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Michael Bartley

Great point. Did you see Obama's intro.? I was hoping for Clark or Schweitzer, but combine Biden's backstory with Obama's and you've got a pretty powerful narrative. Plus, Biden's speech had some great stuff in there including an important balance of good humored attack (seven tables is pretty funny) and uplifting rhetoric. It's a good start. I think Biden can knife with a smile and Obama can stand above the fray. Could be powerful combination.

Victoria

Who was your dream pick, Lance? - Among the likely choices, this strikes me as sound.

(1) "Knife with a smile" is exactly right. And I don't mean a sadistic smile, I mean happy warrior. Really comfortable in his skin as he fights. I want to see some healthy fight!

(2) The book on Biden is that people in the Senate (Senators and staff) "either love, or at worst like, him" - Obama is a pragmatic change agent. He needs someone like this to help make things happen. Otherwise, he ends up like GWB, talking about that elusive magic wand all the time.

(3) I just heard Governor Richardson say something that I had noticed in replaying the debates last month. (Yes. I save them.) If you watch them, you see that Obama and Biden laugh at the same things and their eyes meet, there seems to be a potential chemistry there. (Richardson says he watched their rapport develop during those debates.) I've always thought the most important thing about the VP choice is that the energy between the two make something greater than the sum of parts.

I can live with these possibilities and call it a good day.

SweetSue

So much for hope and change. Looks like Bush and Cheney all over again.

Linkmeister

Some interesting thoughts from Democracy Arsenal. In her experience Biden not only hires well but listens to the people he hires. That's a useful trait, particularly if Obama says "Joe, you fix the agencies that BushCo has so badly mucked up."

Falstaff

Look, I'm not Joe Biden's biggest fan; I think a vote for the Iraq War and the bankrupcy bill is nothing to be proud of, and I would so much rather have had Sebalius or... well, my favorite ticket this year would have been Gore/Obama, really, and oddly enough I don't see any stories about that ticket in the paper.

That said, I'm seeing a lot of "Oh, look, it's Cheney again" comments in the lefty blogosphere -- I see SweetSue has already commented along those lines here -- and... eh, I dunno, but I don't think Biden's that bad or anything.

Mostly, I agree with this post, Lance. I think Obama's a much cannier politician than he's mostly been given credit for. I also think that there's both more to him -- in terms of canny, hard-edged toughness -- and less, in terms of savior-factor. I mean, I think the whole Hope Und Change thing is neat and all, but I think John (and your second guesses) are right.

This election, I think, is going to be all about making all the right noises about gentlemanly conduct and mutual respect while clobbering the crap out of the other guy with a rock. I think the Ds may actually have a team that can pull that off.

actor212

Biden's strength is not in his "stone cold Republican killer" mode.

In fact, he has none. Sure, he talks a good game.

And Obama "opposed" the war *koffkoff*.

When the skin is on the line, Biden has capitulated time and time again.

His real strength comes from his ability to get Obama's agenda passed. Like it or not, like HIM or not, Obama is still a rookie Senator. Rookies who get uppity (because there's really no other way of putting it) get smacked down legislatively, and that's where Biden comes in.

He can rein in the Clintonistas in the Senate, and there will be about half of the 60 or so Dems, with about 25 or so die-hard Obamites, and that is what Obama will need to pass legislation.

iamcoyote

What mattered was that that's what everybody was talking about.

Exactly. And it worked on even the most cynical of bloggers, I discovered in my travels around the 'sphere. It seemed such a hokey ploy, but it worked.

PhoenixRising

Um, not to be contrarian, but that's not what mattered.

In a choice between Obama/WhoGivesACrap and Elmer Fudd with Nukes, Obama has a significant advantage regardless of what everyone is talking about this week.

However, that advantage can only be realized if the campaign has a way to wring every vote out of the cell phone demographic. Those of us who are never polled are not 'unlikely voters', we're just technically savvy Ma-Bell-hatin' cheapskates. So getting this motivated population to agree to contact once was a critical tipping point in electoral politics. Email Clay Shirky and ask him to write a book about it, because I'm already over-employed.

PhoenixRising

And also, what Falstaff said: I want 16th St. from Foggy Bottom to the White House, on Nov. 5th, to look like the end of Hamlet. Nordic corpses everywhere and the survivors trying desperately to assign blame for the rout on anything but their own incompetence and corruption.

Toward that end, a VP candidate who knows how to pick up the big rocks and throw them hard is inherently rewarding. Bill Richardson, who I respect, is far too nice and polite a guy for this kind of spade work. Joe Biden on his best days reminds me of the Rottweiler next door--she raised an orphan kitten, right after she killed the coyote who did in the mama cat. Because it's her yard, and she smiles upon it except when she is glaring. And then, well, hide under something heavy.

Joe Biden has an inner pit bull and he's not afraid to let it out to play.

Scout

SweetSue: Obama/Biden = Bush/Cheney? In what universe? I mean, really! What does that make the other guys? John TenHouse/Mystery Veep = Who? Perspective is a good thing.

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