nice friend BH was kind enough to address this issue.

There is a great article in Newsweek going over the overt and underlying reasons that Obama chose Biden.

[edit on 8/23/2008 by schrodingers dog]

posted on Aug, 23 2008 @ 07:44 PM
While I disagree with much of what The Vagabond had to say, that was an excellent post.

Originally posted by The Vagabond
however is that Biden has been too positive towards McCain in the past

And many people are now saying that the John McCain of today is not the John McCain of yesterday. There is a thread about it here on ATS but the title escapes me. Afterall, Sen. McCain has flip flopped all over the place, Sen. Biden may have agreed in something that McCain used to believe in but doesn't anymore.

Not only will Biden's criticism of McCain be rebutted with that however. The fact that he has spoken more strongly against his own running mate will be a problem. Both quotes have already gone into a McCain ad.

Since we all know how great Sen. McCain's ads are. See Obama being compared to Moses, and we all know the one where Obama is compared to Paris Hilton, so I won't mess with that one.

Now about Biden attacking Obama. Of course he's going to attack him during primary season. Hillary did it and now she's practically begging Barack to help her pay off her campaign debts. I don't blame Biden for doing what he did, I'm sure most of us would have done the same thing in that situation. But maybe that's part of the reason why Obama picked Biden. He needs someone to keep him standing strong, and keep him honest in his political and moral values. If Barack has an idea that is crap, Biden won't be afraid to tell him it's crap, and you can't get that quality out of every candidate.

posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 04:43 PM
Granted that Clark, like any possible veep, comes with drawbacks of his own, and that McCain's runningmate will necessarily have his own baggage, I still question 1. Whether Obama is going in the right direction with his choice of running mate, and 2. Whether Biden is even the best pick for that direction that Obama has chosen.

Certainly Biden will go after McCain, but this is going to look like a major contradiction unless they can gain the moral highground to accuse John McCain of flipflopping as a justification for changing their views on him. According to a CNN poll however, both sides are widely viewed as flipflopping, so using that as an explanation for Biden's sudden disagreement with McCain is going to sound like the pot calling the kettle black, and probably won't be believed by independents.

CNN poll: Voters say both candidates flip-flop

Sixty-one percent of voters polled said McCain has changed his mind for political reasons; 37 percent said he has not. Fifty-nine percent of those polled said Obama also shifts positions with the political winds; 38 percent said he does not.

That's a change from 2004, Holland said.

"One of the reasons President Bush won re-election in 2004 was that only one-third of voters believed he would change his policy positions because of changing political dynamics. Most voters, on the other hand, believed that John Kerry was a flip-flopper."

Then there's the question of who exactly is going to think more of Barrack Obama's foreign policy strength based on the selection of Joe Biden. And the answer is politically involved Democrats. People who don't take an active interest on what's happening inside the Democratic Party don't know who Joe Biden is.

A Gallup Poll taken yesterday suggests that Biden is at least slightly more helpful than the earlier poll I cited claimed (+7% favorability now versus +4% on the last one) but that's still the lowest a democratic ticket has seen in recent memory.

A net 17% of nationwide registered voters said they were more likely to vote for John Kerry in 2004 on the basis of his selection of John Edwards as his running mate (24% more likely and 7% less likely).
A net 12% of voters reported being more likely to vote for Al Gore in 2000 on account of his choosing Joe Lieberman (16% more likely and 4% less likely).
A net 25% of voters were more likely to vote for Bill Clinton in 1992 on account of Al Gore (33% more likely and 8% less likely).

Gallup attributed this in part to a lack of recognition.

One possible reason for Biden's minimal impact on voter support for Obama today is that more than half of U.S. voters have no views of the veteran U.S. senator from Delaware, either not knowing enough about him to express an opinion or saying they have never heard of him. On this basis, Biden looks very much like Lieberman in 2000.

Does Obama really need to score points on Iraq with his own base? Has McCain extended any serious kind of common-ground plan targeting anti-war democrats or left-leaning independents? On the contrary I seem to recall him promising to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell again (which the anti-war side seems to read as, 'without regard for consequences').

