Biden: Second Chance for The Everyman

By Al Giordano


Twenty years ago, Joe Biden was 46, almost the same age Barack Obama is today, and was running for the Democratic nomination for president after eight years of Ronald Reagan's White House. He coulda been a contendah, until John Sasso - campaign manager for rival Mike Dukakis - leaked a videotape to the networks of a British politician's speech that had used the very same words Biden was using on the stump:


"Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go a university? Why is it that my wife . . . is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? . . . Is it because they didn't work hard? My ancestors who worked in the coal mines of northeast Pennsylvania and would come after 12 hours and play football for four hours? It's because they didn't have a platform on which to stand."


Biden had, on previous occasions, credited the Brit, Neil Kinnock, with the words, but on subsequent moments did not. "Plagiarism" was the charge - hardly the kind of thing that would have sunk a candidate today, but in 1988 - when a less politically savvy public didn't understand that most politicians don't write their own speeches - it was devastating. Biden dropped out of the presidential contest and didn't enter it again until last year. But by then it seemed more a Last Hurrah; a kind of revival tour for a one-hit wonder pop group from the 1980s.

Yet the words in that 1988 speech were essentially true, if not original. He was the first Biden to go to college. He did descend from coal miner country. This was a man with the class resentment that comes naturally to being born from below. And as the national media vetting process will disclose in the coming days, after 36 years in the US Senate, he's still one of the poorest US Senators: he never availed himself of the back-door personal enrichment techniques that most of his colleagues - Democrat and Republican - have utilized. Beyond class resentment, he retains a sense of class solidarity. His wife since 1977 never went into Washington lobbying: she remained a public schoolteacher.

Biden has also lived personal tragedies that would have splat most people like watermelons tossed from the sixth floor of a Wilmington tenement: between his first US Senate election in 1972 and being sworn in, his first wife and three small children were in a gruesome car accident. Mrs. Biden and his daughter died, his two boys were wounded, and he became a single father. Biden never quite entered the Washington DC culture so seductive to his peers: commuting from Delaware to DC, always coming home at night.

Had he not been driven from the 1988 presidential contest, perhaps George H.W. Bush, Sr., would have never been elected president. Perhaps we never would have settled on Bill Clinton as a lukewarm response to that crisis. Woulda, coulda, shoulda, sure, but here's my point: Whatever we think of Biden's ideology - his hawkishness on wars, foreign and domestic, his foot-in-mouth disease, his addiction to TV news liveshots (oh, lordy, Patty Solis Doyle won't be able to sleep for the next ten weeks, monitoring her invisible electronic shock collar that has now been fastened around Biden's neck) - his personal story is compelling and honorable.

It's that personal story that is going to be featured heavily in the coming days as he migrates through Springfield, Eau Claire, Quad Cities, Kansas City, Billings and Denver. His native Pennsylvania is now a lock for Obama, and he puts Pennsyltucky (West Virginia, Southeast Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, Western Virginia, in particular) back in play.

And in Biden, we have a textbook example of the difference between holding racist ideations (his "clean and articulate" comments about Obama, his stereotypical remarks about Indian-Americans and convenience stores, etc.) and "race baiting" (the Clintonian and Republican penchant for willfully using the wedge of race to divide Americans in order to win elections). Biden is surely guilty of the former but, let's be honest, who isn't? You? Go to the mirror and think again! Watching Biden over the decades, I've not seen him willfully use race to divide others (which is what has placed so many of us in an unforgiving stance toward Bill Clinton, especially this past year). Even when they were still primary rivals for the nomination, Obama came to Biden's defense during a debate, defending that "in his soul," Biden's not a hater.

I think the two of them are going to get along splendidly, and have a lot of infectious fun using John McCain as a punching bag. Apollo Creed has now signed on as coach and sparring partner with Rocky Balboa. Multi-racial class warfare - there's a place for us, somewhere a place for us - now becomes the wedge against the millionaire McCain.

Yes, I would have preferred the "three point shot" - that Obama pick a running mate from outside of Washington - but as DC insiders go, it's interesting that Biden chose all these years to refuse to live inside it, or meet with its lobbyists.

