The first thought I had when I learned yesterday that presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama had tapped Delaware’s Joe Biden running mate was what a poor job the Obama campaign had done of keeping this secret. They had given the McCain campaign and conservative bloggers a chance to prepare responses. The opposition was not “caught unawares.”
This failure to prevent this from leaking helps define this pick as a revelatory blunder of the Obama campaign. It shows that they may be too close to the media for their own good. The staffer who leaked this probably assumed the reporter, sympathetic to the Obama campaign, would keep this under wraps.
Or maybe the campaign wanted this information made public. In any case, it dulled the impact of Saturday’s announcement.
It’s not just the failure of the campaign to keep this secret which reveals much about Obama’s White House bid. It’s the very pick itself.
As a McCain supporter, I breathed a sign of relief when I heard Obama had picked Biden. Of the names floated, I had thought Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel and former (and current?) Obama rival Hillary Clinton would have been his strongest picks.
The first two would put “red” states into play as both men had executive experience (something Biden and Obama lack), Kaine having served as Mayor of Richmond and now Governor of the Old Dominion and Bayh having served two terms as Governor of the Hoosier State. Hagel would have made Obama’s claims of “postpartisanship” seem more legitimate. Hillary would have helped him unite a fractured party.
But, Biden only brings the appearance of wisdom, as if thirty-six years in the Senate must needs makes a man wise. As Mickey Kaus put it, the Delaware Senator “doesn’t have gravitas. He has seniority.”
Not just that, in his recent presidential campaign, Biden never really caught fire with the Democratic base. He “wasn’t even the third most successful candidate this year (hi, John Edwards!), or fourth (Bill Richardson, I suppose), or fifth (Dennis Kucinich!).”
And then there’s his tendency to blather on and on (and on and on and on) such that he makes my posts seem succinct. As Jonah Goldberg put it, “Biden is such a gasbag he makes the Hindenburg look like a sack of rocks.” The Democratic ticket has made theirs the party of words, with the scripted eloquence of the presidential nominee and the errant ramblings of the vice-presidential.
I’ve sure Republican operatives and zealous bloggers are scouring video archives for further examples of Biden’s empty or arrogant statements in his many public appearances.
The only thing Biden brings to the ticket is an appearance of wisdom or gravitas, but those many silly statements will show that appearance to be little more than an illusion.
I’m with Mark Levin on this one: “Biden is a great pick … for the McCain campaign.”
It shows that Obama is desperate for gravitas, but incapable of understanding what that concept means. As Peggy put is, well before we learned of his vice-presidential choice, the Democratic nominee “consistently shows that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”