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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8424/biden/


August 23, 2008 by

This isn’t a political blog, and I’m terrible at political predictions, but the Obama choice of Joseph Biden as running mate strikes me as incredibly dumb. Obama’s main advantage is the perception that he is an outsider who will change Washington, someone not hooked up with the establishment, someone who will rethink the ways things work. And he has some of that Clinton-style capacity to appear to get beyond the conventional statism of the Democrats — probably all illusory but there it is. Biden, on the other hand, is the consummate insider/operator/statist, and not the slightest bit interesting from the reformist perspective. It has already been looking bad for the Dems this year at the presidential level. I’m assuming that this choice means we can look forward to a McCain presidency, which is a very scary prospect given his love of the activist welfare-warfare state exceeds even the Bush level.

It used to be said that one party is the stupid party and the other party is the evil party. Now it seems like both are both.


MatthewWilliam August 23, 2008 at 6:58 am

Other possible problems with Biden:

* Biden is gaffe-prone.
* He is a Foreign Policy expert, running the risk that he may overshadow Obama or highlight his inexperience.
* Running a two-senator ticket is rare in modern times and often thought very risky, with neither having executive experience.
* Aged 65, his age blunts criticism of McCain by the Obama campaign, as McCain is only a couple of years older, and Biden if he was a 2 term VP would be older leaving office than McCain is now.

Haas August 23, 2008 at 7:25 am

Yes but the advantage of biden is that he can be used to attack mccain as an attack dog while obama can remain as the man on the moral high ground…maybe biden can even reach the middle class white vote? I hardly see the difference between mccain or obama anyway…two closet socialists with different personas

Mark Thornton August 23, 2008 at 7:27 am

I predicted Biden would be chosen for VP the minute he dropped out of the presidential race so many months ago. He is a populist and a “fixer” so he is a perfect match for O’Bama, who is neither. Plus he fits the attack dog role of the VP much better than Richardson.

Being white, pragmatic, populist, and not rich he is the perfect dilutant for the social democrat OBama who is black, charismatic, intellectual and beloved by the rich and famous.

Look for Richardson and Gore to become involved and maybe “appointed” to positions before the election.

John August 23, 2008 at 9:01 am

I remember reading Biden’s platform for his own radical “change” — the most scary of which was his idea for a 16-year public school system. That’s right, you get to go to high school into your twenties!

I wonder why he didn’t get the nomination for president…

Nexus August 23, 2008 at 9:09 am

The media has anointed Biden a “foreign policy expert”. That perception is all Obama needs.

Dick Fox August 23, 2008 at 9:19 am

Actually Obama’s choice of Biden is the least of the problems with this VP announcement. I was at a gathering last night and Obama’s VP pick came up. Everyone, even those who really want to support Obama, said the way they were going about the announcement was like a high schooler running for office. He was playing games not only with the media but also his supporters as they signed up to get the text message in advance of the news media. In truth the announcement was made when everybody was asleep so it had virtually no meaning. The choice had been already released before the text message and they missed the entire Friday news cycle. The Obama Team botched this big time.

Pablo Escobar August 23, 2008 at 9:30 am

Obama’s perception as an outsider was mostly of benefit during the Democratic primaries when he was pandering to the base. Now that he’s in the general election, Biden is a great choice because the majority of Americans don’t want “change” and rhetoric – they want to be kept safe from terrorists. It will help him move towards the political center.

Yancey Ward August 23, 2008 at 11:13 am

Biden is a lousy pick on so many levels. Even Democrats realize this- just check out the Dem blogs to see what they are saying.

Obama had better pray that McCain chooses as foolishly.

EconDude August 23, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Not to sound like a conspiracy nut, but if Obama fears assassination, then his VP choice is excellent. No one would dare the chance of a President Biden.

For what other reason would he pick such an ill-suited running mate?!

Krazy Kaju August 23, 2008 at 1:55 pm

I think most people lost the illusion that Obama is for change a long time ago after Rezko-Obama and Obama’s AIPAC speech.

Stephen A. August 23, 2008 at 2:09 pm

“Now it seems like both are both.”