Obama stopped at the three point line, passed the ball to the new muscle man with the sharp elbows, and put two points on the board instead. I can live with that. And my working class soul is actually looking forward to the populist campaign that will come out of the unlikely alliance of two guys from humble beginnings against the owners of this coal mine called America.

The 2008 election now has its very own "Comeback Kid," and his name ain't Clinton. Oh, yes, I can live with that.

Update and Query: Has the Obama campaign said anywhere how many cell phones received that text message overnight? (It took at least four hours to reach them all!)

Update II: The sound you hear is of plates being thrown in the McCain household (or is that households plural?) when they hear the statements today from three moderate Republican senate colleagues:


Sen. Chuck Hagel: U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel issued the following statement today following Senator Barack Obama's selection of Senator Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic Vice Presidential nominee:  "Joe Biden is the right partner for Barack Obama.  His many years of distinguished service to America, his seasoned judgment and his vast experience in foreign policy and national security will match up well with the unique challenges of the 21st Century.  An Obama-Biden ticket is a very impressive and strong team.  Biden's selection is good news for Obama and America," Hagel said.  LINK
Sen. Richard Lugar: Tbilisi, Georgia - U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar made the following statement today en route to Tbilisi. "I congratulate Senator Barack Obama on his selection of my friend, Senator Joe Biden, to be his vice-presidential running mate. I have enjoyed for many years the opportunity to work with Joe Biden to bring strong bipartisan support to United States foreign policy..." LINK

Sen. Arlen Specter: Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, a Republican who serves on the Judiciary Committee with Biden and often rides Amtrak with him to Washington, also offered praise.  "No one on the Democratic side knows more about foreign policy than Sen. Biden," Specter said. "He's been an articulate spokesman on the subject. He also knows about domestic policy. He's been a leader on crime control." LINK


Ouch, ouch and ooouuuuch!

Comments always tell it like it is.

I can live with Biden too.  Not my first choice but hardly the worst choice.

I called my Mom this morning at 7am. She’s a Hillary supporter (not a dead-ender) and she was thrilled with Biden as VP. Makes her “more comfortable” with Obama. Fine.  Whatever.  If it has this effect on my Mom then I know it is doing the same for a lot of older Dems like her and that is GOOD. Hell, that is GREAT. Biden's personal story is pretty amazing and he is so much more of a “straight talker” than McSame.

Biden will rip McSame and his VP a new one!

I can definitely live with that.  :)

Back in June

 I watched Biden on MTP, I was yelling from the kitchen while making breakfast, Go Joe! Biden for VP!

So, I am sure I can live with this pick! My mom is happy about it too, she says "we get change + experience, it is how we win!"

One thing

I remember seeing him say on the daily show that he basically just assumed he came from coal miner stock and that he actually didn't.


To me the most interesting comparison is between JFKs pick of Lyndon Johnson to reassure voters that he wouldn't be controlled by the pope. Today that seems absurd and that is because JFK ran and won.


This post already diaried over at kos!

I've always liked Joe Biden.

I hate that as the Senator fromd Delaware he has been Mr. MBNA. But beyond that: he's done so much good with his position and has a record that any democrat would be proud of IMO.

MOST important: Joe Biden has the stature to hurl zingers that will cut down the McCain ticket and be instantly credible. He's the guy who could say "Rudy Giuliani, he just needs a noun, a verb, and 9/11" and get away with saying that about the hero of 9/11 because (1) it'd been true and (2) he has the stature and history and most of all the audacity to cut through the bullshit.

I also like what it says about the Obama campaign: they know they have to get back to trending upward and they know they need to go offensive and Joe Biden is a fighter. Of all the names constantly mentioned: only Hillary Clinton would play ball as hard IMO.

Barack Obama needs that right now. He needs a candidate that has the stature to deliver the punches with him; and that is what Joe Biden will do for him.

Right now the Republicans anticipated this and were out with an ad and have succeded with Mr. Ron Fornier the AP dude who wanted to work for McCain in saying this was a weak choice: the convention and the rally today will answer that charge. And the Obama camp will have a rebuttal to that ad up by end of day.

The houses flap has shown the Obama camp understands that Schmidt/Rove & Co. have made this a street fight and Joe Biden means Barack Obama is reaching for the brass knuckles IMO.

