Despite our earlier conjecture, Obama went ahead and announced his choice for his running mate as Sen. Joe Biden (D-Delaware).
Not a bad choice, I guess, especially when you look at him on paper. He’s got extremely strong foreign policy experience and is well recognized for it. He chairs the Senate foreign relations committee and has been in the senate for more than 30 years.
That’s a huge amount of “experience” to add to the ticket, especially since that is the biggest weakness in Obama-land right now. We’re all aware of how much concern there is that he’s young and inexperienced, so putting an old hand on the ticket may do the job. Plus, Biden’s respected by the so-called Reagan democrats and by many of the same blue collar voters that went with Hillary. Hopefully this will tempt some of them back into the fold.
Biden actually went to Georgia after the Russian invasion to try and coordinate relief efforts. That’s a pretty bold move and one that seemed to sit well with a lot of foreign leaders. Sepia Mutiny, a big South Asian blog, had another interesting point to make: Pakistan.
In their analysis, they note that Pakistan (and the tribal area that borders Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda has apparently moved) is likely to be the major new concern for the next president. Iraq will obviously still be a big concern, as well Iran/N.Korea, but Pakistan carries a special kind of weight.
In any case, Sepia Mutiny noted that during the Pakistan election crisis last year, both Musharraf and the late Benazir Bhutto called Biden to discuss the issue before they called Pres. Bush. That seems to show they recognize Biden’s expertise and weight in the foreign policy arena. Having that kind of foreign affairs street cred will be a big bonus, and I predict the Dems will play on that heavily during the campaign. I’m anticipating a “let’s fix America’s image” approach to the advertising, but we’ll have to wait and see.
There are some faults, too. Biden’s made his mistakes, including a oft-quoted gaffe stating “…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,” More importantly, he also openly criticized Obama and his lack of experience during the Democratic primary. In fact, that was the focus of McCain’s first attack ad against the ticket.
All in all, not a bad choice. It’ll be interesting to see how the former Hillary supporters will respond to her being excluded from the ticket.