Joe Biden: The Pro’s and The Con’s

One of the great things that’s come about because of the Biden VP pick is all the interesting analysis on the strength’s and weakness of an Obama-Biden ticket. Let’s see what people on the intertubes are saying:

(Note: I didn’t list the sources of the quotes because I wanted people to focus more on the points being made rather than dismissing them because they’re “liberal” or “conservative”. In fact you might be surprised at the ideology of many of these people.)

GOOD:

Biden has foreign policy meat on his bones…He’s a great debater… he’s the party’s best foreign policy surrogate… world leaders call him...he has a working-class Scranton-bred Irish-Catholic heritage…he knows Washington very well…he has known tragedy in his life..

BAD

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

GOOD

it’s Biden, which suggests the Obama campaign is ready to take the foreign policy fight to McCain. There’ll be more to say soon enough, recapping Biden’s effort to disrupt the war in Iraq through the Biden-Lugar resolution (though when that failed, Biden voted for the war), noting that his son is going to Iraq in October, mentioning that he authored the Violence Against Women Act, and playing up the fact that he chairs the Foreign Relations Committee

BAD

If opposing the Iraq war from the outset was the most important test of judgment in a potential commander-in-chief, Biden failed it, voting for the war (however reluctantly). If commitment to “change” is measured in how little time one has spent in Washington, Biden must be a confirmed agent of that status quo. If the “new politics” is characterized by rising above negativity, Biden firmly represents the old politics, since Obama picked him partly because he can be trusted to be a zealous attack dog.

GOOD

When Biden was a young senator, he was mentored by Hubert Humphrey, Mike Mansfield and the like. He was schooled in senatorial procedure in the days when the Senate was less gridlocked. If Obama hopes to pass energy and health care legislation, he’s going to need someone with that kind of legislative knowledge who can bring the battered old senators together, as in days of yore.

Bad

I think it is an outright terrible decision on Obama’s part to pick Biden. Yes, he helps balance Obama’s inexperience on foreign policy, but he also reminds people of it…Biden is a gaffe machine and Obama is bad explaining faults, and his VP’s faults will inevitably become Obama’s in the Fall campaign. Biden will be fantastic at convincing people already eager to vote for Obama to vote for Obama. His ability to convince the undecided is much, much weaker, in my opinion. There’s more than a small risk that Biden will reinforce the sense that this ticket is all about hearing itself talk.

GOOD

Biden is what I call an ‘old progressive’, and he fits right in with the old progressives running the Obama campaign (and his coming administration). He’s a good pick for the campaign. Biden’s got a certain appeal to older white voters and working class voters that we in the new progressive movement don’t really get.

BAD

The criticism will focus on Biden’s 1987 plagiarism bout, his support of credit card companies (he pushed the bankruptcy bill that Dems hate), his comments about Obama, his racial obliviousness (the comment about Indian-Americans in 7/11). He’s a DC Insider. Obama didn’t double down on hope. In a normal year, this stuff would have disqualified him instantly. The biggest trope may be that the Dems are an All Talk ticket. Two famous talkers.

GOOD

Joe Biden is the right partner for Barack Obama. His many years of distinguished service to America, his seasoned judgment and his vast experience in foreign policy and national security will match up well with the unique challenges of the 21st Century. An Obama-Biden ticket is a very impressive and strong team. Biden’s selection is good news for Obama and America

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