I have a lot of hope that every day of this convention will be a repudation of McCain-Bush poliices and defining the Republican ticket. Joe Biden will help to do that because he speaks definitvly and authortativly: and for all his gaffes you come away liking the guy.

I'm very happy with this pick: for not only political reasons but governing priorites as well.

Right On, Al!

Oh Al...I can go about my daily tasks now that you've chimed in--brilliantly as usual!

I saw you come online a little while ago, so I knew you were getting ready to chime I couldn't leave the computer until I had read, rec'd, and tip'd your post!  (Sending it to all my peeps...and linking it on my own blog...)

Yes, this is gonna be good...PLEASE all the chicken littles--stay away!

Field Hands have work to do!!

waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


A winner

As I mentioned on the previous thread, this may be the first VP pick that will make a difference in the election since LBJ.  And I don't think Obama wants Doyle to use the shock collar too much.

I think he will want Biden to go off on tangents, or even counter his own thinking, from time to time.  It reinforces the theme he is more interested in competence hen ideology.

Plus, this puts a lot of pressure on McCain.  This may ruin Romney's chances.  Think about it.  Too people either born to ro married into wealth aginst two self-made men.  Obama and Biden actually represent the American dream.

Great post Al - and great

Great post Al - and great picture!

The more research I'm doing since I woke up - the more I'm liking this pick.  I had posted a link to this video at the end of the last thread, but since folks might miss it there, I'll repost it here (it's a must-watch):

Joe rips into McCain and Bush on the Iraq war.  I am looking forward to this for the next couple of months:

Every time, we must ask them the question:

"Then what? Then what?"


great post!

I think people are going to be surprised how good a choice Biden is, and not for the obvious reasons.

Obama is above all a pragmatist. If the country isn't ready yet for that three point shot, then we have to work to get it ready, not sit around in our beautiful loser ivory towers whining because he took the two-point shot.

Go Obama-Biden!

I agree with Trinity

I was saying to my husband last night that Biden would make my mom and probably a good segment of older Dems more comfortable with Obama.

I hate his Iraq vote but if he puts Penn and Ohio back into serious play I can live with it (have to anyway ;-)).

Thank you for the info in your post Al. It was good to read about his personal story and does make him much more appealing than the impression I had of him before.

Another great read Al...

I am pretty happy with this choice.  The more I learn about Joe Biden the more I like him.  Great analysis as usual.  You are on top of your game lately.

@Karen Desmond

Great video!!  Thank you for sharing that.  I'm sending it out to friends and family.

Give 'em hell Joe!!

Fighting For Change: Obama/Biden '08

Wise choice

Wisdom.  My respect for this campaign team keeps growing - and my admiration for Biden increases, the more I read about him.  Thanks, Al, you prepared us for this, and I think we'll all come to understand the wisdom of this action.  McLame is in real trouble!!!

Lots of Cabinet positions available, to give those 'three pointers' a chance to gain national attention.

re: Biden's impact on the electoral map

I hate his Iraq vote but if he puts Penn and Ohio back into serious play I can live with it (have to anyway ;-)).

If anything, he moves PA solidly into our column and moves FL closer to us; according to Nate over at 538, older voters love him.  (And calling PA a "swing state" was a bit of a stretch already; the only pollster to show it as one is Rasmussen, and he hasn't had it as closer than Obama +3 in the past few months.)

I'm feeling good about this choice; I'd rather have had Schweitzer, but Biden will make a terrific VP (and Chris Dodd will make a terrific Foreign Relations Committee chairman).

creds on women's needs

Not that the deadenders will care, but Biden has a phenomenal record in getting the federal government behind helping women who have violence in their lives. It goes back to 1990 and includes the original and expanded Violence Against Women Act, the proposed International Violence Against Women Act, and a proposal to network lawyers with women who are getting hurt by their husbands and partners.

Grassroots feminist activists who are involved in domestic violence work know this.

More here:


I just submitted Al's post at DIGG so if you're registered with them, go DIGG IT!  I think the more people learn about Joe Biden, the happier they will be with Obama's choice. 


