Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama's running mate revealed.

Obama's running mate was just released a little while ago. Its Senator Joseph R. Biden from Delaware. Hes been around for quite some time (over 30 years I hear) so does he fit well with Obama's theme of change in politics?

Or perhaps, a better question would be "Who on God's green earth is Senator Joseph R. Biden?" Just kidding.* Kind of.

*Looked him up on NY Times so I know more about him, but seriously though, who is he? o_O?
**Thanks to reginaavalos from Twitter. I thought I was the only one who didn't know. lol


  1. I thought It would be Hillary Clinton! I never heard about Biden before,I just read the article in the NY Times online.He tried the primaries in 1988,but there was something about lies...Some people say that he looks like McCain,but I hope it's just the "look-like" and not more!!! There were no problems with him as Senator of Delaware.We gonna see what will happen in November.To be a good VP or not...that's the question!

  2. I guess you all are too young to remember the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing, of which Biden was the chairman. It happened around the time you were born, but for me it's one of those painful associations that never goes away. To summarize, in a crucial political battle, the Republicans were like the Harlem Globetrotters, and Biden was the captain of the Washington Generals. To this day, every time the Supreme Court makes a decision, we feel the effect of losing that battle.

    The fact that he plagiarized a couple sentences by a British (Welsh, specifically, in case you're worried about getting it wrong) politician in a speech 21 years ago never really bothered me, though I'm sure we'll hear a lot about it from the right.

    I should mention that Biden also ran for President in 2008 and was mainly noticed for saying something really stupid about Obama, though it seemed accidental rather than hostile.

    I think the main reason that Obama picked him is that Biden is chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which should reassure people that the Democratic ticket will be ready for the foreign policy mess that Bush is leaving behind.

  3. @Caroline: I was hoping it would be Hilary as well, but I thought it would be a little odd after all of the drama that took place during their race against each other.

    @Opps: I've heard a little about some of his past blunders, but you've put it a bit clearer. One question I have now is just what did happen back then? It sounds epic from what you've written and how come I've never heard anything about it. Thats one history lesson I've must have missed then.

    I've also picked up from a lot of reports that his experience with Foreign Relations is why Obama picked him. My biggest problem is that I can't for the life of me even recall him in the race - if I did, I wouldn't have thought of him as a random, last moment choice.

    I guess I'll end with this: Is his past with Foregin Relations really enough for him to be a good VP?

  4. I'm feeling pretty old now, but I'll try to give a quick history lesson here. :-)

    It was a mess which combined all the things that make for messy politics and good television - especially race issues, gender issues, including sexual harassment.

    Setting the stage, in the Fall of 1991 Bush Sr. was President. Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice, retired. So Bush Sr. gets to pick his replacement. Bush's previous appointment, David Souter, disappointed a lot of Republicans by not being right-wing enough. The Democrats had successfully blocked a couple of ultra-conservative nominees - notably Reagan's appointee Robert Bork 4 years previously, so the Republicans came up with a strategy. To replace the African-American justice, they'd nominate the most right-wing African-American they could find, and the Democrats would be caught between identity politics and issues.

    Clarence Thomas was probably the least-qualified nominee until Bush Jr. nominated Harriet Miers in 2005 (trying unsuccessfully to follow the same strategy, but with gender, since she was to replace the retiring first female Justice). The strategy was working great until Thomas's former employee Anita Hill went public with allegations that he had sexually harassed her.

    She was invited to testify in Thomas's confirmation hearings, chaired by Senator Biden. The Democrats on the committee made every effort to respect the nominee and made some clumsy efforts to ascertain the facts (the most memorable quote being from a Southern Democrat who asked Anita Hill if she was "a scorned woman"), while the Republicans on the committee made every effort to make Anita Hill look like a liar, psycho or whatever.

    In the end, Clarence Thomas, who had devoted his career to opposing affirmative action and preventing anyone from receiving any preferential treatment because of race, played the race card, calling the constitutionally-mandated hearing "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks". And so the Democrats backed off, Thomas is on the court for life, and so many women were upset by the treatment that Anita Hill received in the Senate that a record number of women were elected to Congress the following year.

    For a few salacious details about the allegations, I recommend:

  5. Wow, that is a mess. I really am shocked that I never heard of this before - I would have had so much fun learning about it.

    So what do you think is going to happen now. We had the first day of the convention last night with two amazing speeches and tonights Ms. Clinton's turn to step up to bat. Everyone has their flaws and all, but hopefully the Democrats can pull everyone together. (McCain's last ad pissed me the hell off).

  6. Yeah,that's a mess.I don't know what is going to happen now...maybe we have to wait for the Republican Convention,but for the moment I'm not a fan of this Biden guy.You mean McCain's ad about Paris Hilton and Obama?

  7. There's lots of twists and turns to come. What we can predict is that Obama will give a great speech and get a "bounce" from the convention, and then McCain will announce his VP pick, which will divert media attention. Then McCain will get a minor "bounce" from his convention if he can keep Bush mostly out of the picture. And then there will be debates, and then there will be certain battleground states where you won't be able to turn on the tv without seeing vicious attack ads. And then there will be a close vote with lots of attention on the possibility of fraud, machine error, etc.

    People who care about cultural issues and who care about race will mostly cancel out each others' votes. The people who decide the election will be culturally uncomfortable with Obama (i.e. people who don't want to be reminded that they don't know what arugula is) but they have been suffering from the high price of gas.

    There are certain trends to keep an eye on: the dollar and gas prices, the war in Iraq, housing and financial crises. Recently they've all been calming down a bit. This favors McCain, and it's unlikely that it's a coincidence. I'm not sure whether this calming will continue much past November. I'm also curious about how many spurned Hillary zombies are really out there - people who will vote for McCain just out of spite. Probably not that many after tonight, but every vote counts.

    Another thing to watch is how different McCain's agenda is from Bush's. It's been suggested that the religious right has come back to him, leaving him free to tailor his image to middle-of-the-road voters. Apart from vague global warming policies, McCain hasn't proposed anything that sounds different from what Bush has done. That could change at the Republican convention.

  8. ah, its about time for me to make a new post about all of this, so hold on for it you guys.

  9. I get the impression that recent political developments have left you speechless. :-)

    It's certainly not a boring election...

  10. Oh, of course it is. I've just been busy getting ready for school...