Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why I Like Joe Biden

Barack Obama finally selected his Vice President, text messaging his supporters around 3 AM yesterday announcing that Senator Joe Biden was his choice for Vice President (I, however, have yet to get that text message, though I did get an e-mail from Obama around 4:50 a.m. announcing the pick). As I wrote earlier, Biden was my pick for VP. He has an extremely compelling personal story (he was elected to the United States Senate at age 29, then months later he lost his wife and infant daughter to a horrific car accident, was sworn into the Senate from his sons hospital beds as they recovered from their injuries sustained in the same accident; he ran for the Presidency in 1988 and then almost died of a brain aneurysm;, and he continues, to this day, to ride Amtrak back and forth from Delaware to Washington each day, eschewing living in D.C.), he has an encyclopedic knowledge of foreign policy and will undoubtedly help Obama govern effectively, and he's fiercely independent and won't be afraid to question and challenge Obama when they disagree.

Going into the primaries, I wasn't sold on Biden. But after watching him campaign, and especially his performances in the debates, I changed my tune very quickly. From the Democratic CNN YouTube debate on July 24, 2007 (wow, this election has been going on for a long time, and July was almost eight months into it to boot):

As for who else really impressed me, Joe Biden continues to show that he may be the smartest candidate of the bunch. A bit angry at times, but while everyone else talks about getting out of Iraq, Biden sounds like he actually knows how to get out of Iraq. On foreign policy, there is nobody better right now than Biden, and he sounds intelligent on the domestic issues too. He has no chance to be President, but should a Democrat win in 2008, I couldn't think of a better candidate for Secretary of State.

I had much the same opinion in September after an MSNBC debate:
Edwards, as well as Joe Biden, had good nights. I like Biden more and more every time I see him. Sure, he's not going to win, but he's the only one, especially when compared to Clinton, to actually answer questions, and he's incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to Iraq and foreign policy. Would he make a good President? I don't know. But he needs a prominent role in our government.

And then there was the December 2007 debate:
And one last debate thought, Joe Biden, again, a great performance. More than anyone else, including Obama, Biden has impressed me in these debates. So much so that I'm going to write his name in and vote for him in the Michigan primary. It doesn't mean much since the Democrats have all taken their names off the ballot here in accordance with the wishes of the DNC (except for Hillary of course) so our primary is pretty meaningless, but Biden deserves it. He doesn't want to be VP, and probably wouldn't be a good electoral choice, but I'd make him Secretary of State or Defense or anything he wanted if I were the next President.

So, while I was pushing Biden for Secretary of State, Vice President works too. I think he was the best choice, and he's the right choice. And he's going to be a fiery advocate and campaigner for Obama. I can't wait to see the team in action.

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