It's nice to see everyone so contented.  Moms and kids.  Hillary supporters and people who had been hoping for Schweitzer or Chet "not the one with the floozy" Edwards.  Looks like we're all going to just get along.  Yay. Peace out.


His daughter was also killed in the car accident.  His two sons were critically injured, but survived.

Getting my head around it

My wife is thrilled, and I think the logic is "we have change covered".  Biden sends a nod to folks who might feel uncertain, that are nervous about committing to a new course.  And I think that as far as Biden's previous support of the war, Obama is saying "Hey, a LOT of people supported this lousy war."  It's the ones that came around and started banging their fists at the ineptitude and yelling, "Now what!?!" that this pick will appeal to.  Not a "Neener neener I told you so", but a ticket that says "Now what?"

And an elbow-thrower on the team was always something we needed.  Go Joe!  Make us proud, man, make us proud.

And P.S.

I LOVE this site - the place to come for stability and positive insight.  Thanks to everyone.

I love this choice

I have enjoyed Biden, particularly his many appearances on Meet the Press.  He can clearly think, and he's a straight talker.  How many politicians can claim both? 

And this...

Obama needs someone who knows every broomcloset on the Hill.  Biden gives Obama a right hand man that knows the guy and has his number.


My grandparents LOVE Joe Biden.  He gets amazing poll numbers from Seniors...think of all those appearanced on Sunday shows.


Came here first thing this morning! Well, first thing after I woke up after my 3 am text message. Biden is not a choice that made me jump around the room with glee when I got my confirmation text, but I can certainly see his positives.

And its not Hillary Clinton, which was my number one criteria.

Anyone else going to need a nap today because of lack of sleep last night?

Biden- Continuity with Dem. Roots

Excellent commentary on a very good, decent man. A change leader like Obama must also connect with the roots of a tradition of change. Biden connects well with the blue collar, working class, unionist, liberal tradition of the party of Roosevelt and Kennedy. I might add that his age and silver hair will be reassuring and give a boost with the senior demographic that has been leaning to. And he is about the most glib, knowledgeable, and readily impassioned attack dog around.

Ok this can work

I am especially looking forward to how McCain tries to work his lame experience argument now. Plus the meter and alliteration is good Obama Biden, sounds solid to me.

It's On

So many great thoughts in this and the previous post.  The idea of the 3 am call is terrific, but folks getting burned up about how the traditional media pegged this, is being weak-kneed to say the least.  Was Joe my first choice? No, I woke up dreaming that Chet Edwards was on the ticket.  But, what I like about this is that Obama is yet again demonstrating that HE is the man in charge.  Biden is HIS choice.  He likes the guy--obviously.  Barack's Irish side fits nicely with Joe's Irishness. This is a consummate demonstration of Obama's supreme confidence that he is in charge.  Biden is NOT Obama's foreign policy guru--but somebody who will not be afraid to tell Obama that he's wrong--and Obama is clearly capable of standing and saying, Joe, you're wrong. Obama chose and equal, not a superior nor an inferior.

Obama also OWNS Joe's ass for all of the racist ideations (as Al put it) that Biden has spewed. Obama is brilliantly putting race on the table with this choice--we now get a free public course in how to move white folk along in their evolution into a fully multiracial society.  Biden can talk to white folks about his screw-ups and talk (or Obama can talk explicitly or implicitly about Biden's screw-ups) about how, while he is NOT a racist, racism has infected him.  He can talk about how he is still growing as an AARP member.  And he can bring a lot of white folk--including avid Obama supporters--into a post-racist (not a post-racial) America.

The more I let this sink in, the more I love this pick.  It means there is NO explanation, no introduction, no proof of his capabilities needed.  It means--as we have seen the last week--that the Obama campaign is ready to turn on the switch and bring the A game right away, without any warm-ups.  It will set the McCain people back as others have mentioned because Biden has his own traumatic story and has a more illustrious Senate career than McCain. Biden has no presidential ambition post Obama' terms, meaning it keeps the future wide open for Warner, Kaine, Chet Edwards, Schweitzer, possibly Sebelius, and all the other up and coming anti-Clintonian Dems.

This is going to be some seriously fun theater.

