Obama / Biden '08 -- What it Says About Barack

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Aug 23, 2008 2:32 PM
I like Joe Biden.  He was a harsh critic of Obama, and I agree with him on that.  He's a liberal, but he's also a working class Irish-Catholic sort who can have a beer with you.  He is, at least, not an effete limousine liberal.  And I can't fault him for accepting Obama's offer.  He seems so happy and delighted to be picked, and part of me feels good for him to (sort of) reach his goal.  After all, twenty years ago he was the young up-and-comer running for president.  He has endured a lot of personal tragedy, so part of me is happy to see him get this shot ...

And on a more cynical note, the blogger in me is happy to see someone Biden get the nod, because he is sure to say some controversial things in the weeks to come.  Let's be honest, the guy is a gaffe machine.  He has already driven two presidential campaigns into the ground with his mouth.  Will this be the third?

So I have no personal problem with Biden.  (Heck, in 2000, Lieberman was Gore's VP, so who knows what the future will hold for Biden?)  But I do think Obama's selection of Biden is more proof that the whole notion that Obama will be a "new brand of politician" is completely phony. 

Of course, we've known this all along.  Some of the media caught onto this, too, when he pragmatically decided to shift positions on a multitude of issues, including whether or not to receive public financing. 

The most important decision a candidate makes during a campaign is whom to offer the vice presidency.  As such, it takes on a symbolic purpose, as well as a practical purpose.  And rather than reinforcing his "change" message, Obama has made a calculated decision to choose a consummate Washington insider who has been a career politician.  This says something about Obama.

Aside from being a tacit admission he lacks experience needed to be POTUS, this, of course, is further proof that Obama is more a pragmatic Chicago pol than he is a change agent.  For example, while Obama criticizes lobbyist money, Biden has profited from it.

I only wonder how "progressive" bloggers and young Obama supporters must really feel about this ...