Thursday, June 12, 2008

From the Primaries to the Veepstakes

He has a bit of a temper. He is inclined to say what he thinks, irrespective of the consequences (and to the chagrin of his handlers). He entered the primary season as a respected lion of the Senate. He had some integrity issues earlier in his political career, in the 80s, but those seem to be by-and-large behind him. He once ran unsuccessfully for his party's nomination prior to 2008. He began the primary season almost an afterthought in his party. And now everyone seems to be talking about him.

I am referring, of course, to Senator Joe Biden.

I liked Biden when the primary season started and felt that he ought to have been considered more seriously than he was, especially given his legitimate gravitas on issues such as foreign relations and the judiciary. Nonetheless, the voters spoke. But as soon as he dropped out I hoped his name would reemerge, whether as a possible Vice Presidential pick or else as a high-level cabinet (or cabinet-type) nominee, such as Secretary of State, for head of the National Security Council, or possibly SecDef.

Indeed I think he might serve the administration better in one of those positions, but the Veepstakes are as much about serving the ticket now as about serving the administration later. I am not convinced just how much the choice for VP actually influences the way voters act, but as a symbolic gesture it is vitally important. Biden would represent a fine choice and, to my mind, more of a dream ticket (especially in terms of winning) than one involving Hillary as Veep.

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