A high five from my mom

My 87 year old mother who voted for Hillary and then converted to Obama also enthusiastically approves. No wonder the AP (A-holes Personified) is in spin overdrive because this choice diffuses the experience issue for a lot of people.

this will help the campaign

I also had hoped for a Washington outsider. Like Terra above it reminds me of Kennedy choosing Johnson, but it seems to me that the reason then was for Johnson's legislative system experience. With Johnson, Kennedy had someone with the knowledge and skills to help push new law through Congress. I think this can only help domestic policy.

Ironically with foreign policy, Biden will help Obama in the election due to the public perception of him. But I'm skeptical about Biden's contributions helping to take us in the completely new directions we need to go in foreign policy.

Not only did he vote for the AUMF, but he wimped out in his committee chairmanship at the time:

The Democratic Party, even in its role as loyal opposition, should be doing its utmost to raise the difficult questions. Instead, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, under the chairmanship of Democratic Senator Biden, organized two days of hearings, notable for the absence of critical voices. Such hearings are worse than nothing, creating a forum for advocates of war, fostering the illusion that no sensible dissent exists and thus serving mainly to raise the war fever a degree or two.


Love the Joe Biden pick.

Love the Joe Biden pick.  Let's keep pumping out the positives on Joe Biden - the YouTube of him taking it to McCain on the war and the surge and mocking McCain for saying he had "courage" to back the surge, for starters.  Joe Biden talking about Pakistan.  A compilation clip of Joe Biden's best one liners.  I'm loving Joe Biden.  It's on to victory!

i like it-- I had been

i like it-- I had been hoping for Schweitzer, but I agree with the comments above-- it's a smart move-- since the text came this am, I've already received an email from my aunt in Virginia who's spoken with some of her older neighbors who had been worrying about whether Obama is ready for the job-- they are THRILLED with Biden as the VP choice (echoing Christi's experience with her mom).

In addition to his sponsorship of Violence Against Women Act and other related legislation--- Biden also co-sponsored legislation requiring insurance companies to provide parity in coverage for mental illness. 

He's also going to be one of the best possible hatchet men for Obama.  Apparently McCain campaign is already running an ad showing Biden praising McCain and talking about Obama's lack of experience from the debtates.  Can't wait to see the counterpunch from our team!

I never got the text

 I got the email at around 2am Pst. No text yet, no worries. People over at are complaining about it. So trivial.

More like a free-throw

This was a one-point free throw from Obama, the single safest choice he could have made.

And it was aimed squarely at the half of the party that supported Clinton.

It marks the palpable end of the "change" portion of the race, as we get down to the Kerry map and try and swing a couple of states our way. Folks, it was always moving in this direction. Obama is nobody's fool.

He went for a white, hawkish, 60-something, corporatist, Meet the Press, deep blue establishment east coast insider - who just happens to be a great debater, a certified political hit man, and a close personal friend of Hillary Clinton who refused to endorse Barack Obama out of respect for her.

As Al says (amidst his requisite Clinton-hating shots), Old Joe Biden is acceptable to the widest possible swath of the Democratic base, possesses a personal story that is compelling, is an energetic political terrier, and can leverage his gritty pre-MBNA roots to good effect in the geographic areas where Obama is weaker than we'd like. He'll hammer McCain without conscience or compunction - even though he urged Kerry to choose Johnny Mac as his veep, and is buddies with the GOP nominee.

Plus, this really solidifies Delaware! (Kidding, just kidding).

This is one professional politician we've added to the ticket - old school, non-change, insider, totally connected. Does he take the age, war, and DC insider cards off the table? Only a little bit - the race is still about the top of the ticket. After all the tarted-up "suspense," Old Joe Biden may be something of a let-down for some. I can feel that. But don't get too low. I still think he was a safe and fairly wise choice.

Take the free throw. Take the single point.

Now deliver the greatest speech in recent U.S. political history (or thereabouts) - the stakes are that high. We need the bounce. That's the real three-point toss this week. I think he can do it. It's all about The Speech.

Grandma IS happy!

This young at heart grandma is dancing for joy. For weeks I've been thinking it was not just seniors who were holding back but also those who look for a symbol of wisdom and experience projected in a grandpa. While not healthy, often true.

