BIDEN FOR VEEP?….Even Bayh is yesterday’s news. All the buzz today is about Joe Biden being Obama’s running mate. Would this be a bad choice?
For the prosecution we have Jeralyn Merritt, who says he’s bad on crime issues. Matt Yglesias thinks his initial support for the Iraq war is a problem. Everyone despises his vote for the 2005 bankruptcy bill. And, not to be too indelicate about this, he has a reputation for being both a camera hog and a bit of a dick.
For the defense, I’ll say this. (1) Crime is not going to be a big issue for the next four years. (2) Biden’s support for the war might have been an issue in the Democratic primary, but I don’t see it being an albatross in the general election. He’s done his penance, and in any case, who’s going to raise it as an issue? McCain? (3) The bankruptcy bill was a bad deal, but it passed by a big margin and everyone votes for home state interests now and then. (4) And finally, since I don’t personally have to work for the guy, I don’t really mind if he can be a little dickish at times.
On the plus side, he’s genuinely knowledgable about foreign affairs and doesn’t let himself get bullied around by the likes of Tim Russert. He’s mostly gotten his mouth under control and is a pretty good speaker and a pretty good debater. His working class roots are a plus. He’s comfortable in the attack dog role. Obama could probably use someone with experience on the ticket, and Biden has it. He presents a fairly moderate image thanks to a few high-profile breaks with liberal orthodoxy (electorally an asset), but his overall voting record is pretty good (10th most liberal in Keith Poole’s rankings, one notch ahead of Obama). And — big plus here — the press likes him, motormouth or not. More here from Ezra Klein and Jon Cohn.
I think he’d be a good choice. Plus there’s this: a friend of mine has taken a major Biden position on InTrade and stands to make out like a bandit if he gets the nod. So I’m rooting for him.