The Unbearable Lightness of Biden

Some time in the next 48 hours, Barack Obama will announce his running mate. The current favorite seems to be Joe Biden. I hope it’s true: if Obama chooses Biden, it will be more evidence that he, and the Democrats generally, are living in a bubble.

Personally, I kind of like Biden. He can be disarming at times, and occasionally borders on the moderate. But how can he possibly help Obama? Throughout his long career, Biden has been anything but a powerhouse. His several Presidential runs have gone nowhere. On the national scene he is, frankly, a bit of a joke. What is he going to do, help Obama carry Delaware?

You can see the logic behind choosing Biden. Obama is young, so he wants an old Veep. Obama knows little about American history, diplomacy, foreign affairs or military matters, and Biden is the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Superficially, it seems to make sense.

The problem is that, whereas Obama is a young lightweight, Biden is an old lightweight–Obama with a hair transplant. While Obama has only been a lightweight for 47 years, Biden has been one for 65. Is this a big plus? I doubt it. If you put Biden on a stage next to Tim Pawlenty and ask voters which one is the serious candidate, two-thirds will say Pawlenty.

So: Slow Joe Biden for Vice-President? Absolutely! It’s one more sign that Obama, the supposed harbinger of change, is running an unimaginative, paint-by-numbers campaign.

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