Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Biden Comes Out Swinging

Biden's in, and he's come out lobbing bombs at his Democratic rivals. According to the New York Observer,
To hear him tell it, Hillary Clinton’s position is calibrated, confusing and “a very bad idea.” John Edwards doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is pushing a recipe for Armageddon in the Middle East. Barack Obama is offering charming but insubstantial fluff. And all of them are playing politics.

I don't mind someone coming out and being the aggressor. It was bound to happen. And I have always liked Biden. He certainly has the foreign policy gravitas and will be hard to depict as unserious on security issues. It will be interesting to see if his candidacy can inspire any buzz, however, and while he is smart, Biden can also be a ponderous speaker, which is going to lend itself to mockery and what, especially in a sound-bite culture, might sound like gaffes. Traction will be a problem inasmuch as it is difficult to discern Biden's natural constituency. He will likely be pilloried by the noisome but powerful netroots. He lacks Obama's charisma and polish. He lacks Hillary's name recognition and money and buzz and last name. He lacks Edwards' populist appeal and southern accent and blowdryer. Nonetheless, taken in toto, Biden could be a strong candidate if he can garner some early support in the form of endorsements and fundraising, and if he can maximize his credibility and minimize his tendency to strike the wrong chord.

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