Saturday, August 23, 2008

There is something about the Senate --

By Carol Gee

This campaign has been all about the senators. Not many Senators have ascended to the presidency. And now the rout of outsiders is complete and a senator will be elected President in 2008, and perhaps Vice President. The AP and MSNBC confirmed that Senator Joe Biden will be Senator Obama's running mate.

We are not surprised, but that is OK. All the signs pointed in Biden's direction -- the trip to Georgia, his silence yesterday (it is very hard for him to be quiet), flowers and family arriving at his home, etc. Operating only from memory (I'll confirm much more through research later), here are a few initial reflections.

It is a good thing. Biden is a smart choice. Biden will do just fine. He has wanted to be president for a long time, and he will be happy to be Vice President. He will offer wide counsel, foreign relations gravitas, and honest feedback. He will provide good leadership that will not require the "lawyering-up" of a Cheney/Bush.

Joe Biden has the seasoning of difficult life experiences, intellect, courage and honesty, and a very fine record as a working senator and leader. He lost his beloved first wife and child many years ago. He rebuilt his life and found love again. He has weathered serious health problems. He has ridden the train back and forth from Delaware to Washington for years and years. So, he knows the value of "chilling." And he has a bit of healthy vanity, having had his male pattern baldness repaired, in front of all of us, many years ago.

No more an elitist than Senator Obama is, he comes from a working class background. These two intelligent Democratic nominees can govern well together. If it had been about garnering votes Senator Obama would have chosen Senator Clinton. But governance would have been a nightmare.

About getting elected, however, Senator Biden will know how to fiercely oppose Senator McCain. He has known the Arizonan since he came into the senate. I have no doubt that he will be able to make the case that McCain and our current president (OCP) are "one and the same." I remember many times when Biden was standing before MSNBC's cameras roundly criticizing OCP for his latest misstep without holding much of anything back. He can serve the traditional Vice Presidential role of attack dog quite adequately. But he will do it with class.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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