Political chatter from DC and NYC, the amNewYork way

Biden validated by the establishment?

By LaShawnda

With Sen. Obama’s announcement this past weekend of Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential pick, the political airwaves have ramped up with increased speculation and predictions.

Sen. Biden is the sixth most-senior senator in the Senate, currently serving his sixth term. Sen. Biden has served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as past and current chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. For months Sen. Obama has been attacked for his inexperience. His inexperience in the Senate has been judged as his inability to lead.

I’m not sold on Biden. I wasn’t inspired while listening to his introductory speech in Springfield on Aug. 23. He spoke in good sound bites, “President Lincoln once instructed us to be sure to put your feet in the right place and then stand firm.” Quoting Lincoln in Springfield — good sound bite. But resonating a sincere belief in the words you speak — not something you can fake. Sen. Biden went on the illustrate how he and Sen. Obama come from different places but share a common American story. Again, good sound bite. However, I am not sold that Biden believes he shares a common story with Obama.

(continued) This is the crux of the speculation that hit airwaves and blogs Saturday afternoon. Can Joe Biden, as entrenched as he is in the Washington political establishment, be a representative of the "change we can believe in"? Obama’s campaign is powered by hope, belief in individuals uniting and a grassroots desire to initiate and follow through with political and governmental change. Obama has not succeeded this far by getting on board with the old way of doing things. It’s surprising he would select a vice presidential candidate who represents the old way and has the cronies to prove it.

Both Biden and McCain acknowledged their long-standing, firm friendship this weekend. And there is much in the media about Biden’s attacks on Obama during the primary season. However, on Saturday, he claimed that his good friend, Sen. John McCain would only be an extension of the current Bush administration, i.e. not a good presidential choice.

Don’t vote for McCain because he’s a firm supporter of President Bush’s policies. Well, if we’re knocking people for the company they keep. ... Sen. Biden then went on to sing Obama’s praises. He stated:

“Campaigning for president is a test of character and leadership. He [Obama] has the vision. ... He also has the courage to make this a better place. This man is a clear-eyed pragmatist who gets the job done!”

I agree, but not because Biden said it.

Pundits are already suggesting that Biden will legitimize Obama’s run for president. On "Meet the Press," Chuck Todd stated Joe Biden did a better job selling Obama than Obama himself did. What was he watching?

Sen. McCain has been playing political fear tactics since Sen. Obama secured his position as presumptive nominee of the Democratic party. He’s been successful with him campaign against Obama largely because of attacks from former Democratic competitors.

McCain has illustrated his fear and disdain for the momentum Obama has inspired not just in America, but around the world. Obama has answered McCain’s every criticism and attack. He has bettered himself, his position and his campaign. McCain must be feeling a lot of pressure now that one of his longtime friends and contemporaries has joined with his rival for the White House.

He’s been knocking Obama around for the past few weeks with attack ads that are beneath the dignity we assumed he had. Now we get to see how he plays with one of his friends.

One of Biden’s sound bites that resonated with me was:

“A champion isn’t determined by how many times he’s knocked down. A champion is determined by how quickly he gets up.”

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