Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Obiden? O Yes

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.


Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

At 9:50 p.m. I looked at my phone and saw a text message waiting to unveil itself. It was a Friday night and speculation had been swirling like Fay for a week about Obama's partner in crime. Back on Aug. 11, Obama had assured us -- his supporters that turned over emails and phone numbers -- that we would be the first ones to know "the moment Barack makes his decision."*

But in the end, it was a Breaking News alert from CNN and AP citing anonymous sources that Biden was it. Minutes earlier, ABC News told us the Secret Service was heading over to Biden's house and the bubble had just about burst.

Support for LAist comes from

It's impossible to keep a secret these days, what with the resources major media companies gladly expend on breaking stories and the multitude of avenues to dispense news as it happens. It was nice to think Obama at least said he wanted to keep the secret from the MSM until his supporters knew, but even the Agent of Change can't transform the ravenous news machine.

So it is Biden and let the spin begin. Those on the right will attack the Delaware Senator for being too liberal; they will point out how loose lipped he is (In 2006, on the influx of Indian-Americans to Delaware: "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."); that he is a plagiarizer, has a temper and so on.

But Biden is the smartest pick for 5 reasons:

  • Biden is white Obama's race was a factor in some of his contests during the Democratic Primary and has been the reason for at least some of his recent slide. Lest we decry how ugly America is for that -- and it is -- keep in mind that a black person still has an incredibly great chance to be president. Whitey Biden could help allay some racial concerns by concerned racists.
  • Biden is an experienced campaigner and politician As a two-time presidential candidate, Biden knows the wear and tear a campaign trail can inflict and, despite his said proliferation for verbal gaffes, he is a mostly smooth and passionate operator who willingly displays a keen grasp of numerous issues, including...
  • Foreign policy, Biden's strength As the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Biden almost single handily team any Republican duo claiming Obama is weak on the world as an issue. Recently, Biden visited Georgia, is well versed in the issues facing Pakistan, a key U.S. ally and has visited Iraq more than most senators (including McCain). If this election is a referendum on the economy, a strong deciding factor in people's decision could be the international stage. That could play into Obiden's favor very well, especially if the rumors that McCain is going to pick Mitt Romney are true.
  • He's young but not that young and old but not McCain old At 65 years old, Biden is 16 years older than Obama and six years younger than McCain. Biden is that dude you can have a beer with while playing golf. You can shoot the shit with him while unafraid to ask about when that dang social security check will arrive. For those who say Obama is too young, Biden can step in to show off that powder white hair. For those who say Obama is too inexperienced, Biden can flash that sterling resume which includes 35 years of public service that even Grandpa McCain can't scoff at.
  • He won't be afraid to bite Limbaugh's face off When Rush Limbaugh will inevitably complain, once again, that Obama's speeches are "a bunch of pap, a bunch of meaningless, nothing platitudes" there will be Biden with a gentlemanly yet impassioned dismissal that will hopefully be reminiscent (but not too much so) of his May 15 "bullshit" comment regarding what Bush said about Obama's so-called appeasement. He has shown a willingness to speak up for himself, his policies and his party, such as when he called out Republicans (notably McCain on the floor of the Senate) for their bungling of the war in Iraq.

Just as there is no perfect presidential candidate, there is no vice presidential pick that will please all. Certainly, Biden has his faults and could spell doom on the campaign trail if he does not keep his, um, passion under wraps. But after failing to secure his party's bid for the nomination twice, Biden should have his eye on the prize. In picking Biden, Obama now has a passionate, willing and strong choice for his second-in-command.
*Update At 1:43 a.m., nearly four hours after major media outlets had the news, Barack Obama sent an email to supporters: "I have some important news that I want to make official. I've chosen Joe Biden to be my running mate."

The two are scheduled to appear for the first time as running mates later today in Springfield, Ill. -- the site where Obama kicked off his campaign more than 19 months ago.