Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's Joe

Everyone will have a say on what the meaning of Obama picking Joe Biden is and what the impact will be on the election. How can the change candidate pick a Washington insider? Why didn't he pick Hillary? Is he admitting his foreign policy weakness? Did he cave to the Washington insiders? Is Biden like Cheney? Is he giving up on Virginia? Why didn't he really pick someone unique? And it will go on and on and on and on...

The reality is VP picks just don't matter. They never have swayed any presidential race, ever. What will matter is how Obama uses Biden. He can have Biden respond to the attacks from McCain. He can have Biden do the attacking. Either way the choice of Biden doesn't really matter, but of course, I have to have my say. I think it brings into focus the clear policy choices in this election: the economy, jobs, and Iraq.

Biden's age, Washington experience, and ties to his son's lobbying firms takes all of theose arguments off the table. They did not seem to be allowing Obama to surge ahead of McCain even though his message of change may have secured him the democratic nomination. The age of Biden and McCain may bring Obama some older voters, but it takes McCain's age off the table. Obama's lack of Washington experience can't be used against the ticket, because Biden brings that time. McCain's lobbyist ties can't be used against him because Biden, after so many DC years, no doubt has the same ties. It also will defuse the race card. Biden's off color comment, although not intentional, (clean and neat quote) may be replayed. Obama can show that he can rise above it and even, possibly, attract some white voters who have issue with his race.

Since all of these superficial items are off the table, since those in glass houses should not throw stones, what will we talk about? Issues? I think that is waht Obama is hoping. For in the category of issues important to the American voter, the average voter, the one that has not had the time to consider who they are going to voter for, Obama will win. He will win on the economy: more McCain / Bush trickle down, supply side talking points will be dead in the water. The argument that McCain / Bush have generated that freeing big business increases jobs does not hold water when a voter's job has been sent to Mexico. And finally, people are just tired of Iraq. The majority of Americans think it was a bad idea, think we should get out, and realize we were all fooled into going there in the first place.

Will the trivial be ignored and the issues actually argued? I believe that is Obama's hope and hope is a powerful thing.

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