Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Does Biden Undercut "Change"?

I have heard several people suggest that Obama's choice for Vice Prez dilutes or eradicates his goals for change. One friend really wanted Bill Richardson. Excellent choice and he could bring the hispanic vote. I like Richardson, but I am not naive enough to think America is ready for two ethnic candidates. Hillary? The dream ticket? Didn't happen.
I like Biden, always have. I feel secure knowing (and Obama mentioned this) Biden will be there if for any reason Obama cannot finish his term.

Over at Huffington Post, Phil Trounstine wrote about this.
First of all, consider the absurdity of the suggestion that a brilliant, young, black president wouldn't represent an historic, transforming leap forward in American politics. On its face, this is nothing more than Rovian hyperspin.

Barack Obama personifies change -- no matter who his running-mate is.

But there's a further point (and thanks to Newsweek's Howard Fineman for picking up on it): That what Biden represents is a guy - perhaps uniquely qualified - to implement the change that Obama represents.

With his knowledge of the ways of Washington, his vast experience in the Senate, his insider savvy, Biden brings to the Democratic ticket a glimmer of hope that all the things Obama wants to accomplish - from foreign affairs and health care to economic and tax policy - might actually get done in the next administration.

McCain's people desperately did not want Obama to pick Biden for precisely this reason, along with the fact that Biden actually knows McCain, he's an Irish Catholic from Scranton, he's a family man who can rub elbows in union halls and he's a terrific debater and attack surrogate.

Without someone like Biden on the ticket - with a governor perhaps or a less effective senator - Obama risked looking like a dreamer, not a doer. But with Biden at his side, the Democratic ticket suddenly can offer itself as a pragmatic, can-do engine for change.

Biden doesn't detract from the message of change: he drives it home.

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