August 23, 2008

Sending his text message at 3 a.m. — the time Hillary made emblematic — Obama picks Biden.

Here's the NYT report. I didn't stay up all night waiting to see the long-withheld news. Did you? I woke up naturally, and Obama's VP pick wasn't my first thought, but it was my third or fourth thought, and I picked up the iPhone and checked — no, not for a text message! — I wouldn't hand over my number — I checked Safari to see the news.

So it's Biden.

1. That's what we expected.

2. Why the hell did he drag it out so long?

3. Someone will be very happy and not just because I lost a bet to him.

4. Respect for Delaware, my home state, despite its piddling supply of electoral votes, instead of pandering to some better endowed, showier state.

5. Biden's a good guy, experienced.

6. Another senator, not a governor, all these senators.

7. McCain should pick a governor, and now McCain can pick Romney, because his somewhat awkward facial expressions will be fully balanced by Biden's — it's a wash, smile-wise.

8. He picked the guy who called him "clean" and "articulate," so maybe that means he's not as thin-skinned as he's seemed.

9. The man known for his orating powers has picked a man who loves to talk but is somewhat out-of-control in his speech — perhaps he sees him as some kind of counterpart, for Obama has plenty of verbal glitches when he's speaking spontaneously.

10. That 3 a.m. text-time will needle hold-out Hillary lovers.

11. What do I really think of Biden? I should go back over my old posts tagged "Biden" and see what I've said over the years. But that will be the next post. [Done here.]


kimsch said...

One of my first thoughts was that Biden's mouth runs ahead of his brain quite often.

The second is that for "change" having a guy who's been in the Senate for so long might not be so much "change"...

save_the_rustbelt said...


Some pros, some cons, safe choice, not an inspiring choice.


Starched smiling white guy representing the wealthy, good background at least, some pros, some cons.

Are we supposed to get excited by this?

Analysis next December:

Obama did his best campaigning during the primary, went flat during the general.

McCain an accidental president.

Tara van Brederode said...

My McCain-supporter husband thanks you, Barack, for using the new national "wake up in the middle of the night" alert system to get me up at 3:00 a.m.

With no red phone to answer, the more important question was how to get back to sleep!

Fired up and ready to go!

Tara at God, Politics, and Rock 'n' Roll

AllenS said...

Remember when he dissed Indians working in the 7-11's? That was class. Evidently they're not clean and articulate.

AllenS said...

The message came at 3:00 am. I remember Hillary asking who you would want to answer the red phone at 3:00 am. This seems like a huge slap in the face to Hillary.

bill sherman said...

well, i suppose biden could have chosen someone far worse to plaigarize a speech from than neal kinnock.

KCFleming said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swifty Quick said...

The man known for his orating powers has picked a man who loves to talk but is somewhat out-of-control in his speech

Remember 1988, when Biden was a serious contender for the presidency, maybe even leading, until someone pointed out he was giving the same speech practically word-for-word as British politician Neil Kinnock had previously given. And then they started digging into his background and they found other such incidents and occasions of his playing fast and loose like that with the honesty thing. Biden's prospects as a national candidate dried up after that. Maybe there ARE second acts after all.

The Drill SGT said...

well, i suppose biden could have chosen someone far worse to plaigarize a speech from than neal kinnock.

Red Ken comes to mind or George Galloway come to mind :)


you should post a link to the McCain ad that came out an hour later to see what Biden really thinks... great quick response :)

Moose said...

Biden is a pretty cynical choice, but a predictable one. He brings some level of military credence to the ticket.

Oddly enough, he will also provide Obama some heat, given Biden's temper. I suspect that was also a consideration to offset McCain's emotive side.

KCFleming said...

1. Wow, two senators (2!!) on the same ticket. God I hate senators.

2. I do not believe Biden's story about the pulsar smile being a method to control his childhood stutter. In the most serious hearings I have seen him on, it doesn't appear at all. It's only evident when he's lording it over someone, trying to be the Rotary Club president bloviating on and on until he starts foaming at the mouth and falling over backwards. Stuttering sneaks out during stress, not just when you're being a prick. Call me skeptical.