It looks to me like Obama thought he was going to be going after the vulnerable edges of McCain's constituency with a foreign policy feather in his cap, but instead he got a mainstream Democratic intellectual who probably won't be listened to by those leaning to McCain's side. One sentence from the Newsweek story pretty well sums it up.

The difference between John McCain and Joe Biden is that one is on the side of change, and one isn't."

That quote from a senior Obama aide is why the Obama campaign thinks Biden can edge McCain out for Republican-leaners, but it's also exactly why Biden actually cannot do so.
His positive trait is that he reminds people of the Republican candidate. His negative trait is that he's not the Republican candidate.

What Obama really needs to do is ask himself why he's gone from being a "rockstar" to lacking excitement in his base to the point that the built-in Democratic advantage is negated by a projected Republican advantage in participation.

Whether he likes it or not, that probably has a lot to do with his primary fight with Clinton, so he really does need to make a gesture towards that wing of his party. Seblius, Clark, and Gore were all reasonable moves in that direction, each for a different reason, stopping short of taking Hillary herself (there was never much serious chance of that happening unless the party could twist his arm).
The problem with ignoring them is right there in the polls I posted last time. They are planning to stay home on election day, and that's perfect for McCain- it gives him the edge without actually having to compromise his positions to earn their votes.

Inexplicably, the Obama camp seems to acknowledge the points I'm raising with Newsweek:

The Obama campaign believes the recent tightening of the polls is the result of one main factor: Republicans coming back into the fold for McCain. Their goal with Biden is to bring home the Democratic holdouts—especially the ones who voted for Clinton in the primaries. Those voters want more than reassurance about Obama's foreign policy credentials, in the campaign's assessment. They want someone who looks and sounds more like them and can connect with them on their own terms about the economy. On that basis, the campaign points to Biden's record of working to put 100,000 new cops on the streets, to his ability to talk freely and easily in union halls, and to his limitless supply of stories about his humble Irish-American roots.

So now they are billing a foreign policy guy as a jobs guy. It doesn't seem like the hot setup to me. I envisioned Edwards as Obama's running mate up until the infidelity story broke (and I had predicted that someone would sabotage Edwards with a scandal before running mate selections if Obama was nominated), and I think the above seems to support that, as some unions including the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, withheld their endorsements after Edwards was out.

(Oh, and neither here nor there, but McCain's "Moses Ad" doesn't suck as bad as it might appear to. The combination of religious and political promises in one man is designed as a very subtle suggestion that he is the anti-christ and is actually quite likely to work with hardcore religious conservatives who think McCain is too soft on their key issues)

posted on Aug, 24 2008 @ 04:58 PM
Further analysis:

It seems that one of the reasons Joe Biden got the nod for VP is that the Dems believe that he wil make a difference in two very important battleground states: Virginia and Colorado

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Democratic governors of two states that the party is targeting in the November presidential election said Barack Obama's choice of Senator Joseph Biden as a running mate will reassure voters who question the presumptive nominee's experience on foreign policy and national security.

As party leaders and delegates convened in Denver to nominate Obama as their presidential candidate, Governors Tim Kaine of Virginia and Bill Ritter of Colorado said Biden's experience and record enhance a drive to tilt their states into the Democratic column.

Ron Elving ( tackles the risks/rewards of Joe Biden's outspoken nature. Whilst as has been said before Biden will be fighter for Obama, but he does also run the risk of being too outspoken.

It's not that Biden can't be a team player. He has been a senator for three-and-a-half decades, after all, so he knows how to be a prima donna within a larger opera. When it's important to hang together to be effective, Biden can do it.

But he is not the sort to stick to a script. From time to time, his lively spirit and fits of temper have led him astray, especially in moments of stress. Even more common are the occasions when his sheer verbal dexterity takes over and he simply talks himself out of an audience — or into trouble.

posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 10:54 AM
Senator Biden gives his speech tonight at the Democratic convention.

