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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

So, explain to me the wisdom of the Biden pick, again.

What? No. Nothing fresh off of the presses.

But Jonah Goldberg’s made a darn interesting set of points here (via Jake Tapper):

• Obama justified his entire bid against Hillary Clinton on the grounds that he had shown superior judgment by opposing the Iraq war.

• Obama said over and over that we can’t have the same people in different chairs if we want real reform.

• His ad mocking McCain makes much hay of the fact that McCain came to Washington in 1982.

Well: Biden supported the Iraq war, he’s even more of Washington insider than McCain (his heroic Amtrak commute notwithstanding) and he was well into his second six year term in the Senate when McCain was first elected to the House in 1982. Now either Obama’s campaign rhetoric is a lie, or Biden isn’t a good governing pick by Obama’s own standards.

I suppose that there’s no chance for an “embrace the healing power of ‘and’ there, brother” moment. Pity: I enjoy those.Yeah, that Biden pick didn’t work out at all, did it? He’s pretty much ignored these days, to the point where I’ve seen conservatives mumbling about how the media is possibly covering the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee in a manner not quite seemly. It takes a lot to punch through the (justified) cloud of contempt we currently have towards the media’s coverage, but they’re managing it. The charitable narrative is that he’ll be back in the spotlight after the VP debates, said narrative being based on the assumption that Biden will beat Sarah handily there. Which… I suppose could happen. It doesn’t violate any law of physics to have Joe Biden come up with a coherent answer to a question that clocks in at under a minute and a half; for that matter, it doesn’t even violate any law of physics to have him come up with a coherent answer to any question at all. People assume otherwise simply because he’s spent the last thirty years being cultured in a Senatorial Petri dish.

Look, I agree on this bit from Victor Davis Hanson:

Biden may be arrogant and vain, but he has an odd charm as everyman’s nightmare when we root for him not to say something embarrassing, know that when his eyes start spinning he will and can’t stop—and know that we will end up either not taking it too seriously or feeling bad for him that he did. I have heard a lot of conservatives rattle off all the reasons why Biden is duplicitious, a bully, and often mean-spirited—before ending up with an inexplicable sigh, “But I sort of like Joe Biden.” Even weirder—I sort of do too, but don’t know quite why either.

…in my case I think it’s because I can’t help but equate him with the guy who you always see sitting in the same place at your favorite not-quite-dive. It’s usually just next to the good seats, which means that you can either not sit there, or get sucked in to one of his interminable conversations; but he does gets off good ones – usually at his own expense – won’t duck out of buying his rounds, and will tell you to take two from the pack when you bum a smoke, so yeah, he’s all right. You’d ask the barkeep if he wasn’t in that day. The barkeep would probably know where he was, too.

That’s not a good choice for Vice President – and before we get the whiners; yes, a small-town mayor, moose-hunting hockey mom, and oh, yes, Governor of Alaska is, as evidenced by the way the Democrats keep screaming about it – but Senator Obama apparently didn’t think that he had a choice in the matter. To get back to Jonah’s original criteria, Biden got picked because Obama thought that he needed someone who had been for the Iraq War (given that he turned out to have been fairly dramatically wrong on it), and Biden came closest; because Obama knows full well that he’s got the weakest Presidential resume in recent history; and, most importantly, because John McCain was making him panic about both problems even before the Democratic Convention (something that we seem to be starting to forget). That last bit is important, because it explains why Biden. If Obama hadn’t panicked, he might or might not have picked somebody with useful charisma – but he would have picked somebody with actual message discipline.

Alas – for Obama – he didn’t, and so it’s lonely on that plane. Moral of the day, class: if people ask you if you’re a god, you can say “Yes.” Just make sure that they never, ever, start believing you: that’s the first step in a path that ends with you thinking that decisions like picking Joe Biden for VP is smart solely because it’s you doing the decision.

Moral of the day for Democrats: ignore all of this; it’s merely agitprop. Everything’s going swell for you guys, and we’re just scared.

Moe Lane

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