(more photos after the break)
Fresh off the announcement, these are my initial thoughts on the strategic pros and cons of Biden being named Obama’s running mate:
(a note on my personal opinion at the end)
- Chemistry: The chemistry is right. They have an established working relationship having worked well together on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (with Biden being Barack’s ‘boss’).
- Ends the Clinton Drama: After the speeches and roll-call next week, the post-primary Clinton drama will be ended. There will be no issue of what to do with “Bill” had Barack picked Hillary.
- Scrappy Fighter: Barack can remain above the fray during the election campaign while Biden (who is no shrinking violet) gets down and dirty in the presidential fight/debates – similar to what Cheney did for Bush. He’ll effectively handle the Republican attack machine — in the words of Chris Matthews, “the Carl Rove, divisive, swift boating, character assassinating partisanship that calls every disagreement treason or appeasement, every electoral rival an enemy of the people”. Ha! 🙂
- McCain Knowledge: Since Biden has worked with McCain for his entire career and knows him intimately, he’s strategically positioned to go toe-to-toe in debating McCain and his VP on every policy issue.
- First Rate Debater: He’s a terrific debater. He’s well versed in every major policy area. He’ll be a good debater against any McCain VP pick.
- Foreign Policy Chops: He’s extremely knowledgeable on foreign affairs and military policy (shoring up a perceived Obama weakness – he called for the surge YEARS before either Bush or McCain did). Biden should send flowers to Putin for the South Ossetia affair – which probably secured Biden’s place on the ticket. He has established personal working relationships with most every major foreign leader. Has travelled the world widely.
- Third Pennsylvania Senator: While Biden is a senator from Delaware, he was born in Scranton Pennsylvania – a key battleground state that Hillary won in the primaries. Given Delaware’s proximity and overlapping media markets with Philadelphia, Biden’s considered Pennsylvania’s third senator. While Bush took most of Pennsylvania in 2004, Kerry won the state by taking Eastern Pennsylvania – the part closest to the Delaware border.