That’s not fair. Yet. Wait until McCain picks Joe Lieberman as his VP nominee.

THEN you can say both parties are stupid.

Steve Hogan August 23, 2008 at 2:14 pm

There’s a huge difference between Obama and Biden. One is a young, black gasbag; the other an old, white gasbag. Huge difference.

Clare Krishan August 23, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Staying away from the political, give the guy a break for character: after four terms of son-less (gut-less) POTUS’s its refreshing to see a VP candidate who’s got a son serving his country in the line of fire (and I’m no gingoist, I’m foursquare ‘antiwar’) putting — not his money — where his mouth is, but his own flesh and blood.

Who’s McCain gonna call to help him do anything closely as committed to the “national interests” aka the American Way?

Any of Romney’s “full-quiver” risked their necks for the rest of us?

Why not?

Alan Andersen August 23, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Biden was chosen by the “powers that be” to serve as Obama’s minder, just as Bush Sr. was chosen as Reagan’s VP in the same capacity.

David Crow August 23, 2008 at 11:48 pm

McCain doesn’t need a VP to prop up his legitimacy to be President of the greatest country on the face of the planet… but if you must Clare – McCain’s own son is serving in Iraq as we speak.

“McCain is outspoken about war, but not about his son’s military service”

By Jodi Kantor
Published: April 6, 2008 (Fox News)

By the way I am not for war but I am certainly not antiwar. Liberals just can’t keep their idealism in check long enough to fully think out the real world problems that our great country faces at this time. Rhetoric alone does not preserve the Constitution of the United States and our way of life. This country has been built on the blood of far better people than us, but the kicker is that its up to us to elect principled men and women to preserve the Union. I just pray that a majority of the electorate can see through the smoke and mirrors and keep us from slipping into the hands of the mediocrity and true socialism that an Obama – Biden ticket represents.

Ari August 24, 2008 at 1:31 am

It is amusing to see so many people saying X is a bad choice without even mentioning the Y choice they would have preferred.

Biden was Obama’s best choice out of a poor lot since he was never going to give the finger to his party and choose Chuck Hagel.

Kahne? Bayh? Sebelius? Clinton? Not a chance.

John Delano August 24, 2008 at 3:00 am

I don’t think as many people want an outsider as some would like to think. I have heard much criticism of Obama for being a senator in his first term. I think he wants someone who looks establishmentarian.

DavidB August 24, 2008 at 3:55 am

Being white, pragmatic, populist, and not rich

Not rich? He’s been in the senate since the ’70′s. If he’s not rich then he is so incompetent that he doesn’t deserve to be VP. Maybe you mean not super elite level rich

fundamentalist August 24, 2008 at 8:19 am

The selection of Obama as the Democrat nominee has done more for the US image abroad than any amount of foreing aid. The foreign press reports that young people around the world are amazed that a person from an oppressed minority (that’s how most people in the world see American blacks) could have a shot at the presidency of the US. They know that minorities in their own countries have no chance at all of even getting a position in government, let alone becoming the leader. Obama has caused the young people to question what is wrong with their government that they don’t have the same opportunities as minorities in the US.

So while I don’t agree with his economics, I encourage libertarians to vote for Obama. Just being president could do more to spread freedom in the world than anything the US has done. In addition, I’m hoping that his Marxism will frighten voters into electing a Republican Congress and give us gridlock. A McCain presidency would give us a Democrat for president with a Democrat controlled Congress which would be the worst of all possible worlds, except for a Republican president with a Republican Congress.

Please vote for Gridlock for president. It’s the best we libertarians can hope for.

IMHO August 24, 2008 at 8:28 am


“after four terms of son-less (gut-less) POTUS’s its refreshing to see a VP candidate who’s got a son serving his country in the line of fire (and I’m no gingoist, I’m foursquare ‘antiwar’)

First of all, I don’t understand the crack about “son-less” and “gutless”, because woman can enlist in the armed forces as well. Having said that, the idea that children should enlist so that their parents can score additional points in the polls is absurd.

