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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Everyone who's still awake (Mark Ambinder, Think Progress, Ben Smith) seems to be running with the Biden news. I'm pretty lukewarm, to be honest—I don't think Biden (D-MBNA) is an interesting enough choice to justify the anticipation that's been built, and he doesn't do what Kaine or Warner might have done for us in a major swing state. And Ambinder's list of pros and cons hits a whole lot of big negatives:

Some liberals think he's a bully who got the Iraq war wrong (although Biden did try to pass a less bellicose resolution.) . But I suspect that the general response from Democrats will be "Great choice."

The criticism will focus on Biden's 1987 plagiarism bout, his support of credit card companies (he pushed the bankruptcy bill that Dems now hate), his comments about Obama, his racial obliviousness (the comment about Indian-Americans in 7/11).
Yeah, that about covers it.

(Though it should be said this so-called "racial obliviousness" actually plays as something of a positive in this context. The Biden choice in this respect is Obama ceremoniously returning the race card to the deck; it's a not-even-coded reassurance to white Americans that Obama isn't going to get hung up on race.)

And Biden's a pitbull, too, which will be nice for a change. His reputation for logorrhea is definitely a plus here as well—nobody will blame Obama when Biden inevitably runs his mouth off, because everybody knows that's just what Biden does.

So while on balance I would have preferred somebody else, it's not really an awful choice, and in any event I've said before that I'm not the target audience for just about anything that happens in American politics, which is as true of this as it will be of just about everything else Obama does between now and November.

(...unless it's all an elaborate head-fake. No text yet...)