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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reactions To Obama's Veep Choice, Joe Biden

Reactions are coming out fast and furiously about the news that Barack Obama chose Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate for the November elections.

Quick recap: Last night after initial word about hoax text messages and fake bumper stickers, the work leaked that Secret Service had been dispatched to Joe Biden's home, assuring everyone that Biden was the pick.

Still no text message from the Obama campaign that promised that supporters would be the "first to know".

Different news organizations managed to confirm that Biden was the pick and still "no text message from the Obama campaign that promised that supporters would be the 'first to know'."

Finally 3 am ET.... (After Hillary Clinton's 3 am ad, don't think the timing isn't being questioned by Hillary supporters), the text is sent out and the emails start arriving.

Today, via memeorandum, the buzz is full of reactions, from giddiness of the right, to the approval and disappointment being expressed on the left and the mixed reactions from those claiming to be more in the center.

From the left, a good example of mixed reactions comes from one site, Talk Left, with two very different posts:

One from Jeralyn who expresses disappointment with the Biden choice:

Big Tent Democrat called it correctly. Is anyone besides me extremely unhappy with Joe Biden, the ultimate crime warrior, on the ticket?

One of my favorite Joe Biden gaffes below:

You Tube:
""I've had a great relationship (with Indian Americans). In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking,"

The video she refers to below:

Then the next one from Talk Left written by Big Tent Democrat, who declares that politically, given Obama's rules, Biden was the best choice:

Below, I criticize the rollout of Biden. But I do not criticize the choice from a political standpoint, given Obama's stubborn refusal to pick the person who would have helped him the most politically, Hillary Clinton.

Once the Not Hillary decision was made (and once Obama ran for the hills on McCain's Hanoi Hilton defense to everything), Joe Biden made the most sense. He does not help much, but he helps. And that is better than hurting - as a Bayh, Kaine or Sebelius would have done.

More from Jeralyn:

I'm weighing my options. Let's just say that today, I'm underwhelmed and greatly disappointed. Is McCain and whomever he picks as a running mate any better? Of course not. But if you don't think choosing between two disappointing scenarios is depressing, well, you're not me.

Stay tuned. I'll ultimately decide whether I will vote for the Democratic ticket or vote down ticket only. This site will continue to support the Demcoratic ticket, and keep in mind there aere three authors here and the other two are bound to be more pro the Obama - Biden than I am, but my support is lukewarm right now -- at best.

I can't imagine voting for a candidate I can't clap for. I'll be in the Pepsi Center for their speeches. John Kerry would not have been my pick in 2004, but I respected him and believed he'd make a good President. I became enthusiastic about the ticket when John Edwards came on board. Read these posts of my reactions to their speeches in Boston in 2004. I just don't see how I can even come close to those feelings here in Denver next week.

I'm going to try to get on board, but the ship seems to have sailed without me.

Huffington Post is another example of the lukewarm support Obama is getting about his decision.

The Good: As the Drum Major Institute shows, Biden has a fairly progressive record on basic economic issues, and has gotten more progressive on specific issues like trade. He's also been a strong voice opposing unilateral war against Iran. And rhetorically, he seems comfortable painting a stark contrast between Democrats and Republicans on issues.

The Bad: He is one of the most arrogant and conceited people in Washington - one of the jokes in D.C. when I was there is that Biden uses the term "I" more than anyone else. Because of this self-importance, he consequently shoots his mouth off in ways that can undermine progressives. For example, he has made insulting racial comments about African Americans and Indians. This might not only be dredged up by Republicans, but Biden may commit additional errors in his new platform as VP nominee. Additionally, Biden is an insider's insider, having spent most of his life in Washington, D.C. That doesn't exactly underscore Obama's message of change.

The Ugly: He was one of the most ardent supporters of the credit card-industry written Bankrupty Bill of 2005, which was one of the most regressive pieces of economic legislation in the last generation. And though he cites his foreign policy experience as an asset, he used his position as one of Democrats' top foreign policy voices to support the Iraq War.

Another Huffington Post writer asks Joe Biden, very nicely to not say anything stupid.

Heading to the Center, I use The Moderate voice to show the mixed reactions, with one writer (Tony Campbell) declaring "Bong, Bong, Bong” – does anyone else hear that? That ominous sound is the bell announcing the TKO the Democrats have just given themselves."

Another writer from the same site, thinks Biden is a great pick, despite concerns.

Tony may be right with regard to the public perception of the Biden pick. And public perception, in some ways, is far more important than reality when it comes to political campaigns. But, two points:

(1) It’s pretty much standard operating procedure for senators who are vice presidential candidates to remain on the ballots for re-election to the Senate while campaigning for the higher office. Lyndon Johnson did it in 1960, as I recall. Hedging bets? Yeah, maybe. So what?

(2) It’ll be interesting for the McCain camp to try to argue that Biden’s tenure in Washington–thirty-six years–means he can’t bring change to the government. McCain, by my reckoning, has been there for twenty-six years, hardly making him a babe in the Washington woods.

Then we come to yet another writer, Jazz, who understands why the GOP is giddy with happiness over the Biden choice.

Clearly, at least in American politics, truth is stranger than fiction, since you are doubtless already aware that Obama has actually gone ahead and selected Biden for the number two slot. While our good friend Shaun Mullen has already pointed out some very flattering things about Joe Biden, astute political observers must be scratching their heads this morning and wondering if Caroline Kennedy didn’t spike Barack’s punch during their last meeting. How on Earth did the Democrats wind up with Biden as the running mate?

He then goes on to list a number of reasons behind his it all.

The Right.

Power Line
says "Happiness is a thing called Joe"

That you just have to go read in full to get the flavor.

Bridget Johnson asks "So Joe Biden is 'change'?"

Many of us have already provided John McCain's new ad, which was released within hours of Obama's Veep choice, showing Biden standing by his previous comment saying the white House is no place for on the job training (referring to .... Obama!!!)

Also a blast from the past with one of Biden's own presidential ads from 1988, where he also says that experience is needed to become president.

To be fair, some Democrats are as happy as the Republicans are about Obama's choosing Joe Biden.

For different reasons, but just as happy......almost.

Last but not least the Washington Post brings the news that the Biden pick is unlikely to make any difference at all in how voters will vote in November.

For much, much, much more reaction and buzz, head over to memeorandum and happy reading.

By and far, the people the happiest about Obama's choice...are the GOP. That in and of itself might say it all.