Walt D. August 24, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Joe who
Watching the Olympic Games must have been torture for Obama and the Democrats.
Michael Phelps wins 8 gold medals. Obama wants to redistribute them to people who can’t swim.
More people know who Michael Phelps is than know who Joe Biden is.
The Olympic games is the ultimate metaphor of success and failure. To Obama, the notion
of success and failure should not exist – don’t these people know that the notion of failure is bad for self esteem?
Everyone deserves a gold medal, even if you fall of the balance beam, or drop the baton.
The sight of US atheletes waving the American flag and standing to the national anthem must have driven Obama crazy – don’t they know were citizens of the world?
The Chinese crowds boos when a talented US gymnast is given a low score – what’s the matter? Don’t they know that the whole world hates Americans?
An African Amercian called LeShawn Merritt wins
2 gold medals. In Obamaland, LeShawn Affirmative Action would win 2 gold medals, being allowed to
qualify automatically, and being allowed to start the 400m with a 300m start!
Obama was impressed by how the Chinese Communists managed to get things done.
How come they are not afflicted with the usual failures of Marxism? Perhaps we should copy them?
The only thing about the Olympics that Obama and the Democrats can identify with is the UN style corruption
associated with the Olympic Committee.
Now we have to look forward to a week celebrating failure – the Democratic Convention in Denver. The Democrats are already in
consultation with the Chinese Government on how best to deal with the left wing dissidents already assembling!

John Townend August 24, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Biden, wasn’t that the guy who lifted some British pol’s [ Neil Kinnock] speach and presented it as his own a few years back?

nick gray August 24, 2008 at 10:12 pm

The Democrats will win.
Not only has Biden won us foreigners over (I’ll be voting Democrats, so join the crowd, Americans!), but the Democrats will be known as The Mile High Club from now on! Who wouldn’t want to join such a party, except for the Pope?

Mike D. August 24, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Obama – a mile high and an inch deep!
(Excuse the plagiarism – now that Biden’s running I just couldn’t resist!)

MJ August 25, 2008 at 6:45 am

I feel sorry for you Americans, but don’t worry the politicans in every other country are as bad, if not worse, except the folks running Dubai, even then they probably dodgy.

Kevin P. August 25, 2008 at 2:47 pm

I like how the polls keep showing Obama ahead up until this past month and now is a dead even. I cannot believe that Obama will win the popular vote and will be greatly defeated in the electoral college. Losing key states like Ohio, Florida, and Virginia.

It will be another 4 years of scare tactics and policies that will hurt the American population further. Doesn’t matter if it is Republican or Democrat, both parties are the same to me now.

TokyoTom August 27, 2008 at 1:02 am

Jeffrey, it’s hard to know what factors motivated this selction, but it seems to me that Biden is a pretty good foil against much of the Republican attacks on Obama, and particularly on defense. I don’t see how Biden makes McCain more likely,

fundamentalist, I’m largely with you, but you haven’t clarified why you think we get more gridlock with Obama than with McCain.


John Delano August 27, 2008 at 4:19 am

I have a dream that on 20 January 2009, the next president will enter office with record low approval ratings.

Part of my decision as to who would be preferable is based on who would more likely cause a revolt that hopefully includes at least one successful secession movement. Maybe an Obama victory with mass hatred of him would be the best we can hope for. The only thing Obama and McCain have to run on is the idea that the other guy is scary. I think the fear of Obama might resonate more.

FSP! on the New Hampshire!

If you feel the need to cast a ballot this November, cast a vote for a third party candidate or leave the presidential section blank. I have cast a blank ballot in the past. Does it count for anything? Does it make a point? I don’t know.

Paul August 29, 2008 at 12:51 am

Did anyone watch Barrack “I can do everything” Obama last night? It’s actually the first time I watched him make a speech and I thought it was unintentionally hilarious. In just one sentence he promised to take care of terrorist, eliminate poverty, make the world respect us, reduce global warming, and stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Give me a break. I can’t believe people would be suckered into voting for a guy with such incredible vagueness.

Nowhere is the hint of reducing the deficit or curbing government spending (not that McCain pledged to do it either). I did like the part about personal responsibility though.

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