3. Clarence Thomas on Biden (from his memoir, My Grandfather’s Son, emphasis mine):

"Senator Biden was the first questioner. Instead of the softball questions he’d promised to ask, he threw a beanball straight at my head, quoting from a speech that I’d given four years earlier at the Pacific Legal Foundation and challenging me to defend what I’d said: “ ‘I find attractive the arguments of scholars such as Stephen Macedo, who defend an activist Supreme Court that would . . . strike down laws restricting property right.’ ” That caught me off guard, and I had no recollection of making so atypical a statement, which shook me up even more. “Now, it would seem to me what you were talking about,” Senator Biden went on to say, “is you find attractive the fact that they are activists and they would like to strike down existing laws that impact on restricting the use of property rights, because you know, that is what they write about.”

Since I didn’t remember making the statement in the first place, I didn’t know how to respond to it. All I could say in reply was that “it has been quite some time since I have read Professor Macedo. . . . But I don’t believe that in my writings I have indicated that we should have an activist Supreme Court or that we should have any form of activism on the Supreme Court.” It was, I knew, a weak answer. Fortunately, though, the young lawyers who had helped prepare me for the hearings had loaded all of my speeches into a computer, and at the first break in the proceedings they looked this one up. The senator, they found, had wrenched my words out of context. I looked at the text of my speech and saw that the passage he’d read out loud had been immediately followed by two other sentences: “But the libertarian argument overlooks the place of the Supreme Court in a scheme of separation of powers. One does not strengthen self-government and the rule of law by having the non-democratic branch of the government make policy.” The point I’d been making was the opposite of the one that Senator Biden claimed I had made.

Throughout my life I’ve often found truth embedded in the lyrics of my favorite records. At Yale, for example, I’d listened often to “Smiling Faces Sometimes,” a song by the Undisputed Truth that warns of the dangers of trusting the hypocrites who “pretend to be your friend” while secretly planning to do you wrong. Now I knew I’d met one of them: Senator Biden’s smooth, insincere promises that he would treat me fairly were nothing but talk. Instead of relaxing, I’d have to keep my guard up."


"Ken Duberstein, a Washington lobbyist who had volunteered to help steer me through the confirmation process, called the next morning to say that Joe Biden wanted to talk to me before the vote. I called the Judiciary Committee cloakroom, and after a brief wait, Senator Biden came on the line. I held the receiver sideways so that Virginia could hear him speak as we stood together in the kitchen. The senator said that he was torn over his decision and had actually brought two statements with him to the committee meeting that day, one for me and the other against. He had decided to oppose me. He’d voted to confirm Justice Scalia, he explained, and now regretted it; he thought it was possible that I might turn out like Justice Scalia, so he couldn’t vote for me.

“That’s fine,” I said. “It doesn’t matter to me whether I’m confirmed or not. But I entered this process with a good name, and I want to have it at the end.”

“Judge, I know you don’t believe me,” he replied, “but if any of these last two matters come up, I will be your biggest defender.” (The other matter to which he was referring was the leak of my draft opinion.)

He was right about one thing: I didn’t believe him."

4. Now we have a ticket where both guys hate Clarence Thomas.

Goodbye 'right to property'.

Roman said...

Can someone be completly underwhelmed? I think I am.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Tara: is your husband still smiling.

The joys of being young!

Jake said...

Slow Joe Biden?!

I often wonder if Democrats simply don't WANT to win presidential elections.

The MSM has been studiously ignoring the Obama gaffes. Can they retain a shred of credibility if they cover for Biden, too?

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Oh snap.

Well, does this only emphasize Obama's weaknesses, or does it take care of them?

john marzan said...

mccain has two candidates to pick from, condi rice or mitt romney.