Biden is the perfect balance. And, he is ready on day one to take on all the junk to be thrown our way. It may be a three pointer after all.

(In basketball mode right now as the USA women go for gold with four members from the TN Lady Vols.)

Hi Christi!

I took a deep breath and went over to the BO site to see what picture they had put up!  I can't believe people are complaining because they didn't get their text message or that it was late.

Can you imagine MILLIONS of texts and emails going out at the same time?  The cell phone carriers probably choked.  (Of course, I got MINE at exactly 3:02 AM...ha-ha)

I think it's brilliant that since the MSM leaked the news early, that the O-man decided to ride the "Ready at 3 AM" meme!

I am LOVIN' the Biden pick!!  LOVIN' It!

waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


Indeed, I think that this

Indeed, I think that this can work.

More, I dont' think that there will be the rivalry that there was between Kennedy and Johnson.

Biden's somewhat more traditionally hawkish forgien policy positions/posturing will help put older US folks more at ease.

The senior vote will be solidified by this choice--as will the Catholics.

In the end, I appears that the Obama camp were pretty conservative in their selection of Biden.  Honestly, I really thought that it was Schweitzer, and I still think that he may have been a better choice.

However, the Obama campaign doesn't need to spend crucial time introducing Biden to the US public--that would not have been the case with Schweitzer.

Lastly, I think that Biden's working class back-ground is crucial--and it doesn't appear that he cut ties with the working classes of America because he was driven to cash-in.   Biden experienced a tremendous loss of his wife and young daughter, a loss that would have pulled down many people to the point to where they could never rise again.

In the end: a conservative, less risky choice for VP.  Thiis choice will solidify the usual Democrat base.  Given that Obama has a funny name and is bi-racial, I think that this is a solid choice.

At least it is not Hillary or Bayh.  Could have been much worse.

Aside: I can understand the

Aside: I can understand the Obama camp's desire to get email adresses and phone numbers--but the text message thing was a bit ham-fisted and awkward.

I didn't get the email until 5:17am.

If they were trying to make a point with the 3:00am meme, it should have been made more clearly, and consistently.

Yay Biden.

On cell phones--the e-mails from my kids' schools go out in such a way that they arrive hours or days apart; this is particularly funny when you get the snow-emergency closing notice 2 days late. (Fortunately the middle school took a sensible "forget the no cell phones rule--if you have one, go get it from your locker, call your parents, and give it to a cell-phoneless classmate" approach, and the elementary school preferentially called everyone who didn't take a bus.) I imagine the 62262 list was much longer than my local middle school's.


I quite like Biden. This is the anti-Quayle pick--someone confident enough that a supercapable veep won't overshadow him. I think it also changes the narrative in a couple of useful ways: Changing Washington was never going to involve storming it from without, tossing out every politician, and replacing them with local guys. You need to show a willingness to work with people who know the ropes and also see a need for change. And on the war, I opposed it but never thought Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld would be as stunningly incompetent in its prosecution as they were--turning this into a "Neener neener we were right and you were wrong" referendum on 2002 and 2003 is not the way to look like the Better Start to the New Millenium team that I want. The future is a much better sell than the past. Frame McCain and whomever as the last gasp of those who'd like to do the Cold War and Vietnam over a few more times because they can't picture anything else, and Obama Biden as the team that will deal with the new challenges of a new century in a new way. 

Incidentally, on paper the military has been completely on board for preparing for the future style of conflict. Add in the donation gap from overseas servicemembers, and the military could swing Dem.

When it comes to foreign

When it comes to foreign policy experience and expertise Joe Biden can pee on John McCain's bald pate from a very great height. His selection is also a strong play to the old-fart/centrist/working-class demographic. I wonder what the counter-gambit will be? Lieberman?

Thanks Al for a good analysis putting both the

+'s and -'s up front. So, if Obama flies butterfly and stings like a bee, then Biden will run like a bull and kick like a mule ? I like it.


Cell phone logistics

Steven H - The logistical nightmare of sending out X million cell phone text messages is gigantic. You can't do it all at once. I got mine two-and-a-half hours after others did (and I was signed up in February) and, as I said above, it took at least four hours, maybe more, for all of them to get out.

