Jonah Goldberg
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Vice president. Who among us can contain their excitement?

Not me. I can't wait to hear more from the man for whom brevity is a Rubicon he will not cross. Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you something about Joe Biden, as Joe Biden himself might say: Joe is the guy who will tell the hard truths, say the unsaid things - literally, not just figuratively - to ensure that he has gone the extra oratory mile in service to this great cause, America, for which he will give not merely his last breaths but an unknowable number of breaths in service of the country he loves, never once tiring or being distracted by the grammatical ballast of the period, the wedge issue of the paragraph break or the thud of his audiences' heads soporifically smacking the tables in front of them. No, never let it be said that Joe won't say what needs to be said, not only when it needs to be said but the other times as well, again and again and, ladies and gentlemen, again.

One can only hope the perpetual motion machine that is Biden's mouth will, like a million monkeys banging on typewriters, eventually stumble on a plausible explanation for why Obama picked Biden, of all people.

It's a leaden cliche to note that the choice of a running mate is the first "presidential" decision a candidate makes. What, then, does it say that Obama's first such decision contradicts the alleged promise of his presidency?

In his career-making speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, Obama ridiculed "the pundits" who "like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states; red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats." But when it came time to act "presidential," Obama passed on several short-list VP candidates from red states - the governors of Virginia, Kansas and Iowa - in favor of the senator from deep-blue Delaware.

Over the last two years, Obama's campaign has gone further, investing a great deal in this idea of Obama as a postpartisan candidate who transcends all of these silly categories. Quoting the candidate, the official Republicans for Obama Web site proclaims: "For the first time in a long time, we have the chance to build a new majority of not just Democrats, but Independents and Republicans who've lost faith in their Washington leaders but want to believe again - who desperately want something new."

And to feed that bottomless yearning for the new, Obama picked a Democrat who was first elected to the U.S. Senate when Obama was 11 years old and Richard Nixon was still popular. When Biden - already a seasoned pol - first ran for president, Duran Duran was still thought of as the cutting edge of music. What happened? Was Robert Byrd too trendy?

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Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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