Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Reluctant, Respectful VP

By dominating media coverage, Sarah Palin is giving Joe Biden a pass to do what he does best, talk straight to voters without the glare of bright lights and pushy reporters.

In the New Yorker, Ryan Lizza reports on conversations with Barack Obama in which Biden hesitated about being on the ticket, weighing the job against remaining as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or becoming Secretary of State. No Palinesque "you betcha" instant answer to running for VP.

"If you’re asking me to help you get elected," Biden says he told Obama, "I can do that other ways, but I don’t want to be a Vice-President who is not part of the major decisions you make."

In the campaign now, Biden is helping most by providing a contrast to his strident, superficial counterpart, as he did in their debate, and rallying working-class voters in key states without making headlines or gaffes.

Looking ahead, Biden sees himself as helping Obama reach across party lines to help heal the divisions of the Bush-Cheney years.

“The reason I’ve been relatively successful," he told Lizza, "is that I have never questioned the motive of other senators, and that’s instinctively Barack. Barack doesn’t start off, ‘Well, you disagree, you must be a, you know, an S.O.B. or you must not care about the poor or you’re sexist or you’re racist or you’re a whatever.’ He doesn’t think that way.”

If and when they are sworn in next January, Obama and Biden will be able to put that respectful approach to good use.


Stimpson said...

U.S. voters can seem a rather thick lot. About half of them voted for Dubya the Dunce in 2000 and 2004, after all. But I think they can see that the Obama-Biden ticket clearly is a better choice than McSame-Palin, in good part because of Obama's obviously superior veep choice. Only the dyed-in-the-wool righties couldn't see that, and I'll bet even among them a lot do see that Palin's a horrible veep choice; they just can't help themselves but vote for their party.

Dan said...

I think Sarah Palin should simply lay back, and ignore the National Media... she will slide into the Whitehouse, and perhaps become President. This will inspire our backwards, degenerate nation into believing that all incestuous offspring can one day aspire to become President. Who knows, if Bush jr. can get into office with his daddy's help, then I wouldn't put it past our dumb nation to elect Trig into office in twenty years. Welcome to our "idiocracy."