Global: The dust settles on the Biden pick

A small portrait of the translator

August 25, 2008 @ 14:59 UTC

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Countries:
Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey
Candidates:
Barack Obama
Issues:
History, International Relations, Government & Politics, War & Conflict
 

It’s morning in America. After the initial shock, the dust seems to have settled. The United States — and the rest of the world — has come to terms with the fact that presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama has named Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his running mate. The Obama-Biden ticket will now face presumptive Republican nominee John McCain and his as-yet-unnamed sidekick to see who will become the next President of the United States.

Bloggers of all stripes have moved passed their initial gut reactions on the freshly minted Democratic ticket and have started to formulate more solid opinions based on fact. That’s what covering politics is all about, isn’t it?

“On the surface, Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden as his Vice Presidential running mate strikes me as pretty uninspired,” writes Tim Dunlop from Australia. “It’s hard to imagine that it wins him an extra vote come November, though I think that sometimes the ability of a running mate to do that for any candidate is overstated.”

He continues:

Not that I think Biden is a bad choice per se; in fact, I don’t really think there is anyone better from the list of those whose names cropped up over the last few months. I certainly don’t think Hillary was ever a serious option. He is a fairly personable guy, even if he, rightly, has a reputation for talking to much. He is a regular on US political programs and has developed a solid presence in that medium, a bit of go-to guy for the cable shows looking for an articulate criticism of Bush policy.

Does “articulate critic of Bush policy” translate into “attack dog”? For Sultan Knish and the stories behind the news from Israel, that answer is an emphatic yes. However, there is one caveat.

One interpretation is that Biden is there to launch the dirty attacks on McCain that Obama doesn't want to dirty himself with. This is plausible considering that Obama's dirty campaigns have been fought by lawyers, people who worked for his campaign… But considering that Biden turned a simple question about what law school he went to into an extended rant about how high his IQ is, setting him loose as an attack dog is a plan that's right up there with sending a pyromaniac to light a torch.

I'm sure that Biden will serve as an attack dog, I'm also sure that he'll do most of the damage to his own side, delivering verbal broadsides that roll like grenades back into Obama's tent.

With Obama’s choice, the Jewish blogger DovBear wonders where the hope mantra went:

I don't see how you can talk credibly about change, and youth, and so forth when your running mate is a grizzled, old career Washington insider…

Then there is the experience gap. Does highlighting Biden’s three decades of Senate experience call attention to Obama’s inexperience? Batya from Shiloh Musings in Israel points out filling the VP spot with an experienced poltico appears to be a pattern in American politics when the lead role goes to a newcomer.

• John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson
• Bush and Cheney

Those two quickly came to mind.

I just wonder if anyone really believed that Obama would get the nomination so easily. The man really has no experience, no track record. Sort of frightening.

Then there are Biden's scandals and gaffes: His plagarism, his missed votes in the Senate, the famous foot-in-mouth disease. “So to recap,” opinesNorth Coast Voices in Australia. “Joe Biden is your typical candidate.”


He massages his personal history by ‘borrowing' the words and personal anecdotes of another, where possible avoids mentioning the real extent of his income, rewrites political history, turns up in the Senate when he wants to and generally tries to throw his weight around.

In other words - a 26-year political job horse who now relies on a wing and a prayer to get by in the U.S. Congress.
Definitely not the statesman with sound judgment praised by Obama in Springfield - more like the usual pitcher of warm spit.

A choice which offers little hope of change to the rest of the world.

But let’s leave Biden the man, or Biden the politician on the stump for a moment, and investigate where Biden has made his name: foreign policy. In this category we have a passel of posts that could easily be titled: Joe, what have you done for me lately?

From Erkan’s Field Diary, Biden may well bring an anti-Turkey stance to the White House.

An anti-Turkish vice president according to Hürriyet. He is known to defend Armenian, Greek, Cyprus lobby theses. But Foreign Policy experts state that Turkey is already changing is foreign policy attitudes and there won't much new tension btw Turkey and US….

Biden is also a “prime Serb hater and Albanian Muslim lobbyist” for sponsoring the 1999 resolution for the U.S. to bomb Serbia and, later, recognizing the Kosovo State, according to this 2007 post from Byzantine Blog that was recently reprinted in the German blog Allah’s Willing Executioners.

Iraq Pundit worries about Biden’s and Obama’s “total disregard for the Iraqi people.”

All along, Biden has made it clear that he sees Iraqis as nothing more than savages bent on killing one another. His solution is to divide the country to stop the beasts from murdering the other beasts. He can argue all he wants that President Bush and John McCain are not nearly as smart as Biden is, but at least they will not abandon the Iraqis.

A “100% Palestinian” blogger writing in Sabbah Blog, claims that Israel must be happy with Obama’s pick.

The guy (Obama) is ignorant and naive when it comes to cases such as Israeli occupation of Palestine. And now he picks a guy who proudly says “I’m a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist!” So, what are you expecting from Obama if he’s in office? (not that the other puppet is better).

Joe Biden chairs the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, a post that Obama hopes will compensate for his own lack of experience in the global realm. Obama “safe choice” will also help him win the most important part of all USA elections, AIPAC support - the Zionist Lobby.

One good piece of news coming out of the choice of Biden: He is big fan of the Amtrak train line, Dove’s Eye View informs us. For those who have tried to ride the rails in the U.S., that is not a bad thing at all.

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  • 1 comment

    1. Emmanuel Says:

      The choice of Biden as Obama’s running mate could not be better for several reasons. 1) It shows that this campaign is not about Obama, but the American people. If Obama can put aside personal pride and choose one of his most ardent critics based on his potential to add value to the ticket and by extension the life of the average American, then his choice is worthy of all commendation. 2) For an effective and lasting change to take place in Washington, you need an insider who understands the way Washington works; and that was found in Biden. 3) The choice of Biden is an eloquent testimony of the humility and candour of Obama;an excellent indication that the next president have a thorough understanding of his strength and weaknesses. He recognizes with all modesty that Biden would be strong in areas where he is weak. He did not pretend to be the arrogant all knowing and all experienced, infallable General that some want him to proclaim. That is not the kind of person Americans are looking for. 4) Finally, the Obama-Biden ticket will bring about the needed balance between “change” and “experience” that is required to run an all inclusive Government. In the final analysis, the McCain group knows in their heart of hearts the wisdom in Obama’s choice of Vice President; they know that it is an unstoppable team, so they will do everything and anything to paint a disastrous picture in the minds of Americans about the duo in a bid to discredit this formidable team. The good news is that Americans are not the daft the McCain team is assuming they are; they know better than the McCain group that the Obama-Biden ticket is a winning ticket.

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