CNN) – Newly named VP candidate Joe Biden will heavily focus on his personal biography and Senate experience during his speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, the first opportunity most Americans will have to hear from the six-term senator.

In his highly anticipated prime-time address, the Delaware Democrat will also hit longtime Senate colleague John McCain hard on a wide range of issues and say the Arizona senator represents four more years of Bush administration policies, a Democratic source involved in crafting Biden's speech tells CNN's Dana Bash.

posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 09:44 PM
Beau Biden, Sen. Joe Biden's son just introduced his dad:

"Some people poke fun at my dad for talking too much. What some people don't know is that as a young boy he had a severe stutter. The kids called him 'Dash' .. now he speaks with a clear and strong voice. He says what needs to be said and he does what needs to be done."


n an emotional address that left Michelle Obama wiping tears from her eyes, Biden's son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, introduced his father and spoke of hardships his family endured while the elder Biden was in the Senate.

You can make fun of me if you will but he made me all emotional this kid.

In his speech Joe Biden said:

“The choice in this election is clear. These times require more than a good soldier,” he said, referring to McCain’s military service that includes his legendary five and half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. “They require a wise leader who can deliver change. The change everybody knows we need. Barack Obama will deliver that change.”

The whole thing was a bit a love-fest this evening, a little short on substance in my opinion.

[edit on 8/27/2008 by schrodingers dog]

posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 10:14 PM
Meanwhile, former US Senator Dennis DeConcini had this to say:

"Biden knows McCain," DeConcini told "He knows his weaknesses, and he won't be intimidated by him. John McCain, the fact that he is a national hero, a war hero, no question about it, uses that to intimidate people."

"Joe will expose real weakness of John McCain," he continued, "which is that has a temper that is dangerous for this country."

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 08:32 PM
Well I think the choice of Biden was more than simply a strategic move to get into the white house but also about what Biden brings to the table as a leader in his own right....JFK had LBJ - JFK could not pass legislation to save his life - literally - LBJ was the one with the clout, knew where the bodies were buried and had the hutzpah to use this knowledge to bring pressure to bear on an intractable there is the just in case factor - Obama knows the risk he is taking in running for office and should he win he wants a real backup for the American people as well as someone who will have his back...

also, contrary to what some folk in the press believe, I think this speaks volumes to the confidence (rather than lack) that Obama feels about his chances of winning, readiness and/or the appearance of same. I have a feeling that should Obama and Biden win - Biden will be one of the most notable VPs this country has ever had- he will not be a sideline player but an activist VP...

posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 09:05 PM
reply to post by realshanti

Well, I think you got everything just about right in your analysis.
The fact of the matter is that one of the character attributes of Obama is a sincere belief that he can make a difference. But he also knows that he hasn't been in the game for that long. So I can really see this taking shape with Obama having the long term policies and vision backed up by Biden and others who know how to get things "done" and know where to arm twist and where to compromise.

posted on Aug, 30 2008 @ 03:06 PM
As the days and weeks go by I will try to update this thread, bringing it up to date with relevant news or analysis if and when it comes up.

I have been looking lately for editorial reaction from the Middle East about Joe Biden. I found this interesting one from The Daily Star from Lebanon.

Here in the trouble-ridden Middle East, the countdown to US President George W. Bush's departure from politics began in earnest some time ago. The people of the region have endured nearly eight years of Bush's rudderless policy and ill-advised decisions, coupled with his studied neglect of the Arab-Israeli peace process during his first seven years in office. Most Arabs are now ready for a changing of the guard at the White House, regardless of who the American people might choose as their next president. But many are also hoping that the next administration will demonstrate a better grasp of the workings of this region.

That's what makes Biden such a welcome choice, not just for the people of the United States, but also those of the Middle East. If he and Obama are elected, Biden would come to the post of vice president with more than 35 years of experience in the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. During that period of time, he has visited the region on numerous occasions and is known to have listened attentively to the concerns of local leaders and citizens. He has also been among the most outspoken critics of Bush's haphazard policies in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and other countries in the broader region. Biden's extensive hands-on experience makes him a suitable candidate to guide US foreign policy in a much more realistic direction.

posted on Sep, 2 2008 @ 12:53 AM
With all the recent distractions concerning these elections that seem to matter little to the future welfare of the US, I have neglected to update this thread.