The Drill SGT said...

Two observations about Obama and Biden:

1. Biden said he didn;t want the job, but would take it if offered. Obama couldn't find anyone who wanted the job?

2. Looks like that in Obama's first big presidential decision that experience was far more important than hope/change. It will be interesting to see how both sides spin that

Anonymous said...

So Obama just picked himself his own personal Dick Cheney. Somebody to help him compensate for his lack of qualifications and experience.

And that's his idea of CHANGE?

Problem is the man he picked has a record of high regard for John McCain and believes Obama is not ready for the job.

Obama is going the way of the Hindenburg.

Biden quote on Obama from August, 2007 debate: "I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."

‘Just Words’ That Joe Biden Would Like To Forget

The curse of a loose mouth and Nexis.

By Jim Geraghty

On top of that his team bitch slaps Hillary with the 3:AM announcement.


bearbee said...

Prediction markets called it swinging over in the last week or so.

Suspect McCain knew it would be Biden and were in no hurry to make a 1st call.

Curious why all the machinations unless it indeed was last minute attempt to negotiate Hillary.

rcocean said...

Biden, what a boring,safe, nothing choice. I get the feeling the Democrats are going to throw another one away.

And Biden is such a stupid gas bag. He was superficial/stupid in the Bork hearing and superficial/stupid in the Roberts hearing. He got older - not smarter.

At least he didn't pick John Kerry.

TitusStagLeap said...

Romney has changed his mind on every single issue over the past couple of years: abortion, gay rights, immigration, gun control, must became a NRA member but only hunts small varmits, taxes, imposed "fees" on Massachusetts voters on getting marriage licenses, doesn't want to go back to the time of Reagan (blasphemy), the Iraq War.

Yes, please pick him. The least principled politician ever. If he was a democrat you would destroy him but because he is a republican he has just evolved. Evolved since 2004.
Also, you can tell Mccain hates him.

TitusStagLeap said...

OK, that was my rant on Romney. I cant' stand him. I did vote for him in Massachusetts and actually did attend a rally for him at a gay bar. Hedda Lettuce and Varla Jean were there. That will be a nice campaign picture.

OK, I have to go to Yoga now.

I am the real titus and I am spartacus I just think Romney is so awful.


Automatic_Wing said...

Romney has changed his mind on every single issue...

Yeah, but now Biden has to "change his mind" on whether Obama is ready for the presidency, which is by far the biggest "issue" in this campaign. So the flip-flopping thing is kind of a wash at best for the Dems.

To me, Biden is a risky choice just because he's likely to say something notably stupid and obnoxious on camera. Bayh would have been a much safer choice...he would have pissed off the nutroots briefly but they're voting for O anyway.

Does the rejection of rich-boy Bayh indicate that O is going the populist, "two Americas" route?

Simon said...

Ugh. On the plus side, I guess this increases somewhat the chances that someone will take it on themselves to retire Biden from public life, but that's about the only positive I can imagine. Just - ugh. Ugh.

Mark said...

The "3AM" announcement is a clear case of the throwing RAW meat to the PUMAs.

They are not going to forget that slight. The speeches given by Bill and Hillary are going to be interesting. I'm expecting them to have multiple layers of messages in them, not all supporting Barak Obama.

It really is in their best interest for him to loose, so Hillary can run against McCain in 2012.

jfm said...

Senator Hope and Senator Dope.

Simon said...

Let's keep in mind what Biden said about Obama. Has Biden changed his mind, or just decided that his ambition is more important? And keep in mind what Biden said about Presidents twenty years ago. Has Biden changed his mind, or just decided that his ambition is more important? "The White House isn't the place to learn how to deal with international crisis, the balance of power, war and peace, and the economic future of the next generation," Biden said then - and now we know what he meant: "the White House isn't the place to learn how to deal with international crisis, the balance of power, war and peace, and the economic future of the next generation unless I'm on the ticket." Burro.

Justin said...

