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The Biden Factor

and his impact on the race

There have been innumerable opinions and articles so far about the Obama / Biden candidacy. Why did Obama choose Joe Biden as his running mate? What was he thinking? And what can he possibly hope to gain from having Biden on the ticket? What is he likely to sacrifice?

I’m no expert, clearly. Just an Average Joe American with an opinion on everything, including politics and the VP selection of Senator Joe Biden from Delaware. Just my opinion, mind you, nothing scientific.

Because Obama and Biden are both politicians, I don’t expect that we would ever hear from either of them the truth about why Senator Obama selected Biden as his running mate. So I’ll offer you my opinion.First, everyone knows that Senator Obama has barely four years of Federal service experience. Regardless of how much you may want change, experience is a key factor in running a country. Would you expect Walmart — literally the largest company in the world — to hire someone to be their CEO after working only four years as a Store Manager? Of course not. They would look for someone with a proven track record of success — someone with experience. Which is why, I think, that Senator Obama selected Senator Biden as his running mate.

Senator Biden has been serving in the United States Senate since 1973. That’s 35 years! That’s ten years longer than Senator McCain, and 31 years longer than Senator Obama. Joe Biden brings Washington political experience to the Democrat ticket. Experience that Obama clearly does not have.

One problem with that, as I see it: change? Senator Obama has been running on a platform of change since early in the primaries. Change and hope. My question is, how exactly do you continue to run on a platform of change when your running mate has more Washington political experience than your opponent? What exactly can the junior Senator from Illinois hope to change? Maybe his platform and his campaign slogan? Just a suggestion.

In addition, Senator Biden is known to be quick lipped. In fact, he is known to frequently engage his mouth before engaging his mind. I could link to the videos and articles about Senator Biden describing Barack Obama as the first articulate African American candidate for President (he even said Obama is “clean”); Senator Biden saying you can’t go into a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts in Delaware unless you have a slight Indian accent; Senator Biden (remember, he’s a Democrat) saying he would be honored to run either with or against Senator McCain (a Republican) for the White House; Senator Biden saying that Barack Obama can be ready to lead someday, but that the Presidency doesn’t really lend itself to on-the-job training. I could link to all of those videos and articles, but if you’re reading this, you’ve already seen them some place else.

So what does Obama stand to gain? Briefly, he adds some experience to the ticket (though that is arguably both a plus and a minus). That added experience includes foreign relations experience, as Senator Biden twice sat as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. You’ll remember that serving in the Illinois State Senate prior to his recent election to the United States Senate, Senator Obama has zero foreign relations experience. In fact, the only foreign relations experience he has is his recent trip abroad, which was more of an international campaign rally than anything else. If you can think of anything else beneficial that Senator Biden contributes to the ticket, please let me know.

And what does the junior Senator from Illinois stand to sacrifice by selecting Senator Biden as his running mate? Simple: his entire campaign platform. First, as I already mentioned, how can he run on a platform of change with one of the most tenured Senators as his running mate? That’s establishment politics if it ever existed. Second, Senator Joe Biden is old. Just five years younger than Senator John McCain. The Obama campaign can no longer use the uncertainty of McCain’s age in his golden years as a campaign attack tool, since his running mate is nearly as old as McCain. And what about all of those negative comments Senator Biden made about Barack Obama when he actually thought he had a chance at winning the nomination? And the supportive remarks he made about Senator McCain? You’ve surely heard predictions that the Republican party is going to have a field day with Senator Biden’s untimely comments.

What else does he lose? Well, one might venture to say that he may have lost any chance to win the state of Indiana after passing over our junior Senator, Evan Bayh (thank God, as that man is just evil in office — again, my personal opinion). He may also have given up on the support of Senator Clinton’s supporters. It was reported today that Hillary has released her delegates and turned them over to Senator Obama. Unfortunately, that’s merely a symbolic gesture as the delegates have nothing to do but ensure Senator Obama receives the nomination that he has already locked up.

I just thought of another reason that Senator Obama may have chosen Senator Biden of Indiana’s Senator Bayh. Should Obama win the White House in November, then the Senate seat of his running mate would be vacant. Those vacant Senate seats are filled by appointment made by the Governor of the state. The Governor of Indiana is Republican Mitch Daniels. The Governor of Delaware is Democrat Ruth Ann Minner. Governor Daniels would certainly appoint a Republican to the vacated seat of Democrat Senator Evan Bayh, possibly tipping the entire balance of Congress in favor of Republicans. By selecting a running mate from a state with a Democrat Governor, the Democrats can avoid losing a seat in the Senate by winning the White House. Just a thought.

But what about the issues. Have you seen a solid comparison between Senator Obama and Senator Biden on the issues? Here’s a partial look at where the candidates stand on the issues:

I’ve highlighted in yellow the issues where Senators Obama and Biden either differ or one of the two have made no public declaration. You’ll see, they are not at all unified on the issues.

And one last thing. Okay, two. First, I’m sick and tired of hearing all of the talk about being rich, or being like an average American. Can you honestly name anyone in Washington politics that is like an average American? No, you can’t. They are all rich. They are rich because they have been successful in life and in business, which is exactly what you would expect of someone before you give them a chance to participate in running the country. If they couldn’t manage a business or their own personal affairs, how could they possibly manage the country?

And second, give me a break already on all of the negative campaigning. I’m just saying, can’t we stick to the issues? I know, this is politics and that’s how it goes, but it’s a pretty sad thing to accept it so easily.

As I said, I’m no expert, nor political scientist. Just an Average Joe with an opinion. I hope I’ve helped to make you think a little.

Your comments?

Joe

Read more at AverageJoeAmerican.US.

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