In any case, not many people were awake between 1 and 6 a.m., so I don't think it impacts anything that you and others got yours in the five a.m. hour.

I'm digging Biden and thinks

I'm digging Biden and thinks he'll definitely move some states to our column.  Little ole IA goes blue for sure with this ticket!

FWIW, I am officially over the BO website, holy crap the Chicken Littling going on is god-awful.   Freaks.

Maybe It Could Be Worse, But Not By Much....

I appreciate Al's articulate "Rocky" meets "West Side Story" weaving of troop rallying prose, but... I honestly didn't know if I'd vote this November to begin with. I live in New York, and if Obama were in trouble there I would vote, but if he has a comfortable lead, which is likely, then... to bring about change, the greater Cosmic Coup, I didn't know if my efforts might be better served in other pursuits that November night. I don't totally discount voting, like many folks I know, and I understand compromise (heck I voted for Bill Clinton, once, when it was a closer race), but neither do I think it's the be all and end all within the context of a one-party system, that is, at best, a one-party republic that uses Democracy as an alibi. What I love about America doesn't have a whole lot to do with that republic, but rather with the struggles of it's peoples, and other forms of life, with that one-party republic. And I know feel that there are many ways (all valid & needed, including those who work in electoral politics) to help foster the fruition for all life that so many of us still seek.

Onto Mr. Biden... Whilst Al was rallying the troops to wisely focus on the good, and the possible, instead of dwelling on the downside of things, he touched, in typical Giordano balance and integrity, on the many things that make Biden so difficult a pill to swallow for so many of us. I stress both "many", and "difficult" in a heavy manner here. I understand in the context of this drama that he was a better choice than Hillary Clinton, to be sure, but if the two of them were the final candidates standing in the primarys I can't say I would have supported Biden over her....not to say I would've supported her over him. I probably would have respectfully abstained. Most likely, eventually the stink of this choice will wear off, and I will probably vote for Obama. I certainly would have with a bettter "third-point" choice. But I don't know know for certain that I will precisely because of what this says, not about his poor choice, but about Mr. Obama's integrity. And doubting the level of that (not it's existence- just how much & how big, or how limited it is), which I've done and still do even moreso now, is not a good feeling.

I don't feel this was a wise tactical choice. I feel, no matter how well or poor Biden does in his role, that overall it was in a large vibrational sense, a terrible, terrible move to make with somethings so major and important. I am more than dissapointed, and can think of few choices that would have been worse...Clinton being one. And the worst thing about her is what she represents regarding both the insider power structure and her personal megalomanical self-centeredness. How far away, and much better is Joe Biden in either My lasting vision of Joe Biden was actually was forged ths year during the debates when he would smugly, and enormously inappropriately, make snide condescending remarks regarding Kucinich and Gravel. He roots may have been what they were, but his bevaior now smacks of the worst kind of privledged, rich white boy arrogance. He is a man who knows where the power lies, and he personifies the arrogance and ruthlessness used to pertuate those things. The best things that I like about what Obama may represent were in such contrast to Clinton, and folks like Biden, that it is one stark, and darkly unsettling contrast that Obama has sought to bring forward here.