Let me remedy this by bringing this issue that is little talked about but which in my estimation is quite important. It is a great and detailed article by Declan McCullagh at cnet news.

Joe Biden's pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record

By choosing Joe Biden as their vice presidential candidate, the Democrats have selected a politician with a mixed record on technology who has spent most of his Senate career allied with the FBI and copyright holders, who ranks toward the bottom of CNET's Technology Voters' Guide, and whose anti-privacy legislation was actually responsible for the creation of PGP.

On Copyright

After taking over the Foreign Relations committee, Biden became a staunch ally of Hollywood and the recording industry in their efforts to expand copyright law. He sponsored a bill in 2002 that would have make it a federal felony to trick certain types of devices into playing unauthorized music or executing unapproved computer programs. Biden's bill was backed by content companies including News Corp. but eventually died after Verizon, Microsoft, Apple, eBay, and Yahoo lobbied against it.

Sen. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, whose anti-encryption legislation was responsible for the creation of PGP.
A few months later, Biden signed a letter that urged the Justice Department "to prosecute individuals who intentionally allow mass copying from their computer over peer-to-peer networks." Critics of this approach said that the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, and not taxpayers, should pay for their own lawsuits.

On Privacy

On privacy, Biden's record is hardly stellar. In the 1990s, Biden was chairman of the Judiciary Committee and introduced a bill called the Comprehensive Counter-Terrorism Act, which the EFF says he was "persuaded" to do by the FBI. A second Biden bill was called the Violent Crime Control Act. Both were staunchly anti-encryption, with this identical language:
It is the sense of Congress that providers of electronic communications services and manufacturers of electronic communications service equipment shall ensure that communications systems permit the government to obtain the plain text contents of voice, data, and other communications when appropriately authorized by law.
Translated, that means turn over your encryption keys. The book Electronic Privacy Papers describes Biden's bill as representing the FBI's visible effort to restrict encryption technology, which was taking place in concert with the National Security Agency's parallel, but less visible efforts. (Biden was no foe of the NSA. He once described now-retired NSA director Bobby Ray Inman as the "single most competent man in the government.")

On Anti-Terror

The next year, months before the Oklahoma City bombing took place, Biden introduced another bill called the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995. It previewed the 2001 Patriot Act by allowing secret evidence to be used in prosecutions, expanding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and wiretap laws, creating a new federal crime of "terrorism" that could be invoked based on political beliefs, permitting the U.S. military to be used in civilian law enforcement, and allowing permanent detection of non-U.S. citizens without judicial review. The Center for National Security Studies said the bill would erode "constitutional and statutory due process protections" and would "authorize the Justice Department to pick and choose crimes to investigate and prosecute based on political beliefs and associations."

On the Patriot Act

Biden slammed the "president's illegal wiretapping program that allows intelligence agencies to eavesdrop on the conversations of Americans without a judge's approval or congressional authorization or oversight." He took aim at Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for allowing the FBI to "flagrantly misuse National Security Letters" -- even though it was the Patriot Act that greatly expanded their use without also expanding internal safeguards and oversight as well.
Biden did vote against a FISA bill with retroactive immunity for any telecommunications provider that illegally opened its network to the National Security Agency; Obama didn't. Both agreed to renew the Patriot Act in March 2006, a move that pro-privacy Democrats including Ron Wyden and Russ Feingold opposed. The ACLU said the renewal "fails to correct the most flawed provisions" of the original Patriot Act. (Biden does do well on the ACLU's congressional scorecard.)

The rest of the article goes on to discuss:
"Baby food bombs"
"Peer to peer networks"
"Net Neutrality"


I found the article to be a comprehensive and fascinating synopsis of issues that are relevant to the ATS community.

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