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Joe Biden, the Kiss of Death

John McCain must be brimming with joy at Obama's choice.

by
Bernard Chapin

Bio

August 26, 2008 - 12:00 am
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It is now official. Senator Joe Biden of Delaware has been selected by Barack Obama to be his running mate in the general election. The advantage of his doing so is not immediately apparent as the senior senator from Delaware is imbued with more negatives than positives. Preliminary data indicates that his presence is unlikely to have much of an impact, and, geographically speaking, the choice is nothing short of astounding. Biden hails from a reliable blue state so his name on a glossy button will fail to sway hearts in Pennsylvania (that he lived in Scranton until he was age 10 is something I do not think will have much of an effect), Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, Florida, and Michigan. Due to a tightening of the race, his lack of connections in battleground states is a major drawback as some electoral configurations even have John McCain in the lead. At the moment an Obama presidency appears anything but inevitable.

After the announcement, Obama boasted that their new team will “turn the page on the ugly partisanship in Washington,” but past performance suggests otherwise. The senator from Delaware’s political worldview is nearly as left-wing as Obama’s. National Journal dubbed Obama the “most liberal senator in 2007″ and bestowed a 95.5 percent rating upon him. Biden’s 94.2 percent earned him third place. The American Conservative Union confirmed National Journal’s assessment of their collective ideology. They gave the Democratic nominee a 7.6 lifetime rating (out of 100) while Biden merited a 13.0. Therefore, the vice-presidential gambit amounts to one leftist reaching out to another. Solidifying the eastern seaboard will do Obama no good as he garnered that region’s fealty long ago.

While Biden’s politicial orientation differs little from Obama’s, his essence clashes resoundingly with the campaign’s ubiquitous mantra of hope and change. There is nothing new in the perspective of a five-term Washington insider. Biden is as much a part of the federocracy as its computers, phones, and squandered funds. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, Biden’s 70 pork-barrel spending projects cost taxpayers $119 million last year. In comparison to his overfed peers, the Delaware senator’s manipulations of the budget are fairly pedestrian, but they are in keeping with the Capitol’s standard method of conducting business.

Given that Obama only had two years of experience at the national level before announcing his candidacy in 2007, the experience Biden provides him with is notable. Currently, he is chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and recently visited the Republic of Georgia in the midst of its dire crisis. That he “has played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy” — a claim made on his website — is accurate. These foreign policy credentials are believed to be the chief reason why he finds himself once again in the limelight.

International relations are the upside with Biden but there is ample downside as well. Indeed, he arrives at destinations with more baggage than Oprah Winfrey. His mouth has always been his biggest enemy and he is an adept practitioner of self-sabotage. The mainstream media is aware of this eventuality and are already attempting to spin Saturday’s news in a favorable manner. Human interest pieces have proliferated. Journalists cognizant of his flaws seek to preempt conservative objections as a means of inoculating voters before the truth can become known.

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