In all honesty I hope that some higher good is served by this choice, and that a pragmatism that makes me uncomfortable in it's scope still plays out to a happier ending of having the more sane wing of the party that Obama represents preside after the election. I am just saddened that if this really is what it takes, that, well, this kind of sinking is what it takes. I'll keep reading Al's work, because I know he won't pul any punches regarding Biden...lord his happy troop rallying little essay carried bushels of honest light shining into why he was hoping so hard for that three pointer. And because Al touches a cord with some of my past, and frankly with how poorly I feel about this thing now, not that I ever felt anywhere near as great as most folks around here, I'd like to feel some rallying sense of goodness about winning. I hope I haven't been robbed of that. Bill Clinton was my absolute least favorite candidate the first time he ran, and against my vow to never work in Democratic party politics again I grudingly worked as a disgruntled and critical Jerry Brown supporter in hopes of derailing Clinton. When I won I felt no hope, or joy, just the knowledge that the evil of the lesser wings of the one party was no on top. And that relief diminished to the point of me not pulling the lever for him the second time around. I want to be able to (in fact I think it's minimum requirement almost for me) to bother to vote because I feel a sense of something other than mere relief. I'd like to feel any small part of good about it. I could feel that about Obama as opposed to Clinton. I don't feel that at all about Biden. I hope the game is merely tied now Al, because what I saw happen is Obama ignored an easy three pointer (a three pointer that was tatically a slam dunk) that would've sent the finish to the history books with the poetic momentum that is maybe the best part of what he offers...that drama of hope and change...I now see now making a graceless lousy deflected pass off to one of the least capable bench warming schlubs on the team, while so many other player were wide open with clear lanes to the hoop. One who repersent the worst part of the game, and is detriment to the team, but one who somehow ended up on the floor and near the basket at the end of the game. That schlub headed for the hoop about to commit an offensive foul and/or toss an airball, and divine intervention had an opposing player fall into him (representing the total buffon level that McCain inhabits) commiting a foul that sent him to the line. He blows the first shot, but a poorly executed second free throw falls in, and we win by one. What we gain is victory, but what looms much larger I'm afraid is what we lost in the way we won...and if I'm not mistaken how we play the game, win or lose, is the bottom line of what this is all about. Blessings!

The more I think about Biden

The more I LOVE this pick.

IMO, Obama impressed me more with picking Biden because beyond all the chatter of the DC pundits about foriegn relations, this after all is really about governing. Biden will help navigate Obama's proposals through congress, the aim should be at the end is to get things done.

Hi Pam

 I am loving the quotes Al posted from the Repub's, Ouch for McDraft is right!

I signed up to attend Camp Obama for field organizer training (even tho, I was trained during the primaries), They wanted my resume, I haven't used a resume in years, had to go digging for that one, lol. I have committed to volunteering in NV for 5 weeks! We will turn NV Blue!!! Very excited and fired up!

I also thank other posters for bringing in a

pragmatic and insightful discussion.


End of Change?!#$#$#%^

Dear Tom W. 

I entirely disagree with your assertion that this is the end of the change theme and full-bore recourse to the same old politics of the Gore/Kerry map.  You suggest and others have been explicit (and I agree) that this is a pragmatic choice.  But to suggest that pragmatism--Obama's most fundamental characteristic--is the end of Change is absurd and simply not based on the facts. Biden is VP nominee, not President.  Obama, as I have said above, owns Biden, making Obama even more in charge than if he had a potential lackey like Kaine.  This is Obama asserting himself.  And Obama, having already established Change and Hope as his rallying cry will only add muscle, be it institutional knowledge or a blocking back, to the ticket.  Two Irishmen on the ticket is also pretty cool, from my perspective!!  So, buck up, Tom, and enjoy the fact that YOU got a 3 am call!


I am happy with the Biden pick. Though no one is perfect, I have always intuitively liked him and that means as much to me as an intellectual and analytical view of his politics. My Hillary-supporting (and Indian-American, by the way) husband is quite pleased with Biden. As is my 18-year old daughter, who supported him in the primaries before she came around to Obama. Biden can please a range of people.

I just got my e-mail message about a half-hour ago, even though I have been on the e-mail list since February.

I am a lurker here but

I am a lurker here but decided to give it a go. How can Tom W declare change has ended because of the Biden pick when he was pushing for Hillary all along? It seems to me that with certain sectors of the democratic party Barack is dammend if he does dammend if he doesn't. They arm chair second guess instead of getting out there and fighitng--eitehr by hitting the pavement or by repeating the talking points (like the right wing do) no matter what instead of trying to tear our candidate down. If Obama loses it will be because we let it happen--by harping, harping harping and thinkign we know better.

Rant over.

We shall see...

Tom -

We shall see if your (wishful?) thinking that we're back to the old Electoral College map again comes true or not.

Specifically, we shall see in Colorado, Virginia, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, and Iowa (states won by Bush last round), and perhaps others as well. There are still multiple paths for Obama-Biden to win without Ohio or Florida (although the pick helps in both, too.)

Let's also see which Joe Biden comes out of the starting gate today. Underneath that insider crust there's the rebel of two and three decades ago. See "Second Wind of the Cuckhold" by the protagonist in The World According to Garp for details!

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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