Why would Sen. Obama choose a running mate that doesn't want the job?

Simon said...

AllenS said...
"This seems like a huge slap in the face to Hillary."

And, of course, this pick even further heightens the argument for why McCain has to pick Palin. There are a lot of disaffected Hillary voters, I suspect, who just need a reason to vote for McCain to punish The One, rather than sitting it out.

Simon said...

On cue, Time magazine drops through my door with a puff piece on Obama that appears to be the journalistic equivalent of a blowjob. If they're not planning to do something similar for McCain, they've pretty much given up the pretense of neutral journalism.

AllenS said...

Yes, if McCain picks a woman, Biden will have a hard time saying anything bad about her without sounding like a real jerk. Given his habit of shooting from the lip, it's bound to happen though.

Is McCain smart enough to realize this?

Chip Ahoy said...

Simon made chip larf.

Host with the Most said...


Are you reading the New York Times on the web? ANY article about Obama?

If Time wants to do the blow job, the Times wants to be covered in stickiness.

Unknown said...

My overriding impression is that he talks too much and some vague thoughts that I have agreed with some times but mostly not.

As Bob Beckel said on FNC, "I have had conversations with him where the only two words I said were Hello and Good Bye."

One thing for sure, it may have something to do with hope but nothing to do with change.

Simon said...

Host, when the New York Times dedicates its entire front page to a stern photograph of the vozhd - uncluttered with any of Time's usual text - along with some 21 lavishly-photographed pages to sucking the candidate, they'll be in the same league. Time dedicates an entire page to a photo of a smiling Obama and leaves the page opposite it as whitespace but for the following small, centered text: "when you look at this photo, what do you see? 1. Black man 2. Healer 3. Novice 4 Radical 5. the Future All of the above?"

The NYT may lovingly fondle Obama's ego, but Time has done the full night with this piece.

vbspurs said...

My overriding memory of Senator Joe Biden is him during the Alito hearings.

Not only did he yank out a baseball cap and weirdly put it on his head.

But he had 2 hours to ask Alito questions about his judicial thoughts.

And he spent 1 hour asking that "question". Oy...


Cedarford said...

m00se said...
Biden is a pretty cynical choice, but a predictable one. He brings some level of military credence to the ticket

Biden never was in the military. Nor did he serve on Armed Forces. As a "foreign affairs" and "legal" expert - he is more in the State Dept or JAG camp, who sees the military in terms of various "sticks" to back up his "carrots".

But tongue-wise, he is a good nasty fighter as his efforts leading the Borking episodes of SCOTUS nominees show.

There is a statistically significant chance that the 72-year old McCain may not finish out his term, or become incapacitated by a recurrence of melanoma cancer or some other ailment that pops up as one's years go by.

So he needs a good backup.

Simon - And, of course, this pick even further heightens the argument for why McCain has to pick Palin.

As a two-year governor and before that, a mayor/housewife of a town of 5,000, Sara Palin - isn't -that- adept executive - backup.

Simon said...

Cedarford said...
"As a two-year governor and before that, a mayor/housewife of a town of 5,000, Sara Palin - isn't -that- adept executive - backup."

That's two years more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined. And while there are certainly possible veep picks that could bring more executive experience to the GOP ticket, all of them have problems of their own. Focusing only on executive experience to the exclusion of all else is blinkered. McCain's task is to pick the veep that brings the optimal overall thrust:drag ratio when every factor is taken into consideration, and that analysis points to Palin.

bearbee said...

Palin exactly the veep McCain needs

TmjUtah said...

I wonder when the three names of impeccably credentialed Leftists who were all on Hillary's VP short list will be casually leaked before the convention?

America. What a country!

Roger J. said...

Obama picks Foghorn Leghorn without the charm and southern drawl--and at 3 AM by text message--yeah--thats a really great roll out. What a frickin idiot--this idiot is toast (oops--toast is brown so I must have made a racist comment)