Obama and Biden: Two sides of a coin

August 25, 2008 3:41:26 PM PDT
The interesting thing about Barack Obama's choice of Joe Biden is that for almost every issue, there are two sides of the coin. Biden is well known for his expertise in foreign affairs, but the other side of the coin is that his selection can be seen as Obama acknowledging his own lack of experience in this crucial area.

Obama has based his entire campaign on the notion that he represents transcendent change, but the other side of the coin is that Joe Biden has been in the Senate for 36 years. Does that scuttle Obama's entire rationale for running?

Joe Biden may well help Obama appeal to blue collar, catholic voters like those from Biden's hometown of Scranton, where Obama was crushed by Hillary Clinton in the primary.

But does that point out that the Obama campaign believes that Obama has real problems with the kind of traditional democrats he'll need to win?

Biden's blunt talk and "shoot from the hip" style is seen as a positive, but his gaffes have caused him serious problems in the past: like calling Obama "clean and articulate," and saying you have to have an Indian accent to walk into a 7-11.

Obama just may be the presumptive nominee of his party because he didn't stop hammering Hillary Clinton for voting for the war in Iraq, but so did Joe Biden. Do you think the McCain campaign is working on a spot to let Americans know about that?

Perhaps the big question here: will Biden's strengths help Obama overcome his weaknesses with the voting public, or do more to highlight them?

A John McCain commercial has already pointed out some things that Biden now wishes he hadn't said about McCain and Obama.

An McCain campaign ad shows a debate with both Obama and Biden participating.

The debate moderator, ABC's George Stephanopoulos says:

"You were asked 'Is he ready?' You said 'I think he can be ready, but I don't think he is. The presidency isn't something that lends itself to on-the-job training."

Joe Biden says: "I think I stand by the statement."

Another clip from the same campaign ad shows Biden on a talk show, saying "I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off."

There is only one side of this coin: Biden's story of overcoming personal tragedy, the deaths of his first wife and daughter and his near death from two brain aneurysms is inspiring.

But it will now become a highly produced part of his political bio designed to turn people on to the Obama/Biden ticket.


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