...is a strong, astute choice. It’s the choice of a confident man who’s not desperate to carry one more state. It connects Obama to the Democratic establishment and to non-bobo (bourgeois bohemian) currents in his party’s tradition. It’s the choice of a boring, blowhard white guy who couldn’t be more experienced. Obama’s task, to repeat, is to show that he’s not a crazy extemist, that his brand of change is safe. His choice of Biden will suggest that to at least some voters, including some of the working class, white Hillary primary voters. Of course Biden has plenty of warts, but they’re already displayed in neon letters for all to see, and it’s very unlikely that new ones will be discovered. Let’s hope McCain can do as well in connecting himself to his party.
WEEKEND UPDATE: Everyone should read Rob’s smart and challenging post below. I’m using my awesome NLT power to respond to here. Where’s the panic? The boring white guy scenario of Biden or Bayh has been there for months, and I’ve always thought it was the way for him to go. Biden is a bit better because of his foreign policy "leadership" and because he’s the less boring of the two. Hillary or Kaine or some gimmicky guy or gal (such as Wesley Clark or the woman from Kansas) would have been panic choices. Of course Obama couldn’t really like Biden that much. He chose with his head, not with his heart, contrary to the advice (we read) of the lovely Mrs. Obama. But I haven’t seen much real evidence (contrary to what he says) that Obama has much of a heart (and I mean that as Machiavellian praise). He’ll do, as he says, what he has to do to win, and Machiavellians don’t panic (and there is, objectively, not that much reason for him to do so, although he should be concerned that he’s been unable to seal the deal). Biden is boring and silly some of the time, but to be really fair and balanced, he was often pretty good in the pre-primary debates. He is certainly more charming than Bayh. Anyone who remembers and is bothered by (like me) Biden’s performance in the Clarence Thomas hearings is not a likely Obama voter. What Obama himself said about Thomas was more of cheap shot than anything I remember Biden saying, and probably studies have shown Obama that taking shots at Thomas is a good way of energizing his base.
I got a really mean private email criticizing me for saying good things about Obama strategy. But I really think the tendency among conservatives is to underestimate this guy. McCain is going to have to be really savvy to be competitive, and I really do want Mac to win. (And I just read Pete’s comments--which are very similar to and more pithy and eloquent than mine.)